Science Tutoring 5 Guidelines
October 11, 2018
Being a Mentor and Science Coach to a student goes well beyond Tutoring the material at hand. No matter the subject, the student must be supported in every way possible on their journey to independence.
Through the years, I have come to realize that there are a few simple guidelines for working successfully with any trainee or student. They have served me well and I’d like to share my Science Tutoring 5 Guidelines.
Value EVERYONE’S potential
This is not to say everyone has the same talents, but a great Coach MUST make the effort to help everyone identify and enrich THEIR talents. This first is probably the most challenging of the five. It requires the ability to TRULY listen to a person’s concerns, ambitions, desires, and fears process them and devise a strategy to help them achieve their goals. The rewards, however, well outweigh the effort.
Always give positive feedback before any critical assessment for improvement
Self-Esteem grows out of Honest Accomplishment and Character Building, NOT the other way around. When a student experiences small victories along with their failures, however, he or she is given the strength to undertake the lifelong task of learning and growing as a person.
Never Undermine the Authority of a student in your care
The manner in which an individual undertakes a task is, regardless of the objective facts, the ‘correct’ way for THEM. When a Mentor helps them modify and streamline their process by clearly identifying the goals of a project and offering ‘alternative methods’ this allows them to engage in the act of discovering new avenues of success that they might not have been aware of. This approach allows them to take personal responsibility for their decisions thus making all subsequent victories their own. NO ONE wants to be TOLD how to do things the “Right” way. A clever Mentor allows a student to go off into a corner and troubleshoot on their own, thus, letting them problem solve for themselves.
Always make the ENTIRE experience about THEIR achievement
A Great Coach acknowledges the significant milestones that a student reaches while the two work together and praises the student’s hard work and aptitude. A Mentor has already reached their particular level of proficiency in their field of study. Success in the classroom or on exams might reflect your efforts in molding study habits and techniques, but humility must overrule hubris. You have had your moment. This is theirs.
Never throw a student under the bus, you bear all final responsibility
This is not to say that the student does not have to show up and be an active participant in their own process. Folks CAN be lazy people. That is an uncomfortable truth, but most are simply frightened of failure or have legitimate impediments in their learning process. A Great Mentor does everything they to provide the tools they need to work at their peak level of personal level of excellence.
There are other factors in being a Great Mentor, Coach, and Tutor but these few are a good place to start.
When a Coach behaves with integrity and Empathy, they are Honestly Modeling the Actions of a Mentor and Educator.