Difficult Situations for English Coaches

As an English Coach, you may encounter a difficult situation with a student. It is impossible to list every possible scenario for you, but here are a few examples that you should be prepared to handle.

Misunderstanding TIP Policies
The following situations may be caused by the student not understanding TIP Policies:

  • The student does not want his/her teacher to know he/she is coming to TIP for writing assistance and does not want a report sent to the teacher
  • The student asks you to edit grammar in a paper
  • The student says their teacher gave them permission to get help on a take-home test

You should review the TIP Policies and Rules or the Do's and Don't's for Coaches/Tutors with the student. We can only help on a take-home test if the teacher sends an email giving permission to the TIP Supervisor. If the students becomes upset and you are unable to handle him/her, you can always refer the student to a supervisor.

Expressing Displeasure with Service
The student may express dissatisfaction with the service provided even when the circumstances are beyond our control. For example:

The student complains about a grade they received on a paper that they worked on with an English Tutor or Advisor

Express sympathy for the student, but explain that you are not responsible for the student's grade. You are simply there to give feedback and help the student to improve his/her own work. Suggest that the student discuss his/her paper with the teacher.

The student tells you the teacher disagreed with feedback you gave on their paper
Explain that you and the teacher must have a difference of opinion, but that the student should comply with the teacher's advice.

Difficult Questions
Coaches may occasionally encounter questions to which they do not know the answer.

The student asks a grammar question, and you are not sure of the answer

If the supervisor or a mentor is not immediately available to assist you, tell the student you will get back to them (through email or at the next tutoring session). Never guess at an answer you are not sure about.

After reading this, you should take the quiz titled, "Difficult Situations for English Tutors and Advisors".  

If you have a problem with a student that you cannot resolve on your own, please see your supervisor.