My tutoring session starts like every tutor starts their sessions- with a simple "hello". The smiling face of a child greets me on my screen. I smile and say hello back.
We work on academic skills throughout our tutoring session. We think through problems, or read through passages. I give little lessons that I have prepared for each student to help them level up their abilities. We practice, high five, and practice some more. We take small breaks and play games on the computer or out loud using our voices or our hands.
Walk into any tutoring studio or online tutor's office and you will find the same goings on.
All of this seems pretty standard, except for the one shocking thing that I do. Something my new students don't expect when they first start with me. Something that usually shows a little spark of SHOCK in their eyes.
I spend at least five or more minutes talking to my student about who they are.
I can tell you what makes each of my students unique. One of my students is an amazing dancer, with lots of trophies for tap competitions- she's thinking about taking up ballet next year but she is nervous about it. One of my students is an avid reader and always has a new book to recommend. A couple of my students (sisters) enjoy making beauty products from scratch on the weekends.
Why find out who my students are when what I have been hired to do is increase their knowledge?
First of all, I can't imagine spending so much time with someone and not knowing them. Second, knowing who a child truly is helps me assist them in unlocking their full potential. I'm not just talking their academic potential either- I'm out to unlock their life potential as well. I want to have a hand in helping my students become the best version of themselves- and in order to do that I have to know them.
We often pause in the middle of difficult tasks to talk about how the process relates to life. I often compare struggles in the classroom to my students' hobbies- you can't become an MBA star without practice, and you can't get a good grade on a Math test without doing the same.
We set goals together and talk about growth.
We discuss how "smart" is not fixed, and neither is any other ability. You have to stretch your mind just like you stretch your body to help it grow.
All of these things would fall flat if we didn't know each other.
So I take five or more minutes to do that one shocking thing. I get to know my students, and build a relationship with them. I listen to the difficulty they are having with their best friend at school, or how excited they are for music class tomorrow. I let them know I care about who they are and the efforts they are making way more than any grade they could ever get.
Though it is shocking- I wouldn't do it any other way.
I would love to get to know your child while giving them the academic help they need and deserve. Click here to schedule your free online tutoring trial session.