Monday, November 22, 2010

Tutoring Session: The Breakdown

A study session with my cousin typically consists me calling out lots of facts and her trying to remember them. She has a pretty good memory, so it works fairly well.

That all changed tonight. Her friends are home from college and so they decided to come over to participate in the calling out.

The group...Caitlin, Allison, Julia and Aaron...they look sweet and innocent enough here

but don't you be fooled...this is more what times with them are like

It didn't take me long to realize that not all caller-outers are created equal. In this case, we have a few different different options:

Julia Blackerby. The kid was an anatomy whiz back in the day and for that reason, she can't handle any mistakes. She spent most of her time pacing the floor huffing and puffing when she didn't the answer wasn't called out immediately and yelling at Allison for any mistakes. Despite Allison's objections that she doesn't respond well to yelling, Julia just couldn't seem to adapt. Julia and studying with Allison can pretty much be summed up with this picture:

Aaron Adams. The only guy of the bunch who insisted that he cared about Allison's performance was promoted to caller-outer after Julia was stripped of her position. His demeanor was much different. Calm. Cool. Relaxed. He read the questions slowly and did his best to explain the answers.

Caitlin Holt. The kid is happy to be anywhere. Laid back. Easy going. While she didn't call out the material, she was always the first one to stick up for Allison when Julia started yelling. She was also excellent at thinking up different ways to memorize some of the harder to remember facts.

Me. The daughter of two educators, I've grown up around teaching. While classroom teaching isn't for me, I have really come to love tutoring. From the beginning I realized that Allison thrives in an encouraging atmosphere. So, I call out the facts, circle what she misses and praise what she gets correct. Pretty simple, but highly effective.

In the end, we determined that while Julia is great at many things, tutoring is not one of them, and she will no longer be invited over for study sessions. Aaron, however, would be a great second option if I'm not available.

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