One distinctive factor in the lives of military members is tranfers. U.S. soldiers, and their families, often have to plan for the possibility of being transferred to a different one of many military bases, within the U.S. and overseas, often frequently, and sometimes on short notice. For children in school, this can mean having to keep up with their studies among schools that may have very different curricula and methods of teaching, sometimes being transferred among multiple school districts in a single school year.
Even kids who can count on staying in one place often need the help of a tutor to supplement the educational attention they receive at school, and this can be even more so when the student has to learn from different textbooks and different teachers repeatedly. But while kids who stay in one place can establish a long-term relationship with an in-person tutor, kids whose parents are in the military don’t always have this luxury.
There are many benefits that any student can receive from a tutor, including attention, a relationship, and improved self esteem, and online tutoring adds the additional benefits of availability, selection, and value. For military families, however, the availability of an online tutor, who can continuously work with a student regardless of transfers, can be particularly valuable, even essential. As part of an ongoing relationship, an online tutor can provide stability and direction to the student’s education, as well as a consistently personal, caring, and effective in-home educational experience, wherever the student may be located.
This series of posts looks at six vital principles for getting the most value out of your education, regardless of how you go about pursuing it.
Principle # 5: Cooperate, don’t compete.
Learning is not a solitary activity. Any activity is made more enjoyable by engaging with others in positive ways, and active cooperation provides multiple benefits for learning, including engagement, accountability, and support. We are at our best when we are part of a great team.
Outside the traditional classroom, there are unlimited opportunities for cooperative learning, and the principle “many hands make for lighter work” is the norm. Inside the traditional classroom, cooperation (defined as “cheating”) may still not be the norm yet, but this in itself provides opportunities for leadership on every level. As a student in such an environment, you have the opportunity to reach out to your classmates to organize collaborative study sessions and engage with one another in the learning process. It helps to make a point of getting to know and network with as many of your classmates as possible, not with the aim of cheating of course but with the aim of facilitating everyone’s learning process. Organizing a regular study group for each class you take is likely to pay off well in terms of enjoyment had and knowledge gained for you and everyone else involved.
A corollary of this is get help when you need to. If you find yourself struggling in a class or with your education in general, figure out what you need to do to get the support you need. Classmates can often provide valuable types of support, as can professional helpers like tutors and counselors. And of course, your actual instructors may or may not be able to provide the kind of help you need, but you can always ask.
- Cooperative Learning (sensesdire.wordpress.com)