Imagine what it’s like to have customized, personal instruction in a single subject. With enrichment tutoring, one teacher focuses solely on your individual needs and interests. The result is a deep, intellectual experience.
With the right tutor, the instruction goes well beyond what you get in even the most advanced high school classroom. It’s an experience that will make you a stronger candidate when you apply to college and a stronger student once you get there. Its benefits will last a lifetime.
With a specialist tutor, you’ll have the opportunity to study and converse one-on-one with an expert in a particular area. If you’re an able math student who wants more challenge, a talented writer who needs feedback or an avid reader who wants more time to discuss poetry, novels or plays, you’ll benefit from private tutoring.
Serious music students have learned this way for generations. They take private lessons. So do talented young athletes and performing artists. Working closely with a tutor is a way to advance quickly and start swimming in the deep water. It gives you the chance to expand your knowledge beyond that of your peers and to test your mettle.
Learning from an expert
When I was a teenager, my writer father spent hours discussing novels, plays and essays with me. We analyzed the structure of many of these works, considered the point-of-views of the authors and discussed the fine points of style. I knew I was lucky to have regular access to my own “private tutor.” But it wasn’t until many years later that I realized what an advantage my “tutoring” had given me in high school, college and beyond. In a perfect world, we’d all be born with “in house tutors.” But in reality, we often need to look beyond our own backyards. Usually, it’s well worth doing.
Tutors can help you study anything from marine biology to astrophysics. A top-notch tutor with background in a particular field can assign you books or articles to read, and help you analyze and discuss the issues. These are the kind of high-level intellectual skills the top colleges are looking for. More importantly, they are the intellectual skills that will enable you to flourish in college and beyond.
If you’re ready to pursue enrichment tutoring, here are some points to keep in mind as you look for a tutor to work with:
- Choose the right person: Make sure the tutor has solid experience in the area that interests you. But also be sure he or she works well with teenagers. All the knowledge in the world won’t do any good, if the person can’t communicate effectively with you.
- Agree ahead of time: You and the tutor should first agree on the overall lesson plan and what will be expected of both of you. If the tutor plans to assign reading or other homework, agree on how much time you will to devote to this.
- Respect on both sides: The tutor should respect your other academic obligations and not ask you to do more work than will fit in your schedule. But you must also respect the tutor’s time limits. Be reliable in your commitments and avoid cancelling appointments. If a tutor needs to spend time developing a special reading list or lesson plan for you or do other research, expect to be charged for that.
- Do your research: Even if you can’t find an expert in your community to tutor you in your chosen subject, you can probably find the right person somewhere in the world. Skype, email and other technologies make it possible for people to collaborate across long distances. Once you decide what you want to study, use Google and your Internet research skills to find the right person. Verify their credentials. Then go for it!
For more information about how you can benefit from enrichment tutoring, contact The College Strategist.