A Q&A with the "Kings" of Tutoring
To chat with Kat and Margaret King is always delightful and to learn from them must be even greater. With Spring semester on its downhill slope, we want to make sure that your students get the help they need to finish strong!
How did you know tutoring was a calling for you?
Kat: When I first started tutoring in Oxford around 1982, I just loved every minute of it—just one student the entire semester and I knew then I’d like to make a career out of it. Then I started tutoring students at Ole Miss and it just took off. I taught at the college level for 32 years and high school before that. I’ve tutored for 50 years. I just enjoy teaching at all levels and tutoring is an extension of teaching.
How do you take students who are failing at mid-term to finishing the semester with a passing grade?
Kat: Usually the first contact is from parents who are concerned (or panicked) that their child is doing poorly in a class. Most of the time, parents are willing to settle for a C—anything to pass the course. I tell parents that if the student is willing to work for it, dedicated to practice what I teach them, willing to put the time in, wanting it as much as you (parent) do, we will be working toward an A. And most of the time, the outcome is an A or B+.
Margaret: All a student wants to know is how to work the problem. Many students learn better one-on-one rather than in a class-room situation. We work to build their confidence and once that happens, learning becomes easier.
Kat: The first thing we try to do with our students is to build confidence—whether it’s a 7thgrader or a college student. Every so often I’ll purposely make a mistake, so that the student can catch me. “Wow, you’re really good at this. You caught my mistake.” Now that builds confidence.