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Give our Tutors the Professional Development Needed to Best Help Our Students

Tutor Professional Development at BATA involves a multipronged approach.

From training modules to many virtual, interactive demonstrations, tutors are armed with the tools they need to lead students to success.

Tutors are educated on why tutoring is so vital, the ins and outs of Common Core State Standards, which have been the “law of the land” in California since 2010, and best practices.

They learn the benefits of tutoring for the tutee, the tutor, and society at large—the ideal traits and tools a tutor should have and how to run a tutoring session.

They are prepped on maintaining a culturally competent lens. At the same time, tutoring, the different learning styles students may have, learning disabilities and how to identify them, and the study skills they should be instilling in their students.

BATA also provides rubrics for evaluating the tutor. Feedback is often requested from tutoring clients to assess what is going well and what could be improved.

All tutors also attend mandatory training for the specific video conferencing application they will be using to tutor, typically Zoom, but sometimes Google Meet or Microsoft Teams.

These trainings are required before beginning any tutoring with students, as they cover how to utilize the features of the software best as it pertains to tutoring.

Tutors are also highly encouraged to attend Personal Development trainings, where BATA staff provide a deep dive into the nuances of tutoring, including:

  • The differences between teaching and tutoring
  • How to develop a respectful and productive tutor-student relationship
  • Learning theory
  • Critical thinking
  • Social and emotional learning (SEL), and
  • Self-regulatory behavior, among other topics.

BATA provides copies of these presentations to the tutors after attending any training to go back and reference the material as needed, including any hyperlinked resources embedded in the slides.

Your Donation to This Program Gives Us the Ability to Train More Tutors And To Provide More Professional Development Opportunities To Our Tutors

Why Tutor Professional Development is Crucial

Tutoring is described as giving learners extra, tailored help to encourage scholarship and independent learning. Tutors assist students in learning to improve their skills to the point where they no longer require tutoring.

Over time, tutors need to upgrade their skills and, essentially, learn more so they can teach more.

Effective tutors combine extensive subject knowledge with a desire to assist others. They also employ engagement, excitement over the subject matter, honesty, good communication, and empathy – and let’s not forget a sense of humor.

Tutoring’s ultimate purpose is to inspire students to embrace self-directed study. Focusing on how to perform a task, providing techniques, promoting insights, respecting diversity, and developing peer-centered relationships are all ways to accomplish this.

When students seek assistance, they may feel vulnerable. You are seen as an authority figure, even though you develop a peer-centered connection built on safety and trust between the tutor and student throughout the tutoring session. Tutors have a lot of duties, and they have to be careful with the power they have on pupils.

Clear communication is required for a successful session in which both the tutor and the student feel heard and have reached a comprehension of the subject. Using active listening signs is a part of communicating clearly. Tutors need to remember to be patient.

They must be prepared to assist students in resolving academic issues, but feeling heard and at ease is frequently the first and most essential step before tackling the assignment problem(s). Being an engaged listener ensures that the tutor first understands the student’s situation from the student’s perspective, resulting in more effective tutor assistance.

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What are the Foundations of Tutoring?

Tutoring is far more than just providing solutions to problem sets or repeating a lesson that may not have been fully understood in the classroom. Therefore, tutors must further their knowledge of this existing discipline in education through tutor professional development. Below are some critical facets of tutoring that a tutor must develop to establish reasonably healthy connections with learners.

Tutors Must Know How to Empathize

Remember that tutors were once students, and some of them may still be enrolled in classes. Many tutors are in a unique position to comprehend the concerns of their students. While a tutor cannot presume that all pupils are experiencing what they did, they can use their personal experiences to demonstrate empathy.

When students complain about their workload, showing empathy can be as simple as nodding or stating, “it sounds like you’re quite frustrated,” when they talk about how difficult questions stress them out.

Mirroring a student’s statements can give them the impression that the instructor knows what they’re saying. For example, if a student expresses fear about an assignment, the tutor may respond by saying, “it sounds like you’re genuinely concerned about this assignment.” Mirroring can emphasize a facet of peer relationships and may boost student comfort by assuring the student that the tutor is paying attention and attempting to comprehend.

Tutors Must Establish The Right Boundaries

Boundaries shape the interaction between instructors and students. These parameters govern when we are available, where we can be found, and why someone would want to meet us. In addition, they establish boundaries on how much assistance the tutor can reasonably be expected to provide.

Suppose the tutor becomes overly open about the student’s situation and experiences and fails to clarify how much assistance can be provided. In that case, the tutor may be overlooking the power differential between the learner and the tutor, essentially placing a burden on the student when they have sought the tutor’s expertise.

On the other hand, boundaries can vary and are influenced by culture, gender, and personality. The tutor’s ability to establish beneficial relationships may be harmed if the specified limits are too rigorous or flexible.

When students seek assistance from tutors, they have a right to privacy and an expectation of privacy. However, for people to seek treatment in the first place, they often need courage and the expectation of trust.

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The Learning Process

A skilled tutor can usually detect a student’s urgent problem on the first tutoring session. What is difficult to determine, however, is the reason behind the student’s difficulties. Determining and addressing the underlying root of the problem is crucial, and it will eventually contribute to the student no longer needing tutoring assistance in specific subjects or topics.

A tutor should have a fundamental comprehension of the learning process to diagnose the reason for a learning difficulty more efficiently.

This knowledge can be gained through a learning theory model and tutor professional development.

The learning elements that are precursors to the actual input of information are included in the initial phase of the learning process. In general, it is concerned with the individual’s individuality and the physical and mental demands that must be satisfied before learning can begin, such as adequate sleep, appropriate food, and tranquil settings.

The second phase focuses on reading and studying techniques, such as listening, taking notes, watching videos, and developing strategies for coping with challenging material and maintaining concentration. These abilities make content input easier.

The student’s desire or need to understand the material is addressed in the third phase of the learning process. Effective tutoring entails successfully organizing learning materials, comprehending the various reading requirements of specific topic areas, employing active learning approaches, and reading at the most efficient pace for immediate learning/academic goals.

The information that has been processed is remembered during the storage phase. Therefore, it is concerned with memory and retrieval procedures. The final stage focuses on the abilities required to demonstrate that learning has occurred.

Assume a student wants tutoring because he or she is underperforming in one or more classes. The tutor may discover that the student appears strong in all areas of the learning process except Output after conducting diagnostic questions. Perhaps the student’s failure is due to excessive test anxiety or a lack of test-wiseness abilities.

Perhaps their inability to succeed is due to issues with a variety of learning elements at various stages of the learning process, such as studying in a busy or noisy environment, taking less than ideal lecture notes, having a limited vocabulary, reading without a formal study method, or generally cramming for examinations.

Alternatively, the student may not be effectively pre-writing, outlining, revising the initial draft, or editing school papers. The tutor’s awareness of the integrated nature of learning can result in more effective therapies than a patchwork of tutorials. With a robust set of study abilities, the student may succeed in that course and advance to and pass subsequent classes.

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