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How to Best Utilize Your 1-on-1 Academic Tutoring

By May 22, 2020May 27th, 2020No Comments

Individual tutoring often accelerates a student’s performance, increases confidence, and provides powerful structure towards self-development. As a tutor at Mindfish, I am excited to meet new students and to develop a plan to enrich their education experience. I am also a full-time teacher. When I hear from students that they plan to seek out private tutoring, I am excited for them. However, not all academic support generates the optimal outcomes. Here are some suggestions from the perspective of a teacher for getting the most out of your tutoring experience.

Don’t exclusively focus on accomplishing assigned tasks from school.

While it can be tempting to bring in assignments and have your tutor help you complete them at a very high level, this has the possibility of sabotaging your educational experience. It makes sense to target specific benchmark exams such as AP tests or the ACT and SAT with specific assistance from a tutor, but regular assignments are usually constructed with the understanding that a student will work through the experience and the resulting grade will be a reflection of the student’s knowledge. Circumventing either of those aspects is akin to providing a workout routine to someone, then having a personal trainer do the lifts for them and record the trainer’s weights as their own. Unfortunately for the student, the feedback from school is often positive in terms of a grade boost, but the long-term consequences are subtle.  

This is not to say that assistance with regular assignments can not be hugely beneficial. It is worth asking your teacher how they would like to see you utilize your individual tutoring with respect to the given assignment and bringing this feedback to your tutor. In my college math classes, the homework is digital. The problems can be refreshed to give new numbers or wordings. When my students work with tutors in the school, I suggest that they refresh the problem and solve it independently before submitting it. Furthermore, I encourage them to do this at a later time and not immediately following the session.  

Do speak your mind and talk openly about anything and everything pertaining to your education.

One of the most significant differences between tutoring and classroom instruction is the personalized nature of the tutoring. The classroom affords lots of opportunities for you to watch and listen to your instructors; however, it leaves far less time for you to share your thoughts about the difficulties of balancing athletics and test preparation, dealing with social conflicts that are arising in your biology class, or feeling less than motivated to do your math homework. In contrast, you have more time to share your thoughts and concerns with your tutor. The time I spend in a tutoring session hearing from you is some of the most valuable time spent.  

If you ever feel like a teacher does not know who you really are or why you are doing the things that you do, this can have a negative impact on your educational experience. Ensure that this does not happen in your individual tutoring sessions and know that the time you spent talking about yourself is incredibly important, even if you do not understand why. A skilled tutor can use this information to tailor instruction even more closely to your needs and goals.

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If you have questions about the SAT or about standardized tests in general, our test prep experts would be happy to answer them! Give us a call at (720) 204-1042 or contact us at info@mindfish.com.