I feel like I already separate myself from my own opinion to tutor. It doesn’t matter what I believe. It’s the same as a professor. If they have their students write about who they’re going to vote for the election and why, they can’t fail all the students with a different opinion than the professor’s. They need to be open-minded.

I will admit, it would be very hard for me to read a paper that completely disproves something dear to me like Christianity. If someone were to write a paper about the disbelief in God creating the heavens and the Earth, I actually might want to read it to hear what they have to say. However, I would have to hold back my opinions on the matter and my urge to persuade them otherwise. Instead of focusing on what I believe is wrong, I would try to keep in mind what the student wants to focus on. If they want to focus on grammar or structure, that’s where my focus will be. Not whether they’re right or wrong. If he or she wants to focus on content then I have to separate myself from my beliefs and try to look at it from his point of view.

On the other hand, being from the opposite side of the the matter, I might be of more assistance in helping them create a better argument. For example, if I can easily prove a fact wrong based on my knowledge I can tell him he needs a stronger argument. Instead of saying, “based on my belief you’re wrong,” I could just have him look at that particular argument in his paper. That way I can help him brainstorm a better argument or make his opinion stronger.

So depending on what the student wants to focus on, I could look at it from their point of view. If they need help on the content I can help them make sure they have strong arguments. Either way, the paper belongs to the student. It’s their thoughts and their words. I’m only there to guide them in the right direction. It doesn’t matter if we have the same opinion, I’m there to help.