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.”

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Filed under: Training/Education

August 26, 2014

Funds to expand GED tutoring

By Jessica Holdman, originally published in The Bismarck Tribune

Multiple federal investments are being made to improve business and careers on North Dakota’s reservations. Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates received $250,000 in federal funds to expand its GED tutoring and testing program to communities throughout the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. “Many of the community members do not have transportation,” said Mary Roussaau, AED/GED director at Sitting Bull College. “Going an hour to and from school gets to be a long day … Being in the communities is a brand new part of the program.”

Traditionally the GED tutoring was only held at Sitting Bull College’s three campus sites. Now those enrolled in the college’s GED program can receive tutoring at the community centers in places like Little Eagle and Porcupine, Roussaau said. She said the college also hopes to add services in places like Cannon Ball. The funding for the program expansion is part of a federal economic opportunity grant, Roussaau said. “These funds provide critical opportunities for many Native Americans to further their education in ways they once thought unlikely,” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said in a statement.

While non-Native students graduate from high school at a rate of more than 75 percent, only around 50 percent of Native American students graduate, Heitkamp said. “We’re hoping it will make a difference in the economy on the reservation,” Roussaau said.

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Filed under: Government

August 22, 2014

Group to tutor homeless kids

by Christian Schiavone, originally published in The Patriot Ledger

A cramped motel room with multiple family members isn’t the ideal place to learn to spell, tackle algebra homework or study for that big history test. But the Super 8 motel on Route 53 is where 62 children between the ages of 5 and 18 have been coming home to after school as part of a state program that houses thousands of homeless families in hotels and motels because traditional shelter beds aren’t available. Now a Brockton-based non-profit wants to help make getting through school a little easier for kids facing the instability of not having a permanent home.

School on Wheels of Massachusetts, started by Easton resident Cheryl Opper in 2004, will begin tutoring kids at the motel two days a week starting this fall. It’s also rolling out a tutoring and mentoring program for homeless kids in the Randolph schools that will be incorporated into the school day. The Randolph program is being underwritten by Randolph Savings Bank and will be housed at the Randolph Community Middle School.

Robin Gilbert, the organization’s operations director, said School on Wheels had been aware of the families at the Super 8 through its work with Friends of the Homeless, which operates shelters in Weymouth and Norwell.

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Filed under: Community

August 10, 2014

Grant keeps AmeriCorps reading tutor in place at Pioneer Elementary

By Susan Parrish, originally published in The Columbian

Pioneer Elementary School in Evergreen Public Schools is the only school in Clark County to receive funds from a federal grant to provide an AmeriCorps reading tutor for the 2014-2015 school year, according to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“Some students don’t come in with skills that we’d expect them to have as kindergartners,” said Jenny Roberts, principal at Pioneer Elementary. “This tutoring helps bring the kids up to speed, from the beginning kindergartner who doesn’t know how to sit still and listen to a story to an early reader who isn’t up to grade-level reading.”

Roberts gave a phone interview from Arkansas, where she was attending a conference on literacy and early learning. Pioneer Elementary, a Title I school, has received an AmeriCorps tutor via the grant for several years, she said. The AmeriCorps literacy tutor works full time throughout the school year providing both small-group and one-on-one instruction, Roberts said.

The $1.86 million federal grant, coupled with funding from the state Legislature, will provide reading tutoring for 6,000 elementary students around the state by placing 150 Washington Reading Corps members into 53 school districts and community-based organizations.

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Filed under: Government,K-8

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