Monday, September 16, 2013

Observing Expectations.

I have not yet had the opportunity to tutor a student yet, so once again I will relate this assignment to a session that I have observed. Last week I encountered an ESL student who came in with a higher level economics paper. The student had three separate article analysis’ that were due in a couple of hours. The master tutor that I was observing focused on the “bigger picture stuff” when the grammatical errors were in the forefront.

The student didn’t have any specific wishes for the session, which proved to be more beneficial for them. The tutor I observed was able to then focus on the critical mistakes in content versus merely “proofreading” and attacking minor surface errors. Had the student specifically requested a session on grammar, they would certainly benefit. However, had the tutor focused on this versus the content, the student would have missed the mark on what the teacher expected from the analysis. 

The student went in with expectations of making his ideas clear and concise. If the tutor focused on the surface errors, the student would have left without having his expectations met. Being the only expectation, it was up to the tutor which route to take with the session. Due to the good judgment on the tutor’s part, she was able to take the meeting in the direction that met the student’s expectations. Although she was unable to accomplish everything that the paper needed, she was able to focus on what was important in regards to the rubric. I was impressed with the way that she handled the situation. Sometimes it is difficult to overlook obvious mistakes, it is critical that we first look to the quality of the content before we can dedicate our time to grammatical errors. In this particular example, the student’s expectations were met. After observing this session, I learned a valuable lesson on picking your battles. 

When I begin tutoring I will do my best to adapt what I learned from this experience, and prioritize my time to meet the needs and expectations of the student.


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