We got back CAHSEE results this week. I was a little scared because we had four seniors who still hadn’t passed the test, which is required to graduate.
A few months ago, a colleague and I approached the four students and offered them one-on-one tutoring once a week for 30 minutes. Two of the students participated in the tutoring. The other two said they were interested but didn’t show up consistently.
The results: The two who received tutoring passed; the other two did not.
The two who passed were full of joy. One cried. The other smiled wide, gave me a hug, and planned how he’d tell his mom.
I’m a huge believer in one-on-one tutoring. You can move a students’ skills quickly. Even more important, a relationship is built that is centered on academics.
A tutoring relationship’s central purpose isn’t to get to know the student, to figure out his interests, to help the student through his personal decisions. It’s about the work. When there is success, as there was this week, it tells the student: See, you can do this. You can be a student. It’s OK to work hard for something. And it’s OK to ask for help.
Rich kids from the suburbs have access to one-on-one tutors all the time, often at a high price. It’s part of the student’s schedule. I want every single one of my students to have a similar experience.