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Tutoring 101: What Tutors Do

Tutoring 101: What Tutors Do

Tutoring goes beyond assisting a child with homework assignments. If you're interesting in helping children get more out of their education and have a solid foundation for future learning, being a tutor is a great volunteer opportunity. Here's a peek inside the job of a tutor.

Provide Encouragement

Each time you meet with a student, create a positive atmosphere. Encouraging words make it easier to learn new concepts and accept when mistakes are made. Teach the child problem solving skills; don't simply say the correct answer. Work through problems together to build a trusting relationship and teach lifelong reasoning skills.

Share Expertise

Take the lessons from the books and apply them to real world experiences and situations. If you've encountered a situation that can help explain the concept, use it to take the lesson beyond the homework assignment. For example, show a student photos you took of a solar or lunar eclipse when studying the planets and their alignment with the sun and moon.

Explain Expectations

At the start of each tutoring session, set short-term goals and check in on long term goals. Make reasonable goals and explain these expectations. Progress is progress, no matter how slowly it goes. Determine how the student learns and show progress in the same manner. For visual learners, create a rewards chart. For verbal learners, use words of praise and encouragement as you discuss the goals.

Set Rules and Follow Them

For each success or failure, there must be a consequence. Don't skimp on celebrating successes, and stand your ground when the student doesn't complete his homework or tasks you've asked since the last tutoring session.

Do you think you have the drive, determination, and desire to become a tutor? Reach out to your United Way to learn about tutoring opportunities at schools and childcare centers in your area.