Catching Up: Things Your Tutor Would Like You to Do (College Edition)

I just finished Summer Quarter, and this is my list of things I’d really like students to start doing.

[+] Please read your syllabus/course documents. Seriously, read them. Your instructor is listing out a lot of information that you need to know in those, and they’re putting the time in to create those documents.

[+] If you have a question about your instructor’s expectations for the assignment that is not covered in the instructions, please email your instructor. I feel like I need to make a recording of me saying this because I honestly don’t know what your instructor wants if it’s not an instructor that I have had before. They’re willing to answer your email, so talk to them. Also… stop asking me five versions of the same question and getting cross with me when I reply with the words “asked and answered.”

[+] Stop complaining when your instructor deducts points for things listed in their syllabus or things they have told you to fix multiple times. You know what I said about reading your course documents? I meant it. If your instructor told you that assignments need to be double-spaced and in 12 pt. Georgia font, they’re not kidding. If your instructor tells you that you need to write out dialogue, listen to them. If I remind you to do those things, stop complaining about me making more work for you. Your instructor is within their rights to deduct points if they’ve stated the requirements or given you that feedback.

[+] Stop taking free extensions from instructors unless you need them. Extensions are an emergency thing, not something to depend upon. There is an instructor at the college who consistently gives his students extension after extension for non-emergency reasons… and it cuts into the time they have to do the next set of work. I’ve had to tell my students not to take the extensions because it creates a snowball effect in terms of not being able to meet deadlines and needing more extensions. I’ve had to do things like set guideposts on dates that they need to get assignments done so that those extensions are no longer necessary. So please, STOP TAKING THOSE EXTENSIONS UNLESS YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY.

[+] Please, I beg you, STOP PROCRASTINATING. Procrastination on your part does not equal an emergency on mine. I’m totally happy to help you figure out a schedule to get things done and avoid having to do too much on one day, but I can’t help you if you’re going to slack off and save everything until the day before it’s due.

[+] Please at least look at your classes’ Canvas sites before we meet. Ideally, you should at least attempt your homework before you see me, but I can deal with you coming without doing that if you’re stuck on being able to start. However, please at least KNOW what your assignment is so that I can help you. When you come and haven’t even looked at what you have due, it makes it really hard to help you because your instructor may have not given me access to that Canvas page.