It isn’t always professors and administrators who go above and beyond to ensure student success, sometimes assistance comes from students helping students.
This month, the Academic Achievement Center (AAC) hosted a tutor appreciation week to recognize those who give their time to help other students achieve success.
“Tutors work hard to help students uncover what they know, in order to help them develop a better understanding.” said Kathryn Crisostomo, learning assistant services’ assistant director.
Seeking out a tutor doesn’t mean you aren’t smart, she added.
“I believe some of the most successful students use tutoring support,” Crisostomo said. “It would be great if students could think of tutoring as another part of their regular study and learning time each week. It gives them another opportunity to reinforce concepts and identify areas they need to work on.”
Some of the students recognized by the AAC last week shared why they tutor and the benefits to their peers of seeking out the kinds of help they offer.
Alex Crisman, ’21
MAJORS: secondary education and history
Alex became a tutor because as an education major he wanted to get an idea of what it would take to become a teacher.
“I feel this experience has really shown me the different ways that I can work with fellow students and how I can incorporate that into my future classroom.”
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT TUTORING? “Being able to help fellow students in need.”
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR STUDENTS TO SEEK OUT A TUTOR? “If you are struggling with any area in any subject, always reach out and try to gain help from your peers or even the professor. We all want to make sure students can perform at the top of their ability, in and out of the classroom.”
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU PASS ON TO SOMEONE CONSIDERING BEING A TUTOR? “Patience is key most of the time. If you go in with very high expectations both you and the student will become frustrated and not succeed.”
Collen O’Dwyer, ’19
MAJORS: communication sciences and communication disorders
After taking a difficult course in her major, Colleen said she found support from her peers and was able to find success.
“I realized that if I became a tutor, then I could provide other students the same support that I received.”
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT TUTORING? “It is very fulfilling. I really love it when students who have been struggling with material begin to feel confident in their understanding of the class and their abilities as learners.”
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR STUDENTS TO SEEK OUT A TUTOR? “Because tutors, who have also taken the course they tutor in, are able to understand and relate to their students’ experiences.”
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU PASS ON TO SOMEONE CONSIDERING BEING A TUTOR? “You might be nervous because about being a tutor, because you may feel that you don’t know all the answers or that you aren’t an expert. That’s okay. Admit you don’t know the answer, and your student will understand. They might feel reassured that even tutors don’t know it all. Then work with your student to find the answer and you can learn together.”
Rob Couto, ’19
In high school, Rob volunteered as a math tutor and learned that by explaining information to others, or listening to different ways of thinking, actually helped him retain information better.
“I figured if becoming a tutor would be beneficial in helping students as well as myself then it’s a great opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT TUTORING? “When you can notice your students’ attitudes changing for the better as they gain confidence in a new form that shows through their work and their outlook on the material they once dreaded.”
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR STUDENTS TO SEEK OUT A TUTOR? “Once class material begins to get too complicated or a student falls behind, it’s quite difficult to catch up. Seeking out a tutor can save time, effort and even money because classes aren’t free.”
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU PASS ON TO SOMEONE CONSIDERING BEING A TUTOR? “I believe before building others up to create a strong academic mind, one should be confident in themselves and be ready to handle any issue a student could possibly throw at them.”
Maria Cabrera, ’19
Born in Guatemala, Maria is not a native speaker. She knows firsthand that learning can be difficult. She helps other students learn English.
“Seeking out a tutor can be intimidating, however, students should take full advantage of this opportunity. A tutor can guide you along the path of success.”
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT TUTORING? “As an English learner I like to provide support to those that are in the process of learning.”
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR STUDENTS TO SEEK OUT A TUTOR? “The relationship between tutors and students can grow through understanding each other’s needs and expectations. An hour meeting can simply be a conversation or a session of editing an essay assignment.”
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU PASS ON TO SOMEONE CONSIDERING BEING A TUTOR? “You gain many leadership skills and truly grow as a person. The students are super sweet and love talking about and learning new things.” (Photos by Heather Harris Michonski, University News & Video)