As you are well aware, the COVID-19 pandemic devastated the education community by essentially erasing two decades’ worth of academic progress. And the effects are still being experienced nearly four years later. Despite schools’ best efforts, learning loss grew exponentially for a variety of reasons. An unfamiliar remote learning environment and a significant increase in mental health and behavioral challenges were two of the primary drivers of learning loss. Test results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress revealed that reading and math scores among 9-year-olds have regressed to levels unseen for 20 years.
When combined with annual summer learning loss, during which many students lose weeks’ worth of learning, the pandemic’s aftereffects created a perfect storm from which we’re all still recovering. And all these educational setbacks began to shine a bright light on ways to not only mitigate but also make up for this lost learning time. Accelerated learning—especially tutoring—came to the forefront and has proven to be effective in helping students bounce back academically.
Tutoring is extra academic learning and support that can be delivered by a teacher, other school staff, an experienced peer, or a professional tutor. While popular perception depicts tutoring as simply the act of teaching students subject matter, there is much more to it. Tutors can also help students figure out how to learn as well as what to learn. They can work with students to create the learning process that works best for their individual learning style and are there to support students as they figure it out.
Tutoring is at its most effective when the tutor and the student form a relationship built on trust and communication. If a student isn’t comfortable openly expressing his or her struggles to the tutor, the student will not get the help necessary for success. Creating an environment of trust and transparency is key to maximizing the student-tutor partnership.