Behind the screen: Talking with writing tutor, Raven Collier
An important aspect of a successful educational experience is the ability to receive personalized support from knowledgeable experts. While teachers play a crucial role in leading classroom instruction, having access to a subject-specific tutor who can provide one-on-one support can greatly enhance a student's learning experience. This is why TutorMe connects each student with a single tutor for every tutoring session. Our tutoring community is made up of talented individuals who bring a range of backgrounds and experiences in their field, providing students with the opportunity to learn from a diverse group of experts. To learn more about these individuals, we have created the Behind the screen series, which is dedicated to featuring our tutors and their insights into their work.
In our last feature, we met with Humanities tutor, Soraya Andriamiarisoa, about her background and her journey with TutorMe. For this feature, we are excited to introduce writing tutor, Raven Collier!
Raven is skilled in being patient with her students and has a flexible approach to tutoring, letting the student guide the session and set the pace. Check out her insights into becoming a tutor with TutorMe and working with students to master difficult concepts and remain engaged in learning.
Where did you go to college? What did you study?
I went to Georgia State University, where I studied for two degrees. My first degree is in Film Media, with a minor in African American Studies in English. I am currently working on my second degree in Psychology.
Why did you decide to become a tutor?
While at Georgia State, I worked as a tutor in psychology, and I really fell in love with helping other students master difficult concepts. I also wanted to branch out and use my minor in English. S, I started looking for tutoring jobs and TutorMe showed up in my search. TutorMe offered English and writing as a subject, as well as so many other different subjects you could tutor in. It piqued my interest, and I decided to apply!
TutorMe offers 24/7 tutoring, and I’m a night owl, so it allows for me to work at night. The flexibility is also a great fit while I’m a college student and have a lot going on.
What is your most valuable tutoring skill?
I would say my top tutoring skill is being very patient. Previously, I worked as a college RA, and being a resident assistant requires a lot of pateintence. I was able to carry that skill into tutoring, and be really patient with my students. I know when I’m learning something challenging, it’s always frustrating when your instructor or tutor gets frustrated with you, and it makes you feel dejected from learning. So, I always try to be patient with my students.
What Is your usual approach when you tutor?
I try to start with a question asking my student what they’re looking for in the session. I really try to let the student guide the session and identify what they want to accomplish. These sessions are about them, so I’m not micromanaged. Sometimes, students need help quickly for an approaching deadline, so I let them set the pace. From there, I see where they need help with and form the session around that.
How do you make new students feel comfortable?
I tried to be very kind – as kind as possible. Since everything is online, it can be kind of hard to build up that initial connection. But I reassure my students that I’m there for whatever they need, and I’m there to help. Sometimes, that might be checking over an assignment or waiting for them to finish their classwork so we can look over it together. I let them know that I’m happy to wait, and I help them feel as comfortable as possible without any pressure or nerves.
Can you share a transformative moment that influenced your tutoring career?
With TutorMe, being able to see reviews and ratings really warms my heart and encourages me as a tutor. I’m really here to help students grow and become better writers, so a good review makes me feel like I’m having an impact.
What has been a particular challenge that you experienced as a tutor?
It can get frustrating when you’re really trying to help a student and they’re either not receptive or you feel like you’re not doing enough. This can feel dejecting at times. But I continue to put my best foot forward, give it 110%, and continue to work with the student. As long as I’m doing my best, I can feel confident that I am helping.
What are your strategies for motivating students and keeping them engaged during sessions?
First, I try not to get frustrated, because that doesn’t help anyone. I also keep an open mind and remain flexible. I communicate with the student, “if this is not helping, what do you want to try to look at next?” This lets the student guide where they need help. Sometimes, the student may need to change directions or routes, and we can go from there and be more effective in the session.
What advice would you give to a tutor who Is just getting started?
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes, we can be our own worst critics. You don’t know everything, because there’s some things students may ask that you may not know yet. Just give it your all, do your best, and really care for the student and their needs – and you’ll do just fine.
– Our tutoring community is the heart of our mission to provide individualized learning support for every student. Raven’s story highlights the expertise and dedication of our tutoring community in providing that individualized experience.
We will be continuing our Behind the Screens series in the weeks to come, so keep an eye out for more posts. In the meantime, learn more about partnering with TutorMe to empower your students with one-on-one academic support that fosters deeper learning through face-to-face collaboration.
Interested in becoming a tutor with TutorMe? Check out our requirements and apply today!