Monday, August 30, 2010

Value in Tutoring

There are plenty of moments during the summer when I question my decision to tutor students. It isn't because I don't enjoy working with the students, but more about taking time out of the day and away from my own kids when it's 80 and sunny just doesn't seem so appealing.

While it does take some effort to arrange schedules, along with the commitment to go through with it, I've found a lot of benefit in tutoring a few kids each summer. Working with students of varying abilities in a one-on-one situation has been a great way for me to brush up on specific teaching tools and strategies. There are times during the school year when instructing a class of thirty 12 year-old students lends itself to a certain "teaching to the masses" style, where that individual attention can get put aside for a while. What tutoring allows is a chance to do just that, adapting to kids' unique learning styles and providing immediate feedback.

This summer has been especially fulfilling, as I have worked with three students at a wide range of ability levels. Challenging - yes, but like a good workout where you push yourself, the stretch makes you better. I feel sharp and ready to work with my students this year, conscientious of students' individual needs, ready to meet them where they are on their learning journey.

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