Written By : Jesica S.
As parents, it could be a challenge to help our children throughout their IB preparation. It is mandatory to understand that each child is unique and has his own needs. Although parents might not be aware, students sometimes seek help and struggle to catch up with educational content. A good conversation with them would be a practical approach and an excellent starting point to assist them in their education.
First, we need to clarify the student´s needs. What is the student working on? Where is the student on the learning curve? Sometimes, students are aware of their level of understanding. But sometimes, they are not. If that is the case, it could be a good idea to ask for help. As adults, we might take the initiative and suggest trying tutoring sessions.
Expert IB tutors can support the learning process. After a conversation with students, they can detect their strengths and weaknesses. Afterward, students and tutors can cooperate and think about how to proceed. They can design a strategy together.
As you know, chemistry is one of the subjects taught in the IB diploma program. Students experience several difficulties with it. For instance, concepts could be hard to understand. Moreover, connections between new subject-specific terms could be a threat to the learning process. What´s more, chemical notation and symbols in textbooks could be harsh although understanding these is crucial to grasp ideas correctly. Besides, practical exercises could be far too demanding or even impossible for some learners. Students usually feel overwhelmed. As a result, a frustrating process starts. It is in this instance that the help of an appropriate tutor can have a fundamental impact on the learning curve of the children.
Keeping all the previous obstacles in mind, parents should choose the right tutor. This is not an easy job. The goal is to provide guidance and allow students to gain confidence in their learning processes in chemistry. Parents can attend a trial session with tutors to discuss their children’s needs. Another option is to encourage their children to do so on their own. Another excellent option is that both take part in a trial session with a tutor to evaluate which strategy would work best.
After trial sessions, children should agree that taking tutoring sessions could be beneficial. At this stage, it is important to animate students to try.
I believe that tutors must be knowledgeable, patient, attentive, empathetic, and flexible. These are requirements to be effective. Possessing a mastery of chemistry to provide proficient and focused discussions is a must. Tutors with IB experience, either as teachers or examiners, would be a great option. Despite this, tutors are unique and their approaches might vary. Conducting productive tutoring sessions depends on having the correct approach. We must give students the chance to check if the selected tutor can help them in their process.
Some students are auditory learners, some are visual learners and others are kinesthetic learners. As students are different, tutors should implement diverse strategies according to their learning styles. Tutors learn throughout their sessions how to help students best. This process occurs as they get to know them. It might take a few sessions to identify the best approach.
Nevertheless, the most important aspect of a good experience with a tutor is to get good student-tutor communication. This results in an effective tutoring session. If the communication is adequate, the tutor provides the necessary feedback so that the student starts experiencing that chemistry is not such a complex subject. Not only feedback and correction are necessary, but also an encouraging tone from the tutor is vital to ensuring that the student stays motivated and engaged. If this is achieved, students enjoy having tutoring sessions as these sessions help them a lot. If students do not feel comfortable with the tutor it might be a good idea to try another tutor with a different approach. There is always the right tutor for every student.
In summary, tutors should always offer good communication throughout the session as well as enough support for the student to avoid frustration. This kind of help results in sessions that are rewarding experiences and guide students toward independence. Learners should genuinely appreciate the benefits of tutoring but should also have tutors that push them to achieve academic independence. Successful tutors turn novice students into skilled students that are not afraid to try, fail and try again in their learning processes.