How to Help Your Student Find a Tutor
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By: Elana Goodwin, Uloop
Many students struggle academically in college, and a number of factors can affect your student’s scholastic performance. There’s really no shame in looking into campus tutoring services or trying to find a tutor outside the university to help your student do well in their classes and get good grades.
Working with a tutor throughout the semester can have many benefits beyond just academics, and getting long-term tutoring, rather than just before a test or assignment can also impact the success of the tutoring sessions your student receives. Here’s how to help your student find a tutor.
1. Start a Discussion
The first step in helping your student find a tutor is to open a discussion. Talk with your student about how their classes are going, if they feel they don’t understand the material or aren’t really learning from the professor, etc. Doing this will make your student feel more comfortable and ease them into a conversation about whether they should look for a tutor to help with their academic performance in a certain class or several courses.
Once you’ve opened the door to the possibility of your student getting a tutor, figure out what your student needs from you going forward. Do they need you to play a more active role in finding a tutor for them or do they just need your support (emotional and/or financial) in their tutoring search? Whatever the case may be, make sure you provide encouragement in their efforts to get the tutoring help they need and follow up with them once they have found a tutor to make sure the tutoring is actually improving their academic performance.
2. Figure Out Their Learning Style
Before you help your student find a tutor, you may want to discuss with them what kind of learner they are. Knowing how they learn can be an important factor when it comes to finding a tutor whose teaching and tutoring style will mesh with their learning style. Does your student do their best listening or doing? For visual learners, they may find when they study with more pictures, charts, diagrams, handouts, etc., they do better on tests and using highlighters or writing their notes by hand can help with their studying process, too. For auditory learners, reading assignments and material out loud and talking through the information may help them retain the knowledge.
Your student’s learning style will affect the success of their tutoring sessions, especially if the tutor doesn’t personalize their services to your student’s needs. For example, kinesthetic learners may do better taking the lead in a tutoring session as they learn best by doing but if a tutor’s plan is to quiz your student on the material, your student may not see a better score on future tests. Once your student’s figured out what type of learner they are, they can try to find a tutor that will suit their style.
3. See What the University Offers
Most college campuses have tutoring centers that provide tutoring services to their students for free or for a very small cost. If your student doesn’t have any information about tutoring through the university, they should reach out to a professor or career counselor for assistance in connecting with the tutoring services offered at the school. The tutors at the tutoring center that your student may be paired with are frequently students who’ve taken the same class before or a similar class and done well. Besides helping your student study and provide feedback on papers, they can also help your student improve their study skills and habits, teach them about time management, and assist in staying on track and organizing their assignments.
4. Explore Other Options
After looking at the tutoring services offered through the university, if your student feels they aren’t getting the help they need or wants to explore other options, they can start by looking online. Many professors and teachers may advertise online that they offer tutoring after hours to make extra money and have a lot of experience helping students improve their academic performance.
Your student can also look out for flyers in buildings on campus that publicize available tutoring, though they’ll want to more thoroughly check out the tutor and ask about their experience, transcript, and how much they charge. Your student can also consider hiring a fellow student, perhaps even one in the same class as they are, who is doing well in the course to tutor them during the semester.
If they’re not sure of which student to ask to tutor them, they can reach out to the professor and tell them they’re having trouble keeping up or want extra help after class so they can do well and ask if they have any suggestions, recommendations, or could let the class know there’s a tutoring opportunity available.
These are just four ways you can help your student find a tutor; start the process early so your student has ample time to find the right tutor for them and perform well academically throughout the semester.
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