What is Tutoring?

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By Igor Peric

Tutoring is a journey that takes us on paths that are as different as our own lives and personalities. Often, the first step involves facing real or imagined fears about yourself, such as Am I good enough? and Are people going to find out I don’t know anything? and yet, to allow the feeling that you indeed have valuable knowledge to share with others to overcome these crippling ideas. Some of us are confident throughout the whole process, and some of us express doubts along the way, what is important how it makes us grow.

To grow, that is where our paths and the paths of our students converge, and the journey of learning becomes an adventure taken together. Some of us might recognize in our students the courage to ask for help, and the crippling fear of not being good enough, that was once (or perhaps still is) our own. Be what may, most often we are the guides our students look to for direction, and we are asked to provide not only academic, but emotional support as well.

Life is about persevering and beating the odds. It is about admitting I do not understand, please teach me, which is both courageous and humbling. In the same vein, both asking for help and deciding to be a tutor, can take the same amount of courage. Being a tutor is simply that next step we take when we feel that we can guide others past the same point where we were in the past. And yet, a point one never gets past in life, not knowing, a beautiful concept in itself.

As we go through life, we will always be both the teacher and the student. Ascribing oneself to being only one or the other is either arrogant or self-devaluing, respectively. Everybody knows something and has yet to learn something else. It is the realization and the desire to better oneself that is important.

The student-tutor relationship is a much more personal one than the classic student-teacher relationship. One way I could describe it, starting with the student-teacher relationship, is that it is akin to the relationship between a restaurant patron and the chef. The food represents the knowledge that the student consumes, and while they may read the menu and pose a few questions to the waiter about the meal, which is usually the extent of it because so many other students are waiting to eat as well.

The student tutor relationship is more like cooking together. The meals can be of varying complexity but the way I like to think about it is that both the student and the tutor are trying to fill a big crock pot with various ingredients. Of course, the tutor oversees the pot, but it is his responsibility to allow the student to put as much of his own contribution barring something that would completely ruin the taste. In that case, the tutor must point out to the student why putting an old shoe into the pot might not be appealing and provide alternatives.

At the end of the session, both the student and the tutor will savor the meal they have created and thus, have partaken in the learning process together.

Igor Peric is a 3rd year Internet Applications and Web Development program and has been a tutor since Fall of 2017. In the future, Peric plans to continue his studies at University in Computer Studies.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Beyond Grades

man and boy walking across pathway heading to beachBy Harshkumar Prajapati

My father always emphasized the importance of time management when I lived with him. Now that I’m living in Canada, I see the importance of managing my time appropriately. From the time I left my hometown in India to this moment, the ethics and cultural norms instilled in me by my parents has helped me in every stage of my life. When I consider my academic journey, most of the time I received good grades on every exam taken, however, I remain unsatisfied with the achievements made.

My grandfather revealed to me a story about one person who got everything just because of education. This person was a son of the brick maker and his family was very poor. But he had an enthusiasm for getting an education. His father tried to manage everything for his education. Eventually, he graduated in the mechanical field and now, he is a manager in reputed industry and a successful businessman. This is a true story about my Dad, Mr. Chandrakant Prajapati. At that time, I realized the definition of success and for that, education is a major factor. I have learned from my father that in addition to knowledge, we require the acquisition of skills, values and beliefs. He teaches me to study to be accomplished, not affluent.

In this competitive education atmosphere, most students study simply to get good grades. I think, somehow, the education system overemphasizes how to make good grades. However, parents should understand and appreciate the areas in which their children are really interested and capable of excelling in. A circus lion can learn how to jump on a chair with the fear of being whipped, but we call such a lion well-trained not well-educated.

What happens if you get poor results in exams? I would say nothing!!! Grades won’t decide your future, so if you pursue excellence, success will definitely chase you.

Furthermore, my father was teaching after graduation and his unique pedagogy inspires me to be a tutor. I believe teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students. In our tutoring family at St. Clair College, I always learn new things from tutors and students. Student satisfaction is my aim when I am tutoring. As I learn from many great personalities throughout my entire life, I always encourage students to make your passion as your profession. I believe that if you want to learn something, you will find a way to learn it. Also, institutes should be flexible in the way they teach students rather than follow a rigid curriculum that places too much emphasis on grades.

I was teaching after my Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering in India, this helps me a lot during tutoring and in making materials for students. I also include simple and quick tricks to solve any problems in the materials. Additionally, I provide practical applications and conditions in which students can learn better, with an aim to realize the purpose of what they are studying. I’m seeing my students improve every week significantly, which makes me more confident about my teaching skills. I would say knowledge is power but knowledge without application is useless.

“Real process of education should be the process of learning to think through the application of real problems.”  ~John Dewey

Harshkumar Prajapati has been a tutor since May 2018 and is a 2nd year student in the  Mechanical Engineering Technician – Industrial  program. In the future, Prajapati plans to acquire more knowledge and experience in the mechanical field after graduation with a goal of becoming an instructor.

Photo by Johan Mouchet on Unsplash

Education: A step to build steps

a person in red shoes walking up steps

by Manan Thaker

I have always been a student and I will always be a student, as life teaches me new things everyday. When I started tutoring, I was carrying on a family heritage as my mother and my grandmother are professors now and I feel so very proud to carry on this tradition. I feel happy when I solve the challenges of students and to see smiles on their faces.

When I started my journey, I took advise from my mother. She told me that education is the best way to change the world. There is an important quote in our country as follows:

“Vidhya dan a duniya nu shreshth dan che” that means that an education donation is the best donation in the world.

It is said that whatever comes in the world goes away, but I believe that education and knowledge are the only things that can never be taken from us.

I want to add one thing to this post: that it’s the collaboration of students and tutors that can help in changing the world. I feel that tutoring is mostly dependent on smart work rather than hard work. You can learn from instructors in class but to understand you need to get some easy tricks and techniques that can only be learnt with the help of smart tutors.

At the end of this post, I would like to disclose by my position and few motivation thoughts:

I am MANAN THAKER, a tutor and student in Electromechanical engineering technician. The goal of my education life is to become a master in Robotics and Automation. But my primary goal is to become the most powerful person in the world and eliminate all the bad things like corruption, terrorism, poverty etc. from the world. I know for doing that I need to be prime minister of my country and even one of the richest person in the world. The journey is definitely not going to be easy but in order to change the world, I need to be changed first.

“I cannot beat you in hard work but for sure I can beat you in smart work”

“If everyone can do it, I can do it, If no one can do it then it is an opportunity to do it”

“Hard work beats talent, if talent doesn’t work hard”

Manan Thaker is a 2nd year Electromechanical Engineering Technician – Robotics student and has been a tutor since May 2018. Thaker plans to change the world, and we, in the Tutoring Department, believe in him!

Photo by Lindsay Henwood on Unsplash

Everybody needs to know that they can do great: How recognition helps students

four people watching on white MacBook on top of glass-top table

By Xiaoli Liu

 What is recognition?

The Recognition here I am talking about is slightly different from what the dictionary has presented. My understanding about Recognition in our tutoring services is to perceive, to understand, to know, to help, to change, and to give credit to those who you are helping. Specifically speaking, it lies in 6 different aspects.

  1. Recognizing that there is no big difference between our tutors and our client students.
  2. Recognizing that everyone comes from different learning processes.
  3. Recognizing where they are and where they want to go.
  4. Recognizing that everyone can be as good as you if you believe in them.
  5. Recognizing that you can always see their understanding process positively.
  6. Recognizing that whenever they make a progress, the recognition you give them will make them stronger and more confident in learning or solving problems.

Why is recognition important to students?

  1. Knowing that everybody shares something in common gives us an understanding that they can be where you are and that helps tutors to have faith in students.
  2. One needs to know where they are and then they will be able to know where they can start off. That is exactly where people can move forward properly.
  3. Being understood by people makes thing easier, therefore the students would be more comfortable to learn with the tutors. Because they realize that the environment that they are in is open and free and not judgemental.
  4. When you are giving positive feedbacks, you are actually helping people to understand themselves better in a right way.
  5. Wherever there is a recognition, there is love and good will, and there is something makes people stronger and feel better about themselves.

How recognition can be different and how it works?

  1. Always try to be truthful to who you are with but be careful of what you are going to say. Some truth you know might just be your subjective thinking and it can hurt people. Try to be as neutral and objective as possible. For example, if they think they are not good at math, it might just because they have not been doing this for a long time and they get rusty, and you should tell them about that and you are stating the fact and get it out from different angle.
  2. Keep a weather eye out. Try to see what is good in them. For example, when a student can’t figure out how a fraction works, but if you observe that how they work well in algebra and calculating orders and you can tell them how they are good at those and they just need to try a different way out with fractions because things have different nature and we sometimes just get used to what we normally do. Also, when you get to know them better, you will know how to communicate with them in a way they feel comfortable with.
  3. Always believe that they are good. Your attitude actually influences them a lot. People feel and perceive. They know how you look at them. Try your best to understand their feelings behind what they say and you will know how to work with them properly.
  4. Always make a compliment whenever you see any progress that they have made. It doesn’t matter how small it is.

In a nutshell, recognition in tutoring is something that plays a big role where it affects, alters and helps what is going to happen in our student’s learning process .

Xiaoli Liu is a 2nd year Business Accounting student and has been a tutor since May 2018. Liu plans to continue her studies after graduation to become a CPA.

Featured Image: Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash