5 Things to Expect From Your Peer Tutoring Session

By Tamiera Vandegrift on February 26, 2017

Peer tutoring is one of the most helpful tools to use during your college years. It is healthy to admit that sometimes you will not have all the answers and that you may need help from time to time. There is probably no better way to get some academic assistance than that from your fellow students. Peer tutors are understanding, helpful, and especially honest enough to help you out through any snags that you could be experiencing.

However, going to see a peer tutor can be intimidating, especially because they are your peers. While this is understandable, trust me when I say that you have nothing to fear. As a peer tutor myself, I know what goes on within peer tutoring sessions and I can assure you that you will find the experience helpful and constructive rather than awkward and terrifying.

Read on to learn more about what you have to expect from your first peer tutoring session.

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Expect small talk

I know. We all hate it. It is awkward, uncomfortable, and not the best way to connect with others. However, as tutors, we want to get to know who we are working with. We want you to feel comfortable with us and feel that you can trust our advice. Feel free to engage with us!

We genuinely want to know what you are studying, what experience you have in your course of study, what your favorite color is, etc. Give us the chance to get to know you and then we would love for you to have the chance to get to know us as well.

Expect constructive criticism

This will probably be the most uncomfortable part of the session. Tutors are not being harsh with you because they want to be mean and ruin your existence. We simply want you to be the best of the best of the best to your best ability. The only way for us to ensure this is to be completely honest with you.

Personally, I am a peer tutor for the Reading and Writing Center at Florida State University. My job is to help students improve their essays, personal statements, dissertations, and other written works. If a student does not emerge from the appointment with some aspect of their paper being changed or improved, then I am not doing my job.

Accept that you are not perfect and that you will make mistakes. Feel fortunate that your peer tutor is recognizing your mistakes and giving you a chance to repair them before your professor has a chance to fix your grades for them.

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Expect change

Change is good, no matter what form it comes in. You will leave the appointment with a changed perspective on your work and your method of completing it. Every tutor has a different learning style and teaching style that is unique to them, but it is up to you to utilize what they teach you to your best ability.

If a tutor teaches you how to do a math problem in a way that makes sense to you, but is also different from what you have learned in class, you will have to use that method because it works for you. If a tutor edits your paper and advises you to use more active voice, you will find your work in the future to change completely.

Like I mentioned, change is good. It is by no means something to be afraid of. Embrace it!

Expect discipline (sometimes)

Sometimes, we all try to get by with a little less. We are human, it happens. It is nothing to be ashamed of. However, if a tutor notices that you have been slacking off, (believe me, we will know right away), do not be surprised if they call you out on it. Again, this is not because we want to be mean and nasty to you; we just want you to use your potential to do the great things that we know you are capable of.

We want you to exert discipline and dedication to your work so that you can get through your classes with the grades and marks that you deserve. However, they will not be handed to you on a silver platter; you need to earn them. Our job is to make sure that you have the tools and wisdom to do so!

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Expect improvement

Last but not least, expect to improve. Peer tutoring can be difficult and intimidating, but ultimately the goal is for you to improve as a student in a variety of areas. Once you practice what you have learned in the session, you will notice an exponential change in your grades and your learning ability. If you ask me, I think that is completely worthy of an A+.

Tamiera is an alumna of Florida State University, having earned a BA in Editing, Writing & Media and a BA in Digital Media Production. Tamiera is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter, inspired by the works of Lars von Trier, David Fincher, and Darren Aronofsky. Tamiera has previously written for the FSView and Florida Flambeau, College Magazine, and more. She has recently published a creative thesis containing short stories based on mental illnesses in the media. In the future, Tamiera aspires to win "Best Original Screenplay" or "Best Picture" at the Academy Awards with one of her film projects. Besides writing and storytelling, Tamiera enjoys cooking, traveling, spending time with friends, and geeking out over movie trivia.

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