Tutor: Not The Destination
...or the score or grade
I just returned exhausted yet energized from a brief adventure in South America, so travel metaphors are naturally on my mind. Before the philosophizing starts, though, I’ll throw out a relevant question: If you travel with other tutors, can you write some expenses off as work related? Not to say that’s why I visited Jim Wismer in Arequipa, Peru, of course; test prep people are my people. In the immortal words of Michael Eldeiry, “And I say to you, that wherever two tribers meet, we are all there in spirit.”
Another great philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, asserted that "It's not the destination, it's the journey." That insight rings as true for tutoring as it does for traveling. Think about all those students–and their overwrought parents–who come to you with arbitrary numbers in their heads, looking for those magical tips and tricks. The right numbers can certainly serve as proxies for skill mastery, but an inflated or inauthentic Algebra 2 grade doesn’t mean you understand math.
Great tutors find ways to convey to their students that the true value lies not in the score or grade at the end but in the learning that illuminates the path. Long after school ends, true knowledge abides.
Speaking of journeys, make sure you treat yourself to a good one on a regular basis. Yet another esteemed philosopher–Dolly Parton–said it best: “Don't get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
It's not the destination, it's the journey.
Tips, Tools, And Thoughts
Many students are using study strategies that don't work — and better options exist
Some really common strategies don’t have proven support
The Active Ingredient in Reading Comprehension Strategy Intervention for Struggling Readers: A Bayesian Network Meta-analysis
TLDR: Background knowledge instruction should be combined with strategy instruction to facilitate knowledge retrieval as to reduce the cognitive load of using strategies.
Reframing the Stories We Tell About Students
How can the concept of asset framing change the way you teach?
Brain Food: Go Nuts for High Scores
Protein is a powerful driver of peak cognitive function.
Test-based retention, student achievement, and sibling spillover effects
Florida’s third grade retention policy appears to benefit both struggling students and their younger siblings
…And what amazing product sponsored this week's newsletter?
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