September 29, 2014

B.C. teachers seek tutoring work despite union directive

by Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun

Some cash-strapped teachers are looking for tutoring jobs to make ends meet. Photograph by: Fuse , Getty Images/Fuse

Many families are looking for tutors during the teachers’ strike and there are plenty of teachers willing to oblige, despite union warnings that some could face censure for doing so. Ann Thorpe, a coordinator with the non-profit Teachers’ Tutoring Service, said parents were scrambling to line up tutors for their children earlier this week when school was supposed to start.

“Tuesday we had a big surge … in demand for tutors,” she said. “The phone was ringing all day and emails were coming in.”

The tutoring service was able to accommodate the surge in demand in part because so many striking teachers have contacted them looking for work, Thorpe said. In fact, there are more teachers looking for work than there are tutoring spots available. “We are able to take some of the people on but we do have a lot of tutors already and unless they’re in geographical areas where we’re lacking tutors or unless they’re for subjects we’re really needing people in (such as math), we just can’t take very many on.”

Teachers are also posting ads for tutoring services on websites such as Craigslist. But those who take on tutoring work over and above what they would normally do during the school year are undermining the solidarity of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, especially if they are being compensated with the controversial $40-a-day payments the government is giving parents for child care, said BCTF first vice-president Glen Hansman.

To read more, click here.

Filed under: Tutoring Practices

September 22, 2014

Hinsdale Central Tutor Expo a hit with parents, students

By Chuck Fieldman, Sun-Times Pioneer Local

Parents and tutors filled the Hinsdale Central cafeteria for a Tutor Expo. | Chuck Fieldman/Sun-Times Media

The Hinsdale Central cafeteria hosted a foodless buffet Thursday to provide information on available tutoring services and answer questions at a Tutor Expo. Eight companies and more than 25 individuals offering help set up at tables in the cafeteria. Tutoring options included one-on-one or small groups, and were available in various academic subjects as well as ACT/SAT preparation.

“This is just an opportunity for parents to get names of tutors they believe will work out well if they are needed,” said Audrey Galvin, chairman of the Parent Network Committee of the Hinsdale Central PTO. “Being here and getting information doesn’t necessarily mean a student will need help, but it’s a great opportunity to get the information and have it available.”

Galvin said tutors came mostly from a list available through the Hinsdale Central guidance office. This was the second consecutive year in which the Parent Network Committee has hosted a Tutor Expo. “This is a committee formed by the PTO so that parents can learn to provide better support for their children,” Galvin said.

Bill Walsh, Central’s assistant principal of operations, called the Tutor Expo a “great resource for parents and kids.”

To read more, click here.

Filed under: Small Private Practices

September 16, 2014

Tutoring policy is debated

Echoes Sentinel

With an updated policy in hand on electronic communication among staff and students, the K-8 Board of Education is looking into its tutoring policy.

At a board meeting Monday, Aug. 25, members concluded that all school staff, including coaches and extra curricular leaders, must communicate through a parent and not contact a student directly when it pertains to electronic communication. After this, board member Gregory Steier questioned the district’s tutoring policy, wanting to look into it further to see if it needs to be updated. “If we are worried about an email then we should be equally as concerned as to what happens one on one,” said Steier.

Superintendent Tami Crader reiterated that no teacher should be in contact with a student in the district, even when it comes to tutoring. Contact should be made with the parent.

The question evolved, however, from how to set up a tutoring meeting to what policy should be in place for the actual tutoring itself. As it stands, board member Tia Allocco said that a teacher or staff member cannot enter a business relationship or accept any money from any family of a student who is currently or potentially in the future, graded by that teacher or staff member. Allocco took it one step further and said, “If I have a fourth and a second grader, I can’t have a third-grade teacher from my school tutor my fourth grader, because my second grader might have that teacher.”

To read more, click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,K-8

September 14, 2014

Literacy Tutor from Nepal Shares ESL Experience with New Immigrants

By Kathleen Haley, Syracuse University News

Totadri Dhimal ’15, works as an English tutor with preschoolers at Cathedral Academy at Pompei in Syracuse.

In a brightly decorated classroom lined with children’s artwork and brimming with the playful noise and energy of a bunch of 4- and 5-year-olds, Totadri Dhimal ’15 encourages talking. The more the better, and he is an active participant as a Literacy Corps tutor.

Dhimal’s charges are from Burma, Nepal, Sudan and Vietnam. They are recent immigrants learning English as a second language in a preschool program in Syracuse. “Some of them have a confidence issue,” Dhimal says. “They don’t really talk to us or the teachers. They only talk to their friends, so I’m trying to be their friend and get them to talk to me and improve their speaking skills.”

Dhimal knows the new words of English don’t always come easy. Six years ago, he was the one learning English, having just emigrated with his family from Nepal. “I had pretty decent reading skills, but my speaking was really bad,” Dhimal says. It’s that experience he can share. “They see I’m a Nepali and they think ‘If he can do it, then I can do it,’” he says.

Summer service

Dhimal applied to become a Literacy Corps tutor with the Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service after seeing the position posted online. The Literacy Corps program, a literacy initiative of the Shaw Center, continued through the summer with 26 students this year working full-time in Syracuse City School District summer school programming.

To read more, click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,K-8

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