Would you like to help your child achieve their goals and build a strong foundation for a bright future?
"Our modes of education aim to expedite, to save labor; to do for the masses what cannot be done for the masses, what must be done reverently, one by one."
See the student in the front left of the picture? Is that your child? Are they not getting the attention they need? Are they falling behind? Are you challenged with helping them keep up?
In classroom instruction, the teacher is in control of the class. They decide which topics are covered, the method in which those topics are delivered, and all classroom activities. The teacher directs the class toward goals outlined by the teacher and it is the teacher that evaluates when mastery of a subject is accomplished. Usually the goals are prescribed by the school district's curriculum requirements. In New York State, mastery is determined by the NYS Regents Exams. Because the student looks to the teacher for all their learning cues, this type of setting is not geared toward increasing self-directed learning.
In a tutoring environment, the student and the tutor are partners in the learning experience. The tutor is responsible for structuring the session and has a general idea of what needs to be covered in each meeting. However, the student has an equal say in the progress of the session. The student guides the speed of what is covered, has some say in which topics they need more work on, and how the information is delivered. This approach has been shown to be more effective for many students as evidenced by Newsweek's report of the best high schools in America. The number one school "[offsets] larger student-teacher ratios...with more one-on-one tutoring." Also, the tutoring environment lends itself very well to increased self-directed learning.
Classroom size, time constraints, and curriculum requirements make the tutor-style approach nearly impossible in a classroom setting with more than one student. Even the best teacher simply cannot give every student the individual time they require. Each student has a different need and if every student were directing the speed of what was covered, the class would move in chaos and confusion. This is why tutoring plays such a vital role in the over-all academic success of students.
As one-on-one tutors, we are part of the student's academic support network.
We move between the classroom requirements and the individual needs of each student. Because of the learning partnership we form with each student, we are able to help the student mend whatever disconnect is causing that student's academic challenge.
"Education has often followed the industrial mode of mass production. This has definite advantages as society attempts to educate more and more people. However, the tutor, like a skilled tailor, carefully fits the garment of education to the uniqueness of each person. Becoming a master craftsman in the skill of tutoring requires time, effort, and training. Tutors must surpass the mass production paradigm."
NTA Certified Tutor Trainer
Writing Center Consultant
Thomas Nelson Community College
Crossroads of Learning, Tutoring Foundations
Merrefield, C., Streib, L., & Yarett, I. (2011, June 27). The best high schools in America. Newsweek, 59.
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