Little Miss Redundant is my tutorial student for almost four years now. When I first came into her life as her private tutor, I did not have any idea how I could teach her and make her improve in school. I just knew how to teach her school lessons. And that’s it. Assessing her was not even part of my plan. I just was teaching her using methods that I found as helpful to her. I did not have any specific goal in mind for her except that she will do well in school.
Fast forward to 2017. I am now taking a Professional Teaching Certification course in the University of the Philippines Open University. I buried myself in readings every night after work studying about curriculum development and assessment methods and principles. The lessons hit me like a gentle yet painful rebuke.
I did not make any initial planning or outlining of my desired learning outcomes of her. This is my first mistake. Without having this specific goal in mind, I found myself blindly hitting the air hoping that my student will finally get a high score in her quizzes and exams.
Secondly, I did not have any idea what proper measures I will conduct to see if she learns the lesson or not. So I resorted to downloading online worksheets about her lessons and had her answer them. We did oral Q&A sessions, flashcard games and answering recycled test papers. We even do experiments not required by her school for her to understand her lessons more. She became familiar with her lessons enough for her to score high in exams but I felt that she did not find any value in what she studied. Why did I think so? It is because she admitted to me one night that she already forgets her past lessons after the exams. She thought that she will not need them anymore. Unfortunately, some lessons do repeat year after year, and it is sad to say that Little Miss Redundant has to study the same old lessons all over again.
Last year, she received her first line of 7. It was awful for me as her tutor. Her parents told me that I am not to be blamed, saying that it was Little Miss Redundant’s laziness and lack of focus in studies that gave her an almost failing grade. Deep inside, I knew I am somehow accountable to her status in her academics. It is very hard now to find where to start when I have an undefined goal for her in the first place.
This time, I will improve myself as her tutor. I gave little regard for the planning of intended learning outcomes. There should be improvements in the tools that I will be using in reviewing her her lessons such as using questions that will lead her to not just memorize terms but comprehend problems and situations, then associate them with terms. She is very receptive to experiential learning or “hands-on” learning, therefore, I will continue in doing this and look for more creative ways in teaching her topics she find boring or difficult. If I achieve in this area of teaching, I am confident that I will be able to have reliable evidence to evaluate my student. And the results of my assessment will help me as her tutor to improve my teaching approach also.