Remember that first impressions count! Students arrive for tutoring with many expectations, questions, and sometimes fears.
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You must treat all students with respect, listen to them, and help them articulate their needs.
- Display your sign so that students know who you are and what you tutor.
- Acknowledge all students with a smile and a friendly greeting.
- Find out if this is the student’s first visit or not. If it is, then let the student know what to expect. This will help put him/her at ease.
- Ask the student to fill out the information card before you begin. You can tell students that we gather the information for our annual report.
- Look over the card to determine what class the student is seeking help with and who the teacher is.
- Try to establish common ground. Have you taken a course with the same instructor? Have you done a similar assignment? Did you also find the problems difficult at first?
- Ask the student with what specifically he/she would like to be helped.
- If the student seems upset, allow him/her to vent briefly, then try to refocus him/her on positive steps to solving problems and gaining understanding.
- Find out what the student already knows about the topic and identify gaps in knowledge.
- Set and articulate small reasonable goals. For example, tell the student that you will work on a few example problems together so that you can model some problem-solving strategies. Then explain that you will have the student work on a problem independently. Or, tell the student that you will first explain a concept to him/her and then ask him/her to summarize it aloud or in writing so that you can check for understanding.