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Tutoring--School Statement

Should I get a tutor for my child?

There is not one simple answer to this. CAISL’s advice is ensure you are taking advantage of the other support options CAISL offers first.    

For students in Grades 6 through 12 who need a bit more direct instruction or guided practice in a particular subject, each CAISL teacher is available at least one afternoon per week without charge to support the students in their classes. These “office hours” are specifically for the purpose of giving students the “boost” they need to be successful.   Depending on their schedules, many teachers also make themselves available at lunch or during breaks/recess.

For Elementary students Grades 3 through 6 who just need a quiet place to do homework with a teacher nearby to help with organization and, at times, basic content support, CAISL offers the “Homework Clinic” three days a week. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the Homework Clinic is available from 16h00 to 17h00.

Is a paid tutor ever a bad idea?

Yes, at times a paid tutor can be a disadvantage because

  • The student often will not pay attention in class because he/she knows that there is a tutoring session anyway.
  • The student will not attend the teacher’s “office hours” or the Homework Clinic or ask the teacher questions and will, instead, just rely on the tutor.
  • Instead of genuine skills and content tutoring, the student and tutor just “do homework” together. As a result, the student turns in homework which he/she did not do independently and which he/she really did not fully grasp.   It is very common for a student to turn in very well-done homework (done with a tutor) but then on in-class assessments show a lack of understanding.
  • To be effective, the tutor must maintain close contact with the class teacher and ensure that the work being done in the tutoring session supports the work being done in class.   All too often tutors fail to do this and thus the tutoring session is at best ineffective and at worst harmful.
  • Students who are not inclined to work hard in class are often given a tutor by their parents to “make them work” but, in general, the student then has even less motivation to work hard.

Is a paid tutor ever a good idea?

At times and under these parameters:

  • The student is struggling in a particular area and could benefit from intensive and short-term instruction one-on-one beyond which the teacher is able to offer. The key here is both “intensive” and “short-term.” It should be focused with a beginning goal and ending goal.  
  • The student wants more guided practice time. This can be important in areas like speaking a foreign language or mastering some skills in math. Again, it should be focused on a goal and should be temporary.
  • The student is transitioning from his/her native language to mainstream classes in another language. Those moving into mainstream English classes from ESL are one example. Another example would be those moving from Portuguese as a Foreign Language to Portuguese as a Native Language classes.
  • Students who are very challenged with organization and prioritization (often called “executive functioning) may benefit from on-going individual help in this area.  

 

If you are considering hiring a tutor for your child, be sure to investigate other options offered by CAISL first and be sure to speak with your child’s teacher or the Principal before making a decision.  

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CAISL is a student-centered educational community in which we challenge ourselves and each other to do our best and to make positive contributions to our diverse and ever-changing world.

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