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by Renée Smith/j&R Tutoring Academy

I am a tutor. In a former life I was a teacher. Are these two professions the same? Yes and no. Confused yet? Read on . . .

Both professions instruct children, but the manner of instruction determines whether teaching or tutoring is happening. The most obvious difference is that a teacher instructs a room of 20 to 30 children for several hours. A tutor instructs one, two or maybe three children at a time for 30 to 60 minutes a couple of times a week.

A tutor has the time to provide personalized attention that a classroom teacher does not have. The tutor can ask as many follow-up questions as needed. The classroom teacher has a prepared plan and time frame that must be followed. Although the teacher has time for some follow-up, only so much time for this activity can be taken.

The teacher determines what is taught. The tutor’s subject matter and direction is determined by what is taught in the classroom. Some tutors primarily help with homework. At j&R Tutoring Academy we administer a diagnostic test to determine the weak areas in each child’s learning experience. The instructional program is designed to strengthen these areas.

Teachers adjust their instruction to meet the needs of as many students as they can. However the sheer number of students as well as the variety of developmental stages makes this a daunting task. A tutor can go as fast or as slow as the student’s ability and development allow. The teacher must continue to move through scheduled lesson plans.

In addition to basic instruction, j&R Tutoring Academy identifies each child’s preferred learning style by administering a simple one page assessment. That assessment and the student profile each parent completes, reveal the preferred learning style. We then tailor the instruction to better meet that preferred style.

Although many of the national franchises employ “certified” teachers, the certification is by the franchise. When we founded j&R Tutoring Academy, our first decision was to only hire licensed, experienced teachers. Teachers with classroom experience recognize when a child is having trouble and know how to ask questions. Our goal is to fill in the learning gaps.

Our belief is that a tutor is a teacher’s best friend! Perhaps we can be your child’s best friend, too!