Observing Aimee (BIO tutor but also peer mentor for the CHM RCC class) with a repeat client was a real gas–or solid–or liquid? The client was inCREdibly active, writing down those visual diagrams for the Lewis Dot (I had to write that down) Structures chapter, thinking out loud as she wrote, thumbing through the (very expensive I’m sure) CHM textbook, saying, “Was that 7, or 6?” by which she meant chapter. In our debriefing session immediately afterwards, I complimented Aimee on getting that very active (almost frenetic) client to slow down, to think carefully about what she was doing, where she was looking, why she was using this or that table, what the numbers were showing her, etc. etc.
“I try to give my clients as little as possible,” she told me. We talked about her pattern of tutor-client talk: They “struggle,”, I give them a “clue,” they get it, then they struggle some more, and so it goes. Here are some of those questions/clues/guides, verbatim:
“What are you getting those numbers for?”
What is this …..showing you?”
“Does this (Lewis Dot?) structure give you anything?”
And some comments/questions from her client:
“Should I do the dot things? Or draw it out first? I’m so visual.”
“I’m trying to find a way for me…his (the prof’s) way, visual, or the book’s way” (to which Aimee answered with a question, “Which way is better for you?”)
Lots of Aimee’s questions/comments started with “So, ….” Slowing the process down, getting her to think carefully.
Aimee told me that she realized that this student started out as a very quiet client at the beginning of term, with few ideas on what to do, where to start, what to reference. Now she’s got lots of ideas, and Aimee is trying to sort of rein her in, to get her to be more disciplined and efficient in choosing her next step. MASTERFUL~~~~~~~ Yay!