By Tina Jenkins Bell
Ask any teacher and they will probably tell you the smartest thing you can do for your child, no matter what their level of performance may be, is get them a tutor.
Brookings.com performed a study of tutoring effectiveness in several high-income countries, including the United States. They found that “tutoring is remarkably effective at helping students learn, with over 80% of the 96 included studies reporting statistically significant effects.”
One of BAPA’s Tutor Corps volunteers, Pat McNicholas, said “ I think the best part of the tutoring, just like in teaching, was when the student felt successful. The smiles on the faces were always better than being paid. One student I worked with was very proud to tell me ‘I now have an A in Math, and I am helping my friends understand it!’”
Tutoring can also be beneficial for high-performing students. The tutor may be able to challenge these students and eliminate classroom boredom by covering higher-level academic concepts of interest.
But, whether academically struggling or high performing, students should not be forced into tutoring situations, according to McNicholas. “I would say that the tutoring was more successful when the student felt that they needed the help,” she said.
Tutoring Benefits, from Oxford Learning
- Offers individualized learning experience
- Increases good study habits
- Improves academic performance and retention
- Encourages higher level of thinking
- Supports in-class learning
- Boosts confidence as independent learners
- Empowers students to take charge of learning process
- Addresses special education needs and enhances learning.
- Takes the pressure off parents to tutor children and allows for objectivity in assistance.
Suggestions for Rules of Engagement
- Talk to your student, prior to engaging a tutor, about where they are academically and engage them in the decision to use a tutor or not.
- Interview the tutor to assess comfortability and proper pairing between tutor and student.
- Set up parameters for time, length of service, and a place for meeting.
- Be timely and honor whatever schedule you agree to, including drop off and pick up times.
- Share expectations and goals. Be sure to include student in this conversation.
- Acquaint tutor with course materials, syllabi and teacher’s name.
- Build in progress talks or reports where progress or lack thereof can be identified. These type of talks help the tutor adjust, revisit or redirect certain instructional assistance.