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10 Ways to be a better Tutor

  1. Your time is very valuable. Remember you are a volunteer. Set up your tutoring times in advance, if possible more than one week, at times and places that work for both you and the students. Also remember the student is counting on you, so make sure you show up or contact your student to cancel/reschedule if you cannot make it.
  2. Your time is also valuable in terms of $$$, so please keep a running list of who you tutored, the date and the number of hours. Turn it in on the form to the program director at the end of the semester please, we want to pay you the $15/hour for one student and $20/hour for small groups.
  3. Ask the student what is going on in their classes. Ask for the syllabus and if possible the web site for the course in advance of the first meeting.
  4. Remember tutoring is a two way street, tutors are there to help, but NOT to re-teach the material. It is OK to say you may not know something and want to look it up. If it is really beyond your confidence work with the student to find the answer or send them to the faculty for help.
  5. Help yourself prepare for sessions by asking the students for an idea of what material they need help with and in particular for specific questions they have.
  6. If you think your student has problems beyond your skills or you are not sure contact the program director for help. Cognitive Skills offers professionals trained to help with study, reading and test taking skills free of charge to graduate students. Free, confidential student assistance programs are available to students with personal problems.
  7. End tutoring gracefully. If it you are confident the student is doing well you can tell the program director you think you are finished. Students may wish for some tutoring until their confidence is also up, but it is possible to cut back. If it is not working out with your student or they just stop showing up contact the program director to discuss how to end the tutoring.
  8. Tutors are encouraged to refer students to the faculty teaching the course. In our recent survey 100% of students who were referred to the faculty member by their tutor and went said it was helpful.
  9. Try to set up tutoring on a regular basis. Tutors are encouraged to limit tutoring to about an hour a week. While sometimes more time is needed right before an exam, it is hard on everyone if it is all at one time or at the last minute. Tutors cannot always schedule 4 or 5 hours in a week right before an exam, and are not expected to either.
  10. Use your time wisely, many students find working in small groups for tutoring preferable to one on one, so it is reasonable to expect your students to all come at one time, not individually.

Contact Us

Division of Life Sciences Graduate Program Office
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Nelson Lab-604 Allison Rd
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Phone: 848.445.9517
gradoffice@dls.rutgers.edu