Tutoring students out of our Menlo Park offices for over 25 years has afforded us the opportunity to form a few thoughts on the role that good tutoring can play. These may not be the first things that come to mind for the average family seeking services, but once you think about them, they make perfect sense.
Tutoring and the family system: A tutor can be a welcome resource even if teachers and family are available for assistance, and especially when they are not. The tutor can be an important adjunct to the family system, allowing parents with limited time or emotional energy to focus their interactions with the child on other areas which only they can best provide. Parents often report important gains beyond the academic goals.
Not all tutors are alike: Depending on where you find them, tutors may be teachers-in-training who seek more instructional experience, classroom teachers who seek to supplement their regular income, retired teachers who want to maintain some involvement in their work, full-time tutors with specialties in a variety of areas, etc. Each type has its own merits.
Throughout history, private tutors have been highly valued as the basis of or as a supplement to an education. Tutoring has been a critical part of the formula for success for many students in our local schools, whether or not that student has an identified learning problem.
QWERTY Education Services has been working with Peninsula students for over thirty years and brings teaching experience, advanced training, and expert credentials to our work with students, families, and schools.
A tutor can be a mentor who guides even the most capable students to:
- broaden, deepen, or focus ideas about the content of their work
- enhance the expression of those ideas in oral and written form
- utilize resources (books, computers, teachers, family, peers, etc.) most effectively
- tackle difficult, discouraging, or uninteresting tasks with greater enthusiasm
- evaluate and develop their own participation in the learning process, including understanding educational strengths and weaknesses and managing time effectively
- respond to concerns about social interactions and personal matters which may be interfering with the ability to put their best foot forward in their schoolwork
- face the many often small but important decisions in their lives which can either clarify values and build character or, alternately, muddle priorities and erode integrity