by Natalie Bodman
I really enjoy and look forward to going to tutor every week. Its fun for me and I can really see improvements with my student each week, which is encouraging! Once a schedule is set, it is easy for the student to get a rhythm down. For example, during the after school program we have set times for everything. After I have gotten to know my student better, I realize what works for him and what doesn’t. I have learned a lot through trying different methods that the advisors of the program suggested. I also realized how important it is to think outside of the box, especially when working with a student after they have been in school all day. This week the students in the fourth grade are taking ISATs, the standardized tests for the state of Illinois. After having tests all day long was struggling to do his homework and did not want to focus. I decided to use his strengths to come up with a strategy for getting his work done.
- I gave him the power of the decision making, I let me decide what we would do first, reading, playing a game, or working on multiplication.
- I let him use his extra energy towards educational games and as energy to get excited to do the activities.
- I used the ideas of his interests to motivate him to complete his work.
By letting him guide the afternoon, it was easier for him to focus because he was the one deciding what he wanted to do.
I also was really proud of him because, for his reading homework, which is normally a struggle because he does not like to read, he brought out a book about superheroes, and while he still asked a few times how much longer and how many more pages, he seemed really interested and would ask questions about what was happening and different words, that I helped him answer for himself. He was overall really interested in the story and was having fun.
These types of moments are my favorite because I see what really works for him and then use that to come up with ideas on how I can use that to come up with other strategies and ways to keep him interested and having fun with schoolwork.