Tutor: Simplify, Clarify, Edify

I am, in birding parlance, what is called a lister.

Listing in the world of avian observation simply means recording seen or sometimes heard species. That said, listing is far from simple, considering all the rules, applications, and taxonomic authorities that can play into the process.

I enjoy listing quite a bit as a birder both to record what, where, and when I’ve already seen and to outline all those glorious new species yet to be encountered. I probably take listing too far for some purists but not nearly far enough compared to some of my friends.

Lists can be taken too far, but they are more frequently not taken far enough. As business guru Tom Peters says, “Lists simplify, clarify, edify.” And what aspect of our lives couldn’t use more of that?

For example, educator Karina Rose Mahan shared a splendid teaching checklist in the Higher Ed Learning Collective Facebook group. Since there is no direct link, you can find the checklist below:

Do you have checklists like this for your student sessions? Obviously, a checklist designed for a Professor of Teaching English as a Second Language doesn’t correspond completely to the requirements of teaching algebra, reading comprehension, or piano. The overall value, however, seems readily apparent.

Not only do smart checklists serve as clear outlines of intended practices, but using them helps professionals like pilots, astronauts, and surgeons minimize errors that can mean the difference between life and death. Knowing that, why wouldn’t we as educators use lists?

Lists simplify, clarify, edify. Coincidentally, that’s also what great tutors do.

— Mike Bergin

Tutor Tips, Tools, and Thoughts

What Makes a Good Checklist
If incredibly detailed steps and technical terms like task decomposition interest you, you’ll love this resource.

Improving adolescents’ standardized test performance: An intervention to reduce the effects of stereotype threat
Find out what teaching strategies help female, minority, and low-income adolescents overcome the anxiety-inducing effects of stereotype threat and, consequently, improve test scores.

We know student effort matters, so let’s start acting like it
Is effort one of the most powerful drivers of student achievement?

2020-2021 State of the States Report – National Association for Gifted Children
The State of the States reports on the funding, identification, range of services, and policies that support K-12 gifted and talented education.

10 Dos and Don’ts When Your Consulting Firm’s Sales Are Slumping
If your tutoring revenue is more a trickle than a torrent these days, take smart action.

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