Mentoring As A Critical Part Of Tutoring

Today, we follow-up a previous post about school goals with a further examination of the challenges faced by today's students. "Being in middle school is just like a bird being kicked out of the nest by its mother," says a middle school student named Raechelle, as quoted by Elissa Gootman of The New York Times… Read more »

Beyond Teaching Concepts

When a student does not understand a particular concept in a particular subject, a tutor can help to explain and teach that concept.  For many students, this clarification and further explanation is what they need to attain greater success.  For some, however, this is not enough.   Many students have more global learning difficulties.  They may… Read more »

Some Thoughts On Academic Diversity

An excerpt from a letter by Mark Carey to a local independent school regarding the role of learning differences in a school population: . . . As demand for admissions in many [independent] schools has increased, we fear there is a tendency to screen out the students who appear potentially less capable, particularly those with… Read more »

Mentoring The “Right Kind” Of Practice

It probably goes without saying that practice is the key to mastery in any subject.  Through practice we can ace a spelling test, hit that home run, and perform a piano concerto in Carnegie Hall.  The oft-cited “ten-year or 10,000 hour rule” is a good starting point in comprehending the difficult task a beginner has… Read more »

Walking The Line: Facilitation And Frustration

A recent article in the New Yorker by Elizabeth Kolbert titled "Spoiled Rotten," got us thinking about the balance we strike between making things "easier" versus allowing some amount of frustration in mastering new material when working with our students.  We all want our students to develop the ability to persevere when faced with novel… Read more »

Using Calculators – Redux

Back in January, one of our blog entries touched on the use of calculators in mathematics instruction and made the point that while calculators in and of themselves are wonderful tools, the incorrect use of them can have detrimental effects on a student’s mathematical development. In particular, we often observe that students not only rely… Read more »