Optometry school is challenging. Luckily, most schools have services available to students who may need extra help in particular areas, be it clinical skills or didactic course work. One service my school offers is student tutoring, where students who have done well in a particular course, are asked to aid those who may need a little extra assistance. I was presented with the opportunity to tutor other optometry students in various academic subjects at my school and decided to undertake the challenge. My duty as tutor first began with one student and one course, but has grown now to involve 6 students and 5 academic subjects!
After tutoring now for the past year, I’ve come to realize how beneficial this service is, and I encourage students who have the opportunity to be a tutor, take advantage of it. First and foremost, students who are struggling in a particular course are given additional help outside of class and thus an opportunity to mitigate their difficulties and do well. However, the tutor also benefits from this transaction of knowledge sharing. The tutor’s knowledge of particular subjects is essentially being tested. It is not uncommon for the tutor to have to review old material and notes, which is a great opportunity to keep material that may potentially be on boards fresh in one’s mind. In addition, for current students considering a career in academic optometry, tutoring may provide that teaching experience which may or may not reinforce that desire to pursue academic optometry. Tutoring is a wonderful opportunity to help your colleagues and yourself. Take advantage of it.