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I am going to sidetrack from my usually tip giving blog entries and discuss something equally important.  What makes a good tutor?  Sure it helps if your tutor is an expert (or advanced) in the subject area in which you are needing assistance.  That's the whole point of coming to the ARC for tutoring!  Yet, even if one is an expert in a specific area, it does not mean he or she is a good tutor.  I have witnessed a great deal of tutoring while being a monitor at the ARC and there are some tutor qualities and strategies that really stand out.  One helpful strategy is for the tutors to ask students questions as they lead them through the problem they are working on.  This way, tutors become aware of what the students already know and can provide them with individualized help.  Furthermore, being asked questions makes students think!  The other day I heard a math tutor tell a student, "I can't just give you the answer.  What would be the point of that?"  Clearly, this tutor has the right idea of what tutoring is all about!

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