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Firsthand Eduboard Experience – Donald Squires

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Donald Squires, one of the language arts tutors, was recently interviewed by an Eduboard representative. Donald shared his Eduboard story. We hope you will enjoy reading about advantages and disadvantages of online tutoring straight from the horse’s mouth.

Subjects:  Essay Writing, English

Eduboard tutoring experience: 3 months

Rating: 4.67/5

Education:  Master’s Degree in English at the University of Illinois at Springfield

Work Experience:  Worked mainly in the Healthcare field for the past decade.

 

Why did you decide to join Eduboard and provide online tutoring services?

I researched the tutoring sites that were available and noticed that EduBoard had been reviewed very highly by students as well as tutors.  After looking at the website, I was also impressed with the website design and layout.  It’s very modern and user-friendly.  The service, from a tutor’s perspective, seemed very easy-to-use, which I found to be true once I actually became a tutor for the site.

What advantages of online tutoring have you already experienced? What are some disadvantages?

As a tutor, it’s great being able to “meet” with students at any time, instead of meeting at a specific place or time (say a cafe or library).  I feel that it takes a lot of unnecessary tasks out of tutoring and allows the tutor and student to get directly to the point (for instance, proofreading an essay).  Some of the disadvantages are related to the same things that make online tutoring advantageous, such as the inability to communicate in real time or face-to-face.  Sometimes it’s easiest to just sit next to someone, especially when you’re trying to explain some issues with an essay to student.  It can be a challenge to adequately explain certain issues through an online setting.

Can you tell about your educational background and work experience?

As far as my educational background, I have an MA in English with a focus on teaching composition at the college-level and also creative writing.  I studied methods of teaching composition and literature and also completed a book of short fiction as a closure project.  I’d like to eventually teach TESOL students and a class of fiction of the American South.

My work experience has been mainly in the healthcare field, where I worked as I completed college.  Although it was unrelated to my college education, it did provide me with opportunities to train fellow employees and gain some professional experience.

What subjects/courses do you teach?

As a tutor for EduBoard, I’ve been tutoring students with essay writing mainly, but also a few literature- and film-related writing prompts.

What are the subjects for most of your orders

Mainly proofreading essays, ranging from personal to professional to persuasive.  A little bit of everything related to writing.

What suggestions would you give to new tutors without any rating or reviews?

Really, many of my first orders were invites, but I was very quick to respond to the requests and also send back my responses to whatever issues they were having with their essay.  That, in turn, gave me a higher overall score, which helped get more invites from other students.  I kept my rates lower at first as well.  Basically, being quick and taking the extra step to be helpful is the main advice I would have to new tutors.  Plus, make yourself stand out, just like with any job application.  Don’t forget to mention your accomplishments, no matter how “small” they might seem – they can make your profile stand out.

Do you have anything interesting to tell us about your avatar?

I just tried to get a plain picture of myself.  Nothing fancy or wild.

What would you recommend to the student who’s struggling with some subjects and thinks about dropping out?

Even though I never really struggled with any subjects in high school, I would definitely recommend seeking for help outside of school. Finding a tutor seems to be the best option for kids that are struggling. Sometimes you just need that one-on-one, and not a classroom setting.  Some students seem to keep to themselves in a group setting, but open up once they’re in a one-on-one meeting with a teacher or tutor. 

What would you consider to be the hardest thing about teaching in general?

Each student is very different, and it might be a challenge to find out how they best learn. Some students are better using one method, and some students are better through another method.  For instance, two students who are equal academically will score differently on a standard question-and-answer quiz versus a test with essay questions. So it’s hard sometimes to figure out what works the best. And some students just won’t open up to you. So juggling all of these things can be a real challenge.

 

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