Learning Resource Center (LRC)
Spring Semester 2009
Confession: when I first agreed to be a physiology tutor, I was apprehensive.
Physiology is a demanding subject with very serious students. I was not sure I knew the subject well enough myself to be able
to help other students understand the subject! Let's just say the first week I was a nervous wreck. Not knowing what questions
the students were going to send my way had me on seats edge. However, all the apprehension dissolved after my first tutoring session in the LAP.
This session consisted of about five students asking me to help them with their homework problems. After working through the problems,
the students expressed how the questions now made sense to them. Once I settled into tutoring and gained some confidence, I found tutoring to be very fun.
There are several benefits that I experienced from tutoring.
The first benefit was knowing that I was helping these students in a class that will help them pursue future studies in nursing or
other medically related fields. On numerous occasions throughout the semester students expressed how concepts and problems made more
sense once working through them or how the tricks I used to figure out the material on my own were beneficial. It was the times when
students reached the oh! I get it or what I call the ah ha
moment that made tutoring this semester a great experience.
On a more selfish note, I benefited from tutoring because helping others understand physiology reinforced my own understanding of the subject material.
I have always heard that if you really want to understand a subject, teach others. There is so much truth in that statement.
Physiology is a great subject for use of the Socratic Method. Many students came in asking for the answers to the homework or to see the work
I did in the previous semester. After going through the tutor training, I knew the students would not learn by me explaining things to them.
Most of the time I spent tutoring, the students were talking and explaining. I just sat there and nodded yes or no and provided hints.
One example of when I used the Socratic Method was when a group of students were working through a practice exam. When we started the
practice exam the students were asking me what the answers were. I never gave them the answer but encouraged them to work through the
answers and explain their reasoning. I found, as I'm sure most tutors do, that when the student worked the answer out themselves they
usually got it problem correct and they gained the confidence that they understood the material.
Tutoring this semester was a great experience. I learned a lot about myself as a teacher, mentor, friend, and motivator.
Knowing that I was able to help students be successful in such a demanding class was the biggest reward and best part of tutoring this semester.
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