I am probably venturing into a dangerous zone with this post, but I strongly believe the topic is important.
Over the past two plus years, we have learned that teachers are reluctant to suggest to a parent that tutoring may be a good idea. We were told by one elementary school counselor that she was not allowed to suggest tutoring to a parent for fear of being sued.
I could go way off topic here and rant about our litigious society, but I will control myself!
Many teachers tutor after school for extra income. I understand this; however, I do have to wonder how “ready” these teachers are to tutor after a full day in the classroom. Human nature tells me that unless these teachers possess super human skills, they are going to be tired. I know when I was in the classroom; I was exhausted at the end of the day!
In a February 2013 blog https://jnrtutoringacademy.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/teacher-or-tutor/, I explained the differences between teaching and tutoring.
One of our first clients came to us the summer following first grade. His teachers did not want to pass him to the second grade. He could not read at grade level – or anywhere near grade level, for that matter! We worked with him an hour a day, four days a week for six weeks and were able to increase his reading level by five. Still not where he needed to be, but obviously much better! During that time I realized that this young man was quite bright, but quite stubborn!
Although they passed him to the second grade, he attended first grade reading classes. I met regularly with his teachers that year. During each meeting my evaluation of him was always much better/higher than the teachers’. Obviously I had the advantage of not having to pay attention to numerous other children while working with him. However, his school teachers never saw the ability that I did.
At the completion of the second grade, again they did not want to pass him to the next grade. The justification for this was that he had not learned the second grade reading skills (since he was in first grade reading). So this past summer we went to work again to fill in the missing elements.
Unfortunately this time the school would not allow him to matriculate to the third grade. The parents decided to remove him from that school. He is now in the third grade and thriving!
Not only is this a success story for us at j&R, but it illustrates that there are times when classroom teachers have so much on their plates that they just don’t see what is in front of them.
There is nothing “wrong” with tutoring, nor does it mean your child is not smart. Not all students and teachers “click.” Not all students and tutors click, for that matter! But if a child is struggling and falling behind, what advantage is there to wait and see?