Jan 15, 2019
As teachers, you are well-placed to know what resources students need to succeed academically, especially if those needs go beyond what the classroom can provide.
It’s no one’s ‘fault’
Needing a tutor doesn’t mean teachers have failed to provide adequately for students’ learning needs. After all, teachers face all kinds of limitations in the time they can spend with individual students, as well as the resources they can devote individually, especially where students require additional, personalized support.
It’s important to keep in mind that tutors are a value-add, not substitute, for classroom learning. Tutors complement classroom learning – and augment teachers’ efforts – by focusing on individual students’ trouble spots, homework needs, or test prep.
Identifying a need
Students can be shy when it comes to addressing gaps in their own learning. This is where teachers play an important role in offering parents insight based on classroom observations and tracking student performance on homework and tests.
Learning needs can come down to a host of issues, in the classroom or home. They may relate to student health and wellbeing – including common cognitive difficulties such as dyslexia – to things that often induce stress for many students, like homework or a major exam. Some issues may require medical or therapeutic intervention. Others may be ideally suited for tutors.
Parent–teacher conferences and an open line of communication between home and classroom are ideal opportunities to identify student needs and to decide what actions to take.
Discuss how students could benefit from tutoring – to improve their homework and test outcomes, build executive functioning skills, manage stress, and more – and where parents can turn for support. Schools or local colleges may offer before- or after-school tutoring for specific subjects. Teachers can also recommend tutors who they know or have worked with previously.
Making the recommendation
Every child’s learning needs are unique. Teachers know what can be achieved in the classroom, and what needs may call for the personalized approach that tutoring offers.