July 5, 2022 9:23 am

With the upsurge in chaos in contemporary society, coupled with recent education upheaval and changes, the term “tutoring” has become a popular jargon among students. It generates multiple debates and topical conversations among education stakeholders. Therefore, one is left wondering what exactly the buzzword represents; what is tutoring? How can tutoring help a student?

Simply put, it means studying with the help of tutors. The latter are individuals with relatively high expertise to offer help with schoolwork in any particular field of study. They offer their services, extra educational support, to students through different ways and channels to reinforce class-based learning. Too often tutoring is confused with an attempt to replicate the classroom in a tiny space. As a result, it may feel inconceivable, obstinate, and marks-focused and may be considered cheating by parents, students, and stakeholders who have little to no understanding of tutoring. This attitude is particularly true towards online tutoring websites.

But this is not the case – tutoring is far from cheating. On the contrary, it is an age-old practice used around the world to help students navigate challenging aspects of their educational journey.

Tutoring exists to reinforce or complement usual classroom engagements. Therefore, it is more about the student’s development than the tutor. It serves three main functions. To begin with, tutoring seeks to spread or stretch exceptional learners beyond what is learned in the classroom to expand their potential for academic achievement while countering boredom experienced within the school precincts. Then, it seeks to offer a solution or assistance to struggling learners interested in catching up with their colleagues by focusing mainly on the areas considered problematic. Lastly, tutoring supplements students’ understanding of some academic regions by offering them extra practice and independent lessons in their fields of interest.

Based on the three primary functions, we can rule out the argument that “tutoring is cheating” and focus on its benefits in becoming better learners. As a learning partnership, it is essential to scrutinize further or evaluate the potential benefits of tutoring to guarantee maximum results.

Is Tutoring Helpful?

Absolutely. There is no doubt that tutoring is helpful, especially when both the student and tutor are in sync and have a common goal.

There is significant evidence that tutoring has benefited students worldwide since the time of Ancient Greece. Today, students can get all forms of tutoring that effectively boost their academic prowess. For instance, online tutoring services have been classified as relatively helpful for assisting learners in mastering challenging concepts, thereby improving their self-confidence. Equally, evidence shows that while results may be slow, tutoring is steady and often leads to students registering high academic performance in the long run. Continuous tutoring has a proven record of helping students master essential study skills and competencies.

Tutoring presents students with an excellent opportunity to experience individualized learning. This form of education allows them to enhance their mastery of specific concepts away from a crowded classroom. It is especially beneficial to struggling students who wish to keep up with their peers. Individualized tutoring helps learners stay on track, since the tutor is only committed to the one student. In addition, students can take advantage of several tutoring websites to get customized study aid.

In essence, tutoring programs have multiple advantages that you, as a student, cannot afford to ignore or miss. How does one-on-one attention sound? That is right; the tutor understands your learning style and provides customized assistance. Building such a relationship with a tutor prepares the student for tests and exams beyond the activities and concepts learned in a classroom. As a result, it increases the chances of better grades and comprehension of subjects that could have otherwise proven quite challenging.

Other benefits of tutoring include; boosting positive attitudes towards learning, inspiring self-paced erudition, instilling a sense of responsibility, and improving self-esteem. In essence, tutoring sets a student on the path to success.

How to Find the Right Tutor

As hinted, tutoring is mainly about the student’s academic welfare. Therefore, finding the right tutor is a critical determiner of the level of connection and success to be achieved. A simple ‘find a tutor near me’ or ‘free tutoring near me’ Google search will direct you to a wide range of best tutoring websites with instructors across the globe to find the right one for you.

It takes certain qualities beyond intelligence to become an effective tutor. Therefore, in search of the right tutor, students should contemplate the question, what kind of person is a good tutor? To mention a few, an effective tutor should have a positive outlook, show empathy, express an intrinsic desire to help, possess an open mind, and be creative, passionate, and dependable. These characteristics serve as the foundation for finding the right tutor.

While finding the right tutor may prove to be a daunting task, please look at the following discussion for guidance on finding a tutor that meets your expectations.

Use Online Tutoring Services

There are several free online tutoring services today owing to students’ increasing demand and desire to improve their academics. Using an online tutoring platform is an excellent way to achieve your short-term and long-term tutoring needs. Such companies have dedicated experts and by using online tutoring services you can be assured of finding professional assistance. Besides, such services eliminate the need for tutoring in-person to allow you to complement your classroom-obtained knowledge in the comfort of your home.

Consulting Peer Tutors

Sometimes classmates are effective tutors. It is an easy option since your peers are more likely to offer free tutoring. While this one-on-one tutoring is not professional, it goes a long way in helping a student develop a better grasp of challenging concepts.

Seek lecturer’s Assistance

Although your teachers may not be available for tutoring services, they can offer reliable recommendations or references to dedicated tutors. Also, lecturers provide tutoring assistance by categorizing students into sizeable study groups.

“Procedure Oriented,” not “Answer Oriented”

Tutoring needs to be a form of assistance to complement classroom concepts to help students maximize their potential, rather than a way to escape from schoolwork. Thus, it should be procedure-oriented instead of answer-oriented and both parties must adapt to accommodate each other’s unique needs and qualities. For instance, the tutor learns to accept and proceed at a pace that allows the student to develop a clear understanding. In contrast, the student learns patience by observing their tutor and engaging them accordingly. The tutee also studies the most effective ways of approaching and solving problems instead of expecting the tutor to provide solved answers to challenging concepts. Thus, a student learns why the correct answer is right and how to achieve such results.

Effective tutoring is achieved through learning. While it is fantastic to have individualized assistance, it is equally important to focus on the long-term goals of education. Answer-oriented tutoring potentially leaves the student with enduring problems. It leads to increased dependency, since the student is used to having their concerns addressed by others. On the contrary, procedure-oriented tutoring produces independent individuals capable of contributing positively to society by providing solutions to underlying problems.This aspect is extremely critical as it impacts other parts of life beyond school.

Students are often likely to become frustrated, as they expect the tutor to solve their problems for them while they concentrate on other ‘fun’ activities. This answer-oriented attitude ultimately results in disappointment and a good tutor understands the importance of following due processes to build reliable and productive learners.

Thus, a “procedure-oriented” approach is the most recommended form of tutoring. At the end of the tutor-student engagement, the learner will be able to critically solve problems by dividing them into small, workable, and simple tasks. The tutee also learns to be patient and focused on understanding and mastering essential concepts and skills.

Different Types of Tutoring

Are you looking to find the perfect tutor? Read through the following discussion to identify the most appropriate type of tutoring for you.

One-On-One Tutoring

This is presumably the most popular type of tutoring. It entails the interaction between one student and one tutor to allow the highest personalization of learning. In addition, the tutor solely focuses on the student, meaning that the type of assistance offered is explicitly tailored to meet the learner’s unique needs.

One-on-one tutoring is often considered the most impactful. It allows the learner to connect with the tutor virtually through a computer or tablet or in real-space. Also, it facilitates the formation of a strong learning bond between the student and the tutor.

Ideal one-on-one tutoring effectively meets the learner’s objectives and creates a mutually beneficial relationship between the student and the tutor.

In-Class Tutoring

While it is not available in all schools, some teachers create time to provide tutoring services to their students. In other cases, senior instructors request their juniors and support tutors to offer complementary teaching services to students who might lag or require clarification with certain concepts. In-class tutoring often occurs after classroom time, where students are requested to remain behind after class for additional studies.

Nonetheless, most instructors lack sufficient time and resources to provide high-quality tutoring services to students. In such cases, this form of tutoring proves unreliable, and one is encouraged to consider hiring specialized tutors to provide the necessary learning reinforcement. Like all others, in-class tutoring is crucial in enhancing students’ learning capacity and boosting their engagement in the classroom.

Online Tutoring

It is a contemporary means of providing tutoring services through computers, tablets, and other relevant electronic devices. It can take different forms, including one-on-one and small-large group tutoring. As hinted, several websites offer remote tutoring to assist students and professionals. Online tutoring can be scheduled or sought after when on demand. Depending on the relationship between the participating students and tutors, it can be provided for free or at a price.

Online tutoring utilizes standard tools and resources, such as teleconferencing, online videos, webinars, whiteboards, and dedicated chats. It is expected to replace traditional tutoring due to the rapidly evolving societal aspects and technological developments.

Equally, it is a relatively popular form of tutoring among high school, college, and higher education students who are vastly conversant with modern technology. Nonetheless, it faces significant challenges in modern times, although it is pretty effective. For instance, internet glitches interrupt coherent learning experiences.

Peer Tutoring

Often, students consult their high-achieving peers for homework help. It is a relatively effective form of tutoring since it provides a go-to solution, especially when professional service is not attainable. In addition, peer tutoring offers individualized instruction through interaction with a small group of like-minded people. 

Also, peer tutoring comes in the form of student feedback. It allows learners to provide a meaningful reaction to their peer’s work, offering an opportunity for them to make relevant corrections and improve their understanding of particular concepts. While it does not come naturally, peer tutoring is a viable option for students who seek to advance their academic competencies and skills. Lastly, it is often a free tutoring form as it does not necessarily involve professionals.

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