Many say that to truly understand a subject, one must try to explain the concepts to a friend or colleague. Speaking from experience, tutoring can be as challenging as it is rewarding.
“Learning to Peer Tutor – Answers to 25 Questions Novice Tutors Ask”, written by our one and only Joshua Berman, is a well flowing and quick, yet very rich read about everything to know for someone diving into tutoring. I would even dare to describe this book as the ultimate “Tutoring for Dummies” guide, which offers clear and organized thoughts while still introducing new, pertinent information.
Talking about the author, who knew Torontonians could be so kind and simultaneously successful? Although I wouldn’t want to use the argument that authority figures are always right, but this guy actually knows what he’s talking about. If the “M.A.., M.Ed.” didn’t already impress you, the fact that he’s been dealing with us, Vanier students, as a Learning Specialist for 10 years should surely provoke some kind of reaction.
His book is very much comparable to his book launch for those of you who were there: straight to the point, enjoyable and full of meaning. Moreover, this publication is kind of like a summary of years of teaching and tutoring experience condensed in less than 100 pages. Imagine how much wisdom is in that volume? I mean take a look at the sources! Any teacher would be proud.
To give the gist of the book without “spoiling” all the crazy plot, what you can find in this book is a little bit of “communication how to” in addition to tutoring “do’s and don’ts” and the concepts surrounding the “oh so scholar activity”. If you are a kind of person that hates spoilers or loves plot twists, I don’t recommend the read because this book actually offers exactly what is promised in the title, 25 answers to 25 questions, that’s it, that’s all. However, don’t get me wrong, in those 25 chapters is a lot of fantastic advice, coherent concepts and logical as well as relatable examples. I know people always say “don’t judge a book by its cover” but besides the fun, efficiently divided format, the first and fourth cover, in other words the front and back, look great and actually make me smile so much because of the chalk allusion.
In a nutshell, I would qualify this text as an amazing resource for anyone looking to improve their skills of transmitting information or learn how to learn, really! As a peer tutor, it is important for me to understand that I grow as much as my tutees with the tutoring experience. In that case, why not step up my game in order to be able to help and learn better? Peer tutors, teachers, older siblings, parents, friendly students, helpful humans; this read is waiting for you! If not, well, your loss!
Written By: Monica Lubczynski