Exploring the role of the Personal Tutor

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This afternoon we explored the role of a personal tutor. Personal tutoring is very personal experience between tutor and student. Being a personal tutor gives you the opportunity to build a relationship with a student. There is usually very little guidance available and it hasn’t been evaluated properly as it falls outside of the curriculum.

Experiences from the group were appalling. Experiences as tutees showed there was no routes or structure to approach the person and personal tutoring to them was just a name. Another problem was some staff weren’t interested in listening and it seemed they just wanted to get back their research, the tutee easily saw this and saw the entire process a complete waste of time. As a tutor, staff found that the biggest problems were with different cultures and there wasn’t enough time for the tutee to gain trust in their tutor, and they didn’t come out of their shell and share their thoughts, experiences and concerns.

Personal tutoring is very important because is helps the students make the most of their student experience. It gives support to the student possibly in difficult times, and it and leads to student retention.

Personal tutors are left to decide for themselves how to work effectively in this role. Obviously depending on how many students you have, frequency of meetings, what you discuss and your approach to meetings all add up to how effective you are. But it is typical to meet 3 times throughout the year, but it is also a good idea to appear approachable so a student can request a meeting if something important needs discussing (either academic support, personal development or problems).

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