Interviewing The Perfect Online Tutor

We love hearing from students and getting their perspective on life and learning. A college student recently released a blog post describing the characteristics of the ideal tutor.

As an online math/chemistry/physics tutoring app, Yup provides live, personal tutoring based on the student’s individual needs. As we discover patterns across different students’ learning methods, we align our tutoring strategies accordingly.20151208_171423-2

Rowena-Renee is a veteran Yup tutor and educator in general, here to give us her thoughts on navigating technology and students’ needs.





When Students Come Back

According to the writer:

If after three sessions there is still not an apparent difference in your learning, it’s time to find someone new.

What has your experience been in terms of continuing student sessions? Have you had the same student several times? 
For the most part, I’ve gotten positive feedback from repeat students; they seem very happy to have been matched with me again. On the other hand, I’ve had a few, but not for a while now, who are really disappointed. These few though are mainly those who didn’t get their way with me simply issuing out the answers to them in their previous sessions. 

Do Students Think Math Is Irrelevant?

Some students are more hands-on, whereas others can easily understand and memorize a concept once you explain it to them once.

Can you recall an example of either “type” of student from your sessions/teaching in general?
Yes, I have! There are those that no matter how many times you say something, unless you give them a practical example, they simply will not get it.
I believe this is because some students tell themselves that math is irrelevant, so in addition to adapting we also have to show them how the particular concept is applicable in everyday life. These students are the ones that challenge us as tutors and help us to grow. Of course it would be awesome to have someone get something the first time you say it, but then if that’s always how it is, that’s gotta be boring!
The real fulfillment comes when we crack the non-believers! 

‘Time-Sensitive’ Online Tutoring

When we decide to invest in a tutor, and yes I consider it an investment, there are multiple factors we are looking for. This includes the obvious intelligence, but also the funny personality and knowing that the time spent with them is worth our dollar.

How do you relate to your tutees/students? Do you have any ice-breakers?
In my own face-to-face sessions, I try to ensure that my lessons are interspersed with totally irrelevant discussions. Periods of ‘nothingness’ help to rebuild in order to go full blast when in work mode. There’s some science to that as well! However, in the time sensitive environment at Yup! I try to keep the atmosphere of the session light so the student feels free to exclaim doubt or confidence and then I try to comment appropriately so they know their concerns are heard. 

Increasing Educational Equity 

So if we are paying out of pocket for a tutor, then things must be serious. And we may be desperate. But once again, that is a-okay.

Do you think more students are finding that it’s cost-effective to get tutoring on a platform like Yup?
Most of the students seem to feel this way but there was this one student who mentioned she would love to continue with us but was not able to afford it. She represents what I believe has been an unrepresented minority but I am confident that as we grow, mechanisms will be put in place to ensure no one truly desirous of our help is unable to benefit. 

Nurturing Student Confidence

Any final opinions?
I loved this article! It was brutally honest and that’s how I see myself so I love to see that coming out in the world. It was an eye-opener for those of us tutors who’ve settled with providing a good service – that’s not enough. We have to make sure that we are so excellent in what we do that the 24 hour day becomes insufficient for appointments. Students must be so nurtured that they are not only confident to complete their own assignments, but that their entire outlook on the subject changes. 

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