Getting Extra Help: Working with School Resources (page 2)
Start at the school and look into the resources that are offered. Does your school have counseling? Special tutors (besides the instructors)? Reading aides? Resources to handle attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Look first for these resources (which are usually free and easy to access), and then consider outside resources.
Your school is a good place to start, because the professionals there know your strengths and weaknesses. They see you day after day in class and have a good sense of not only how you work but also how you work best. They may also have insight into what causes some of your struggles (perhaps a lack of class participation, not asking questions when you don’t understand, slower reading, difficulty expressing your thoughts in writing, and so on). Second, they know the curriculum; that is, they know what subjects you need to master and at what level.
No Reading Specialist?
If your school doesn’t have a reading specialist on staff, ask for recommendations. Because this is a fairly common problem, most schools should have referrals for you to consider.
Having Your Instructor (or Instructor Aide) Tutor You
Sometimes, an instructor can provide after-school tutoring, giving you one-on-one attention. You can make arrangements with the instructor on the time, the length of tutoring required, as well as compensation (if any) for the tutoring. You and your instructor should come up with predetermined goals and ways to measure those goals so that you can monitor the success of the tutoring.
If an instructor isn’t available, your class may have an instructor’s assistant. Depending on this person’s role and background, he or she may be available for tutoring. Again, you’d need to decide on the goal, the scheduling, the way to measure progress, and the compensation (if any).
Working with a Reading Expert
Some students struggle with reading and may have a learning disability such as attention deficit disorder (ADD). Because special reading requirements for ADD have become so prevalent, many schools employ reading experts who can help slow readers improve their reading skills. These specialists can also help students with reading disabilities come up with strategies or techniques to deal with their situations or special needs.
Working with a Student Tutor
Another tutoring option is working with a student tutor. Some students feel more comfortable working with a peer, and it’s also a good experience for the student tutor to help classmates. The student tutor may or may not be in the same grade, but will have experience in tutoring. For example, students who are good in math may participate as math tutors at all levels. Students who are good writers can help other students with their written assignments.
Like working with an instructor tutor, you should set goals with a student tutor, set up a schedule for the tutoring sessions, decide on compensation (which may be determined by the school — for example, some students get service hours for tutoring in lieu of payment), and decide how to determine whether the tutoring is successful.
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