Tutorial: Convos Are Important, Let Us Talk

Tutorial: Convos Are Important, Let Us Talk

As I sit in a tutorial working on my homework, my classmate leans over and asks, “Do you know how to solve this problem?” I begin to explain the solution, when I hear from the front of the classroom, “No talking!”

Tutorials are described as time to do your homework, be productive, and consult resources if you have questions. So why are so many tutorials so silent?

In some tutorials, students are not allowed to ask peers for help or even to have small chats because teachers think it distracts students. But I think it may help some students instead.

I like to talk to my peers while doing my work, it keeps me motivated and makes me feel more comfortable about asking questions if I need to. When teachers shush me, I feel my motivation slip away. Before long, I don’t want to do my work anymore.

Of course, some people do need a silent place to do their work, but it doesn’t seem right to make whole tutorials stay silent for that need while others may feel they work better in a collaborative environment. Often teachers say that conversations veer off topic, so tutorial time gets wasted. But is it really a waste of time? We participate in school for almost nine hours, with at least four hours in a classroom setting. So why would it be so horrible for some conversations to go off topic? Conversations help students create balance and connect with each other.

School isn’t only about academics. Students’ voices should be heard, and students who prefer to work collaboratively should also be considered. For example, how about sending a google form to ask student preferences, like we do for choosing electives and tutorials. Maybe a question could even be added to the electives google form itself to make it clean and easy.

Everyone agrees the goal is to get work done, it’s just that people have different ways of reaching that goal.