STEP 5- POTENTIAL PROBLEMS
Regardless of preparation, you may have occasional problems. Listed below are common problems, along with suggestions for handling them.
What if the tutee says:
My assignment is due tomorrow. Will you help me?
I've already done my homework. I just need you to check it for me.
TUTOR'S RESPONSE: Well, you know, we don't proofread assignments. But, I'll tell you what I can do. If you'll show me the areas you're worried about, we'll discuss those problems in general and take a look at your book. Then, YOU can check your homework.
Reason: It is not your job to make sure that everything a tutee turns in is perfect. Helping students with specific homework problems is NOT what you were hired to do. Review similar homework problems and help the student develop the critical thinking skills necessary to do his/her homework assignment independently.
Tutees must learn how to check their own work and how to have confidence in the answers they give. If they can do this, they will:
I've written this paper that I have to give in Spanish to my class. Will you help me?
(Possible meaning: I did get it written in English, but I can't write it in Spanish. Will you do the translation for me?)
I have class (or work) during the times you're tutoring. Can't you meet with me some other time?
TUTOR'S RESPONSE: I'm sorry. We're only budgeted for a certain amount of time and money.
I'm your friend. I can't come during your scheduled times. Can't you make an exception for me?
This instructor is really crazy. She won't even listen to reason. I think she's out to get me.
TUTOR'S RESPONSE: Sounds like you're having a bad time. I'm sorry you're finding it difficult to succeed in this class. Perhaps you could show me some of the problems you are having difficulty understanding. I may be able to help clarify them for you. We may also need to review how you are studying for this class. You may have to invest more study time so that lectures are more meaningful and less stressful. I can refer you to one of our study skills instructors, Al Mitchell and Lowell Martin.
Nothing works. I just can't get it. I study all the time. I don't know what to do.
TUTOR RESPONSE: If you want, you can take a quick test to determine your learning style. It's fun, and it doesn't take very long. Once you know whether you learn better by seeing, or by doing, or by hearing, we'll both be able to figure out study strategies to help you. Then, we'll take a look at your book. Also, I can refer you to a study skills instructor. You'd be surprised how much that can help.
I can't take it anymore. I'm dropping out.
TUTOR RESPONSE: I'm sorry to hear that. Before you make any decisions, why don't you talk to one of the counselors in the Campus Center? They may be able to help you find another alternative.