February 28, 2010

Student Tutor Business Thriving at Carroll Senior High

By Ross Murray, originally posted 1/26/10 in the Southlake Journal

Ian Anderson is not your average high school senior, at least in some ways. He goes to class like everyone else, he does his homework and he socializes with friends at lunch at Carroll Senior High School. But this student, who truly loves to learn, has turned his passion into an unusual business for someone his age.

Carroll Tutors is a tutoring service Anderson began after hearing complaints from friends about various tutors they had who were not working out. It’s a common refrain, as most students and parents know. But for Ian, the cogs started turning and he decided to research local tutoring services.

It was then that he stumbled upon HP Tutors, a tutoring service started at Highland Park. The idea was simple: Juniors and seniors who have already taken a course can tutor freshmen and sophomores in the tougher and trickier subjects. He quickly contacted HP Tutors founder, Vic Ramon, and began a dialogue that led to Carroll Tutors opening as a franchise of the HP Tutors program.

Next, he recruited and hired 15 tutors, and then began getting the word out to students. These included Facebook announcements, flyers, e-mails and of course, word of mouth.

They have just recently taken on their first client, and at $35 an hour it’s quite a deal when compared to other tutoring services.

“Starting Carroll Tutors has really taught me to keep an open mind and to realize that opportunity is everywhere,” the young entrepreneur observed.

So far, Ian is still trying to identify the subjects that will be most in demand. At Highland Park, the subjects most commonly tutored arebiology, algebra, chemistry and geometry.

To read more, click here.

Filed under: Business Practices,Small Private Practices

February 24, 2010

Seniors tutor young readers

By Kalen Ponche, originally published 1/25/10 in stltoday.com

When 75-year-old Chris Mongillo visits with students at Prairie View Elementary
School in the Wentzville School District, she brings along a bag full of books
and occasionally an umbrella, a camera or a compass.

As a volunteer for the Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring Program, Mongillo has
found children love to touch objects related to what they’re learning about.
It’s a way for her to turn reluctant readers into children who like to read a
little bit more.

“That’s my goal, to show them, you know, it’s fun to read and it’s not a
chore,” said Mongillo. “The more you read, the more you want to read because
you learn.”

Mongillo is one of the many volunteers who commit to meeting once a week with a
child to practice reading. The Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring program pairs
adults, typically over age 50, with elementary school students who need extra
help.

Mongillo got involved with the program after she retired as a secretary in the
Hazelwood School District and moved with her husband to Lake Saint Louis. She’d
spent many years volunteering in classrooms when her own children were in
school and found she enjoyed doing it. She signed up to volunteer six years ago
and now spends about four hours at Prairie View Elementary School each
Wednesday.

“It’s fun,” she said. “I almost never have a Wednesday I don’t laugh out loud.”

Mongillo said the children she works with just need some encouragement from an
adult. To them, she often seems like a grandmother figure, offering praise and
the occasional piece of candy.

To read more, click here.

Filed under: K-8,Tutoring Practices

February 17, 2010

Reprieve for delisted tutor

by Selma Milovanovic, originally published in the The Age on 1/7/2010

A VICTORIAN teacher who asked a teenage student sexually explicit questions, touched and tried to kiss her in a home tutoring session, may be allowed to teach again, a tribunal has ruled.

Adrian Laragy, 30, was deregistered after the Victorian Institute of Teaching found he had engaged in intrusive sexually explicit questioning of the 17-year-old student while he was tutoring her in her house in 2008 while her parents were away.

Mr Laragy asked the girl whether she had had sex and if she reached orgasm easily. The disciplinary panel found he said words to the effect of ”do you wax or shave your pussy” and ”when did you last shave, can you show me the top part”.

After telling the girl his students ”all watched hardcore porn and talked about group sex”, Mr Laragy touched her hair and her ear. He tried to kiss her before she pushed him away.

At the hearing where he was deregistered, he denied he had engaged in any misconduct.

But the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal late last month said it was satisfied this was a one-off incident [albeit of serious misconduct] and that he was unlikely to reoffend.

Instead, VCAT suspended his registration until January next year, with strict conditions.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Small Private Practices

February 7, 2010

How to make the most of Reading Corps volunteers

In the three days since Detroit Public Schools CEO Robert Bobb appealed for volunteers to help boost the reading skills of DPS students, nearly 900 would-be tutors from every corner of southeast Michigan have responded.
So much for the cynical lament that Michigan’s largest school district is doomed by adult apathy.
But making effective use of this volunteer army poses a critical challenge to Bobb and his subordinates. Other big city school districts have used volunteer tutors to move the literacy needle, and their successes illuminate some best practices DPS would be wise to embrace:
• Establish clear goals: Bobb has asked Detroiters to commit to assuring that every third-grader is reading at grade-level or better by 2015. His school district’s task is to translate that ambitious objective into individualized plans for thousands of aspiring readers. Teachers and volunteers need to understand each student’s capabilities and adopt realistic timetables for expanding them.
• Train the trainers: Teachers and reading specialists must help volunteers acquire the skills needed to be effective tutors. Mike Casserly, the executive director of the Council of Great City Schools, suggests that school administrators begin by visualizing the volunteer’s experience from arriving at the school to checking out, then provide the training and materials necessary to support each step.

Originally published as an editorial in the Detroit Free Press on 12/16/09

In the three days since Detroit Public Schools CEO Robert Bobb appealed for volunteers to help boost the reading skills of DPS students, nearly 900 would-be tutors from every corner of southeast Michigan have responded.

So much for the cynical lament that Michigan’s largest school district is doomed by adult apathy.

But making effective use of this volunteer army poses a critical challenge to Bobb and his subordinates. Other big city school districts have used volunteer tutors to move the literacy needle, and their successes illuminate some best practices DPS would be wise to embrace:

  • Establish clear goals: Bobb has asked Detroiters to commit to assuring that every third-grader is reading at grade-level or better by 2015. His school district’s task is to translate that ambitious objective into individualized plans for thousands of aspiring readers. Teachers and volunteers need to understand each student’s capabilities and adopt realistic timetables for expanding them.
  • Train the trainers: Teachers and reading specialists must help volunteers acquire the skills needed to be effective tutors. Mike Casserly, the executive director of the Council of Great City Schools, suggests that school administrators begin by visualizing the volunteer’s experience from arriving at the school to checking out, then provide the training and materials necessary to support each step.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Community,Government,Leadership

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