Students of all ages and maturity levels tend to respond more favorably to tutoring when they are able to take greater responsibility for their sessions. For many students, the progress they achieve in tutoring is a source of pride, and arriving to a point in which they feel like they “own” their tutoring is a significant achievement that can accelerate results.
The key to successful tutoring is inextricably linked to the bond of trust formed between the student and the instructor. If students perceive the instructor as little more than an extension (or mouthpiece) of their parents, it can result in resistance and, in rare cases, outright defiance. Sometimes resistance can manifest in overt ways but often times it will be subtle or even subconscious. For those reasons we ask parents to please take a step back and give the instructor and our educational resources team the latitude to apply methods and techniques during tutoring sessions that have been found to produce the most effective results.
Parents know their children better than us, and of course we welcome any information they have that may provide our instructors with helpful tips or guidance about their child’s personality and learning style, but in the final analysis our instructors are experienced tutoring professionals and in the ideal position to decide how to structure tutoring sessions. It generally isn’t helpful when parents seek to direct tutoring or dictate specific methods or techniques from behind the curtain, so to speak.
That said, Next Level staff also have school-aged children and we fully appreciate the apprehension parents may feel about upcoming exams, academic performance, or school admissions, and the desire to ensure their child achieves the objectives set forth for tutoring. Despite parents’ good intentions, however, over involvement in their child’s tutoring can inadvertently serve to exacerbate tension and potentially create more obstacles than it solves.
The best way for parents to be active and contribute to their child’s tutoring is to “reply” to the session report issued at the conclusion of each session with questions or comments, which will be forwarded to a director and/or the instructor for a response. Further, on occasion the instructor may include a parent note seeking support with something along the lines of encouraging the student to complete homework or ensuring the student is available on time for tutoring.
Alternatively, parents are welcome to call the learning center and speak with a director. If the director you speak with doesn’t have an immediate answer, he or she will meet with your child’s instructor and supervisor for more information and then coordinate with our education team to ensure we provide an expeditious response to your concern.
Please note that we typically avoid talking with parents about students and their progress in the presence of the student. We are happy to answer general questions but we reserve more in-depth questions and answers for a private discussion with the parent(s). We have found that talking about students in front of parents makes most kids feel “on the spot” and, to some degree, like the proverbial “identified patient.” We want to minimize the extent to which students feel their tutoring is under a microscope because it can increase the sense of tension and generate additional anxiety. Therefore, as noted, please reserve detailed questions by replying to your child’s session report or calling the learning center directly.
Most parents are relieved to be able to step back and let Next Level instructors helm the tutoring process. And the session report instructors send to parents provides a sufficient description of what transpired during the session so they can be apprised of progress without necessarily having to quiz their child after each session (which can inadvertently ratchet up pressure and increase anxiety).
Please contact Next Level Learning if you have questions about our policies regarding tutoring.