We are very fortunate in our school to be closely associated with a wide variety of resources through the University of Illinois. Among these many resources, we are blessed to have tutors through the America Reads/America Counts program available for many of our classrooms. I get an email every semester from the Graduate Coordinator for this program asking about my interesting in receiving tutors for my classroom. I respond with my schedule every semester and an expression of interest for as many tutors as I can get!
We welcomed two new tutors in our classroom today. The first came in the morning and worked with a few of my students during our math block just before lunch. Sometimes I have students ask if they can work with a tutor, other times I direct specific students to work with him or her. The students who worked with our morning tutor this morning were able to make a lot of progress on their work with multi-digit multiplication, which made me very glad. I work with as many of my students in as many ways as possible, but I love being able to let them work with a new person who may take an approach to their explanation that is different from mine! Sometimes it just takes a fresh view to help someone get a difficult idea!
Our second new tutor came in shortly after lunch and, much to my surprise, was assigned to stay with us throughout the afternoon! Tutors are usually assigned to work in a classroom for 30-60 minutes at a time, so having one in the classroom for a full 120 minutes is fantastic! This is the first full week of school in quite some time, so I was able to have my guided reading groups meet in the most ideal way, which involves me meeting with each group at least twice this week. With a tutor in the room, I was able to have one group work with the tutor while another group worked with me.
I love having tutors work with my students! They bring in fresh ideas, relationships with college students, and added support that allows for a greater level of differentiation than can be done without. This is also why I am excited to have two student teachers doing early field experience with my class in the coming weeks. (I haven’t actually announced this to my students yet, so for any who are reading now: surprise!) We have a lot of work to do this semester, so I am super, super grateful to have these tutors to help us out!