It’s pretty amazing what happens when students work with me one on one.
Their learning is accelerated. Their learning is deeper.
Yesterday, a student and I spent 10 minutes at Lunch on basic math skills. He’s trying to pass the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE). We added fractions and dealt with decimals. Years of math phobia, anguish, and avoidance disappeared. Together, we got past his shame. It was wonderful.
So was the 10 minutes I spent yesterday after school with a student on her grammar. Not only did she fix every single grammar error in her essay, but she also learned about run-on sentences and the serial comma. We even had time to study for today’s quiz — on which she earned a perfect score.
These little vignettes remind me of three things:
1. Teaching and learning are easy and fun given time, space, and relationship.
2. We need to invest much more money and many more resources into after-school tutoring.
3. I need to figure out a way to encourage more of my students to work with me one on one.
I really can’t figure out #3. My students know that it’s beneficial to come after school. But they, in general, don’t show up. This year, I don’t have the capacity to do a mandatory after-school program. Even if I did, I’m unsure about whether I’m philosophically in favor of such an approach, particularly with older students. It’s definitely something I need to think more about.
Please let me know your thoughts and ideas.