When Grades Fall, a Tutor Can be the Answer

Tutoring is among the oldest methods of teaching. Socrates and Plato taught students one-on-one or in small groups, often paid by wealthy Greeks. Children of wealthy Middle Age nobles received most of their education from hired tutors.

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As education became regulated and formalized, tutors remained an essential part of the classroom. As teachers handled large classroom sizes, tutors were necessary to assist students who fell behind in their lessons. Modern tutors are not only limited to the wealthy, as before. While the wealthy continue to pay for tutoring services, programs exist to all students through churches, schools, and community agencies. All economic, academic, and age levels have access to tutoring for help in nearly every subject taught in schools. Many students will also attend tutoring for important preparatory tests, such as the GRE, SAT, or HSED.

Finding a Tutor

As there are different tutors for different incomes or subject areas, finding a tutor might be intimidating. Begin by understanding tutoring, and that tutors do not have to be “licensed”. In fact, it is never a good idea to pay extra for a tutor who claims to be licensed. Search for a tutor who has teaching experience and references, such as a moonlighting teacher, or an experienced college student. Ask for certification or credentials. Also consider hiring an older high school student who has good grades in the desired subject. If the expense is overwhelming, begin looking at free or low-cost tutoring services. Ask the school for ideas. Look into community centers, churches, and after-school programs, such as homework help. Often, these programs will include student volunteers who have already passed the class with high marks.

Best Tutoring Subjects

The best subject to get a tutor includes any student who needs extra help. Whether it is a math tutor, an english tutor, or any other class, anyone who needs to raise a grade deserves a tutor. Students of all ages, from elementary school to college and beyond, work with tutors who help the student advance in the classroom. While most students work with tutors when grades are slipping, others will ask for help for other reasons. A nervous test taker, for example, may receive test taking tips and study assistance from a tutor who has previously taken the test. A student who wants to pass an important class may hire a tutor to assist in studying or homework review, even if that student is receiving fair grades. Any student, in any school subject, may receive help from a tutor to ensure academic success.

Example Tutoring Session

A general tutoring session begins with a general greeting. The relationship between student and teacher is essential to tutoring success. After getting reacquainted, the tutor will review previous work, searching for areas where the student struggles. Problem areas are reviewed, with deeper review completed if the student continues to show difficulty with past lessons. The tutor then discusses new objectives to move the session forward, including setting goals for the session. The new objective is taught and discussed in short units using open communication. The student practices the new skill with the gentle guidance of the tutor. The session will end on a positive note, with the student learning the new skill, or with a plan for the student to practice until the next session. Goals are set for the next session, and the student’s progress is recorded in the tutor’s professional journal, if the tutor is working with a school or other professional organization.

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