Beyond Lessons: Tutors Can Help Teachers Build Relationships with Students

The 74

I’m a math guy. I love math, and I teach it to my preschooler every day. At a recent parent-teacher conference, his teachers told me he didn’t recognize numbers and was having a hard time counting. I pointed to the number 20, and he said, “That’s 20.” I pointed at the number 7, and he said, “That’s seven.” Then I pointed to the number 9, and he said, “That’s nine, but if you flip it upside down it could be a six.”

They had given him a test to see how well he recognized numbers, but it hadn’t taken into account the fact that he’s shy. It was a matter of quantitative data versus qualitative data. 

Teachers need to know both about their students, and they gather both types of information every day in their classrooms. But there’s a way to get them even more of this essential data.

Around the country, districts and states are turning to high-impact tutoring, whether as part of the school day or afterschool, to reverse severe declines in reading and math scores since the pandemic. Tennessee has invested a lot of money and resources into this effort, and Illinois is marching down the same path. 

What makes tutoring high-impact? According to the National Student Support Accelerator, it involves substantial time each week, sustained and strong relationships between students and tutors, close monitoring of student knowledge and skills alignment to school curriculum, and oversight to ensure quality interactions. 


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