Great tutors know how to listen well to their students. Take the example of a second grade female student struggling with reading. One of the routines at her school involves reading aloud as part of a reading circle. These became stressful times for this student. Her tutor spent the first session getting to know her, asking questions not only about school but also about what she likes to do for fun when she is not in school. As the tutor built rapport and the student grew to like and trust her, the tutor began incorporating reading materials into the sessions that were outside the school’s curriculum but directly tied to activities the student enjoyed doing in her free time. By listening closely to the student’s own description of reading circle, this tutor was also able to discover that the student’s “reading problems” in school were tied to her shyness around reading aloud. Words that the student had no problem pronouncing correctly in one-on-one tutoring sessions were stumbled upon at school giving the impression she did not know and understand them. Her shyness translated into nervousness at being asked to read aloud. The tutor communicated this finding to the teacher who then took the time to make periodic assessments of the student’s reading in a more private manner. Soon, as her confidence level rose, she was able to read well in the circle as well as in the one-0n-0ne setting. Listening to students involves more than asking questions and noting the responses. Listening well involves ferreting out what motivates a student, what represent emotional blocks, and what kinds of challenges the student enjoys. As such, listening well is the firstĀ  step to designing creative and effective tutoring sessions.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 at 2:08 pm and is filed under BrightBridge Tutoring. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.