Does Your Student Need a Tutor?
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By: Elana Goodwin, Uloop
Students can find college challenging — even more so depending on their major, the classes they take, and their academic aptitude. As such, it’s important to think about whether your student would benefit from having a tutor while in college.
Here are some signs to watch out for when determining if your student needs a tutor.
1. Poor grades
If your student gets poor grades on assignments, quizzes, tests, and/or essays, you both should consider looking into tutoring services. That being said, the best time to get academic help and tutoring is before your student really needs it. Waiting until they have gotten multiple bad grades and clearly need help may result in the help coming too late to really turn their grades around.
Instead, keep the lines of communication with your student open on this matter and let them know you’re happy to assist them in getting help — and that there’s no shame in taking advantage of campus tutoring services or finding a tutor outside the university. Working with a tutor throughout the semester, rather than just before a test or assignment, may also influence the effectiveness and success of the tutoring sessions your student receives.
2. Trouble keeping up
Students can find it difficult to juggle multiple classes and professors and their assignments and expectations, especially when still adjusting to college-level courses and college life. Your student might struggle to keep up with homework, assigned reading, and other coursework — and going to a tutor can help with that.
Getting help with writing essays, doing math problems, or even learning how to research for a paper are all things tutors can work on with your student, teaching them strategies or helping them complete those tasks before deadlines.
3. Difficulty studying
Tutors can help your student study for their tests. Tutors can teach your student some effective studying strategies and habits, as well as help quiz your student on information before a test and make sure they pay attention to the more important information.
A peer tutor matched to your student is likely to have taken the class or is well-versed in the subject material, making them an invaluable asset in your student’s studying.
4. Benefits from feedback
If your student benefits from getting feedback on assignments, essays, and the like, a tutor is a great way for them to get feedback before they turn in assignments — this way they have time to make changes and revisions before handing things into professors. College professors don’t always give a lot of feedback to students, especially in bigger classes where they have many papers to grade or have their TAs do the reading and grading of papers.
Having a tutor means your student can get early and frequent feedback on papers and assignments, which will both encourage them and help them learn how to do better. Even if your student is getting good grades or has good study habits, they may still benefit from tutoring simply because of the feedback they’ll get on assignments.
5. Ineffective time management
Some college students find it hard to self-monitor and hold themselves accountable for getting everything they need to get done completed in a timely manner. Well, tutors can help with that, too. Tutors can teach your student effective time management and help motivate self-directed learning. Additionally, if your student works with a single tutor consistently, they can help keep track and monitor assignments for your student’s classes and make sure your student completes assignments, meets deadlines, and studies efficiently.
6. Desires a relationship
Tutors can also serve as a role model to your student and be a source of encouragement. Peer tutors, in particular, can become a friend and pseudo-confidante to your student as they’re of a similar age and have likely taken the same class, had the same professor, or simply understand what your student is going through in college.
Starting a relationship with a tutor early on will enable your student to really develop a good relationship with their tutor and allow them both time to get to know each other and your student’s needs and learning habits. They’ll be able to build a rapport, have more time to get into a tutoring routine and get comfortable together, all of which will increase the effectiveness of their tutoring sessions.
If you feel your student is struggling, broach the topic with them of looking into tutoring services; many colleges actually offer tutoring on-campus either with peer tutors or professional ones. There’s absolutely no shame in getting a tutor — and the earlier your student gets one, the better their tutoring experience will be.