My last entry dealt with darker side of tutors, and today I want to spend a little more time talking about those tutors who ‘keep the fire burning’ and then highlight another contributor to the failing tutor system. First however, kudos for the true elite of the tutors (you know who you are, if you read my previous post with little or no guilt). You deserve a standing ovation. Its your attitude of going the extra mile, that makes tutoring a whole lot fun, challenging, exciting, and rewarding.
Ok.. enough of positive thoughts (for a really good article about positive psychology see Dr. Deborah’s latest article). I however, would like to spend the rest of this post on making some damning comments about a bunch of students who … errr.. read on..
To start with, the tutor-student (or ‘tutee’) relationship in my university is an odd one. Tutorials on one hand are not compulsory, and are really an option that’s been in place to support students who need ‘extra’ attention. Having said that, its ironic how the “university of achievers” usually have their tutorial list filled up on the first day of posting. High demand signups are fine, but what about what happens after that?
I have this to say to those of you who sign up, and then show no interest in turning up for tutorials: why the f**k did you sign up in the first place? It is not only selfish of you (for filling up a spot that another more deserving and needy could take) but it is also disrespects your tutors time.
Having had that very cathartic moment, I would like to make the following *humble* requests from all students.
Respect your tutor's time. Remember, your tutor is a student too, and therefore has demands and deadlines of his or her own. You can show your respect by keeping appointments and by finding out what time is too late to call your tutor at night. No one wants to be woken up at 2AM even though you are staying up late to meet a deadline. For the very least, do atleast Turn up for tutorials. Theres no greater insult than being stood up.
Communicate! Let your tutor know about exam dates and other important deadlines so that the two of you can plan ahead if you need extra time. Also keep in mind that your tutor might like to know how your exam went. Related, your tutor would like to know if you understood what was said. If you don’t speak in English, then say so.
Come prepared. Though tutoring may be a more casual arrangement than meeting with your lecturer, the more you have studied beforehand and articulated your own questions, the more productive your session will be. Psychologists (and psychologists to be for that matter) don’t read minds, hence, adequate preparation will help.
Be specific. The more your tutor knows about your needs before the session begins, the better prepared he or she can be to help you. If you are stumped on a particular problem, for instance, why not e-mail it to your tutor before your meeting?
Don't expect perfection. Though peer tutors have excelled in the courses they tutor, they do not have all the answers. For that, there’s god (don’t know his/her email, sorry)
Be active. One of the most important ways to learn from your tutor is to be active during your tutoring meetings. Make sure you explain to your tutor, in your own words, the concepts that you have been reviewing together. Putting the material into your own words will help both of you to make sure that you have grasped it and can apply it.
I cant believe that I went though a whole page without using much profanity! What’s happening to me? (worried)