Definition of Tutoring
Tutoring is, by definition, a one-to-one or small group activity where a person who is knowledgeable and has expertise in a specific content area or discipline provides tutelage, help, or clarification to one or more who do not. The goal of tutoring is to assist students to become independent learners and increase their motivation to learn. As a tutor, you will have an opportunity to be instrumental in the success of the many students you serve.
Role of the Tutor
The tutor plays a vital and multifaceted role in supporting students' academic learning. Here is an overview of the roles a tutor often plays simultaneously.
1. The Tutor as a Helper
The tutor's job is to help students to learn and problem solve on their own. Tutors do not just give students answers; rather, they are ready to help the student begin to make progress toward a solution. Tutors understand that learning is a process of comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. To assist in actively becoming involved in the learning process, tutors help tutees to:
- Know the type of problem being solved.
- Understand and use the vocabulary of the subject.
- Practice the application of principles.
- Realize that all learners make mistakes but that learning from one's mistakes is a very effective way to learn.
- Perform the work themselves.
- Verbalize what they have learned.
2. The Tutor as a "Model Student"
Tutors are successful students, not experts. Tutors demonstrate the thinking, study skills and problem solving skills necessary to learn new information. Since tutors are successful learners, tutors exemplify the behaviors of a model student. They must assess the areas where a student may need additional assistance and take the time to share tips and strategies that work.
3. The Tutor as a Learning Center Employee
As a Learning Center employee, tutors help to preserve the reputation of the Learning Center on the CGCC campus. Tutors follow the rules and policies outlined in this manual as well as stated during the tutor training. Also, tutors are responsible for explaining the center's policies to the students utilizing the center. During the semester tutors should report any problems or concerns to the Learning Center Director. Tutors are respectful to the students, learning center staff as well as the faculty and administration at CGCC.
Adapted from Employee Training Manual, Center for Academic Program Support, University of New Mexico.
Adapted with permission from: Olga Thurman, Tutorial Support Services, El Paso Community College.