The human behind the student ID: Creating success and support stories beyond academics

Olga Kampaxi (University College Birmingham)

Monday, April 3, 2023 3:30 PM - 4:15 PM

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Session Outline

A grade does not solely define a student. A student consists of multiple layers that make up their identity. Most of the time, these layers are made up of personal experiences, cultural background, family pressures, talents, and aspirations. They create a unique and dynamic environment during a tutoring session through the right approach. Addressing academic achievement and engagement through different technological means can assist a tutor in being factual and understanding potential factors for poor academic performance or rewarding and acknowledging positive behaviours.

However, a student also needs to be understood as a human being who might be a parent and has left a child behind to be cared by the grandparents. Someone who has left behind their passion, to follow their parents' wishes. A person who needs to express and find a voice through their talents. An individual with career aspirations that needs career guidance. One that has left a business behind. One that wants to celebrate their learning journey with their peers. It is that human approach that creates synergies among the students. It is the proper questioning and probing that helps to understand the context. As a result of that a community is born.

And parallel to that, a tutor becomes a learner of what it means to be a student from Vietnam who comes from a farming family where education is not free. The tutor learns the intricacies of Indian families and the students who 'want to make their parents proud', as one student mentioned. The tutor must learn to have multifaceted discussions and navigate beyond critical thinking, grade bands and assignment remits. Because if the heart and mind of the student are not in the right place due to weather conditions, missing their family, accommodation issues, acculturation, language barriers, and harassment at work, one should not expect the other academic pieces to fall into place. Thus, the human behind the student ID is as essential as addressing academic performance.

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
I7 - Data and information technology applicable to tutoring
R1 - Build advising and tutoring relationships through empathetic listening and compassion for students, and be accessible in ways that challenge, support, nurture, and teach
R4 - Plan and conduct successful advising and tutoring interactions