Every student is a different kind of learner with a different mind. Although schools and teachers present a variety of academic demands and approaches, this variety can only begin to approximate the diversity of student minds. Even the most skilled instructors must to some extent teach to the class as an aggregate, and even the most generous teachers often don’t have enough time to give individual attention commensurate with the needs or wishes of their students.
One result of this situation is cognitive difficulties and emotional stress among students. Many teenagers, when faced with concepts or assignments that seem beyond their grasp, conclude that they are stupid, slow, or otherwise deficient. Of course, some students do have documented challenges that must be addressed appropriately, but many students benefit from the skilled attention of someone who can help them discover how they learn best.
Because each situation is unique, it’s difficult to generalize, but much of the time, a tutor’s role is to guide the student to a clearer understanding, not merely of the material at hand, but of the student’s own needs as a learner. This involves observing the student’s strengths and weaknesses, providing appropriate strategies, building student confidence, and providing explanations, encouragement, and focus. In a sense, the tutor provides a voice that guides the student in effective learning until the voice becomes internalized and the student is self-sufficient. The ultimate goal of our tutoring is for the student to no longer need the tutor.