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Tutoring is a rapidly growing business world-wide. I belong to several Linked-In Tutor groups and benefit from the many discussions. There are so many “services” and “lists” where I should be listed that I could spend a significant portion of each day just filling out the online forms.

But here is an “elephant in the room” . . . the majority, no make that the vast majority of the tutors are not Americans! Often I will read about a successful instructional or advertising method, and I reach out to the person only to discover that they are neither American nor live in the United States.

Why that is an issue? In the U.S. tutoring has a negative connotation. A large number of my group-mates on Linked-In are Canadian. They have so many students they cannot find additional quality tutors fast enough! This may sound like sour grapes, but it is not. It is more of an observation on the attitude of Americans regarding education.

There have been numerous discussions on Linked-In about whether a tutor should even use the word “tutor” in one’s name or advertising. Why? Because parents, and kids by extension, think that seeing a tutor implies a child lacks intelligence.

The same parents will pay hundreds of dollars on a variety of sports opportunities. The chances that these sporting activities will generate long term benefits are slim. Yet gaps or delays in a child’s education that can impact a child’s future are often overlooked or ignored.

Something almost sinister is happening in education. Common Core is doing just what the name implies – making education common. Some schools are eliminating valedictorians or honor designations so no one will be “offended.” News flash!!! Being offended is a personal decision. It has nothing to do with what others do or say.

On the other side of the spectrum securing a tutor might be considered wanting to be better than others. These days, wanting to be better is viewed negatively by many, and Common Core does its best to ensure that NO ONE is better than anyone else. How often have you heard that one activity or another identified for the outstanding student is not fair?

Teachers also have mixed views on tutors. I have some teachers who regularly communicate with me. I truly appreciate this and work with the teacher for the best interest of the student. But I have teachers who won’t even respond to my generic email requests for information. I am always perplexed by the teachers who won’t communicate. If I can help the child perform in the classroom, then – in my opinion – that should help the teacher! Am I missing something here?

These days teachers are overwhelmed. Their classes are large. The range of ability within the class is very, very wide. And too often their job depends on the students’ test scores. How one person can be expected to successfully meet all these educational needs is beyond my understanding. So, I’m here to help!

There is something so very rewarding when one of my students finally “gets it!” Several weeks ago one of my long time students was struggling with a math concept. I realized that he actually did know it, but he didn’t. I had already explained the concept to him, but he had not been able to recognize it. For nearly 30 minutes I asked simple questions that required him to use this math concept. Yet when I asked him to explain the concept, he could not.

Finally, when he was nearly in tears, the light suddenly dawned! I saw the look on his face, and I realized that he had finally figured it out! It was a cool moment!