July 28, 2015

Professional Training in Academic Coaching Now Available to Counselors, Coaches and Learning Support Professionals

by Bob Lasiewicz, Managing Director, Crossroads of Learning

Effective and affordable online courses geared to counselors, learning support specialists and academic advisors are now available in an expanded series from Crossroads of Learning, a distance learning training company based in La Cañada-Flintridge, CA.

The online Academic Coaching course provides educational professionals an affordable and convenient opportunity to engage in structured and validated training. Each learner is paired one-on-one with an expert mentor to facilitate progress through the college level curriculum. The course is self-paced, to accommodate the flexible schedules of education professionals. Using research-based learning modalities, all Crossroads of Learning courses are all designed to be highly reflective and include spaced repetition and simulations which in turn stimulates learning, understanding, retention and application of the subjects covered.

Elizabeth Gonzales, a recent Crossroads course participant from North Florida Community College wrote “this course brought clarification about the difference between tutoring services and academic coaching services.” Academic coaching is a highly personalized field of practice. The course is designed to help each participant examine and fine tune their own philosophy and practice of academic coaching relevant to the unique temperament, skills, training and experience of each learner.

Click here to read more.

Filed under: Crossroads of Learning,Training/Education

August 31, 2014

Five Practices That Could Transform Your Tutor Coaching

By Katherine Thoresen, originally published in The Tutor Report

Tutoring companies who monitor and assess their Tutor’s professional development or companies offering coaching for tutors might be interested in some tips published by Elena Aguilar on EdWeek regarding feedback and and planning for tutor/teacher coaching.

Active Listening

The first highest leverage practice I want to suggest is to use active listening extensively in your coaching conversations. I’m just about ready to make a supreme declaration that active listening could possibly be the number one key to transformational coaching. Just about ready. What I’ve seen and experienced is that active listening is an antidote to the natural tendencies that our minds have to wander when we’re in conversation. It takes tremendous practice to manage our distractible minds, and while I strongly encourage all of us to make efforts towards quieting our minds, I also know that it’s a long journey to a Buddha-like mind.

I do practice, every day. And in addition, I use active listening because it reminds me that while someone else is talking, and while my own mind is wandering around, after that person stops talking I will need to respond with some kind of statement that indicates that I non-judgmentally heard what they were saying. Something along the lines of, “I hear that you are really frustrated,” or “It sounds like you want some support in thinking that through.”

Click here to read more.

Filed under: Training/Education

January 8, 2014

High school students demonstrate effective tutoring methods to UD class

Originally published in the UDaily, on 10/22/13

Christiana High's Mike Daugila invites participation in the mentoring of his AVID students.

Jennifer Campos, a senior at Christiana High School (CHS), drew a large grid on the chalkboard and added three captions: Point of Confusion, Notes, and Steps. She then outlined the issues she was having plotting a graph while solving for x. Turning to the students in the University of Delaware’s EDUC 413 class she asked, “How would you help me work through this?”

Campos was one of six students from CHS’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program invited to join assistant professor Liz Pemberton’s education class, Adolescent Development and Educational Psychology, to help her students learn how to become AVID tutors.  The tutors are trained to use inquiry methods to facilitate the AVID tutorials as well as serve as role models.

The partnership between UD and the AVID program in local school districts gives UD secondary education students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience applying the knowledge they’ve learned in the classroom. “You don’t want to give them the answer,” cautioned Mike Daugila, CHS AVID coordinator and social studies teacher, when talking to the UD tutors. “Learn to ask guiding questions to help them discover the answer for themselves.”

Daugila’s students at CHS are uniquely qualified to help “teach the teachers.” The AVID program is an elective class in all Christina School District high schools and middle schools, as well as some Red Clay Consolidated School District schools. Students learn to become reflective thinkers, not just memorizing facts but developing a deeper understanding of the how and why.

Tutors are expected to ask open-ended questions that encourage students to consider options, express their difficulties, and work through the thought process. “It can be time consuming, but it’s necessary to help them understand and internalize the lesson,” says Daugila. The AVID students find tremendous value in the program. “It helped me become better organized, develop new skills – like talking in front of this class – and provides the opportunity to visit different colleges,” said Kimberly Fries, CHS student.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Coaching,High School,Training/Education

October 29, 2013

Tips for Tutoring Math with Common Core

by Ishmael Brown, originally published in The Tutor Report on 10/28/13

Ishmael Brown, Jr. Owner & Founder of InfiNeXt Educational Solutions and a National Tutoring Association Advanced Tutor.

As tutors, we (certified or not) feel that we have a passion for the subject area(s) that we tutor.  We are as fond of our subject area as we are of our tutees.  We know that whatever type of problem that a student may bring to us, that we can easily solve it, and that we especially know how to illustrate our process to our tutee.

For years, states have been using their own standards with districts using their own curriculums for those standards.  It made the job of being a tutor somewhat easy because some of the states’ standards and/or indicators had not changed in years.  There were instances where one state would have Algebra II as a course, while another state would call the same course Math Sequence 3 (or something to that affect).

Neighboring districts would even have vastly different curriculums, but across that state, all of the districts would teach the same standards.  But, as of late, there is at least one common denominator (no pun intended) that has crept into the education forefront:  The Common Core State Standards.

For those who are not familiar with the Common Core State Standards (or the Common Core as is affectionately called), these standards, introduced and voted on by the National Governor’s Association, are a “common” set of standards that includes an abundance of rigorous and challenging indicators, use a more leveled comparison between states on assessments and better prepares students for college and career readiness.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Training/Education,Tutoring Practices

August 29, 2013

The five things that every tutor trainer should know

By Daniel A. Weinstein, PhD, Director of Faculty Development & Assessment, Capital University, originally printed in the National Tutoring Association Tree Newsletter, Fall 2012

Dan Weinstein conducts a tutor training at the 2012 National Tutoring Association conference.

Tutoring is perhaps the most engaging and enriching form of instruction there is!  More and more students today benefit from the tutoring experience than ever before.  Most teachers are well versed in good pedagogy, but sometimes to the exclusion of good andragogy.  The key is making a positive connection with the student on a one-to-one or small group basis.  This is instruction and enlightenment that is sort of at variance with our usual way of going about teaching, yet it is an easy switch for most teachers to make once they are shown how to approach it.

Tutor training, as well, is a delicate and intricate process.  The guidelines are fairly simple – present to teachers much of what they already know at a pedagogical level, yet better suited for individual instruction.  Always remember that they are already teaching professionals and that sensitivity with them will go a long way.  In this piece, I lay out for the reader the five hallmark things that every tutor trainer should know.  By no means is the list exhaustive or exclusive.  It is meant to highlight some of the main points that tutor trainers should keep in mind and certainly abide by as they gravitate toward the world of individualized and small group instruction.

  1. Ethics: It is actually easy to cross the ethics line without even giving it much thought.  Tutors have been known to “teach to the test,” do home-work for the students and test students in the manner they see most ᴀt.  Part of tutor training clearly addressed this issue and presents ideas and options for tutors given the ethics involved in tutoring.
  2. Communication: The importance of good communication cannot be emphasized enough.   A lot of trouble in most of life can be traced back to poor communication.  Certainly given the instructional nature of tutoring, tutor training addresses skills, best practices and teachable moments that focus on appropriate communication in a one-on-one and small group instructional environment.
  3. Critical Thinking: Tutor training features the important component of teaching students how to think and question – especially when it comes to critical thinking.  A good tutor knows how to instruct students to ask questions, rely on facts and interpret information, to name just a few.  In addition, good thinking instruction teaches students to avoid thinking ruts and procrastination.
  4. Assessment Methods: Assessment is often viewed as testing, but it’s really more than that.   Tutors should know that assessment is measurement that’s based on a standard or target.  Tutors must be able to assess if students are achieving intended outcomes and if they are ready to move up to the next level of learning.  End-of-session summaries, think-alouds and observations are additional ways that tutors can do assessment of intended student learning outcomes. With doing proper assessment, there’s no real way of knowing that students got what you intended out of tutoring.
  5. Tips for Successful Studying: While this one may seem “tongue in cheek,” it is crucial for any student who wishes to be successful.   The establishment of mutual expectations and preparation for the learning process are top tips for successful studying.  Students should also be aware of appropriate study areas and learning styles.  It is truly amazing to see the difference that these tips can have on student success.

All in all, tutor training is an opportunity for teachers to engage in professional self-reflection.  Tutor certification helps to ensure that teachers understand and abide by the basic rules of tutoring.  These are skills that are not just innate within all teachers.  Most of these skills have to be learned – sometimes over and over again.  And every tutor trainer should know that.


This article was featured in Fall 2012 issue of The Tree, and reprinted with permission of the National Tutoring Association, © 2012.

Filed under: Associations,Small Private Practices,Training/Education

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