Monthly Archives: February 2015

Excellent Tutor Coaching Leads to Growth at Tobin

The Tobin Team of Lead Tutors

The Tobin Team of Lead Tutors

Last semester, Tutors for All students at the Maurice Tobin School showed an average growth of 21.6% on their Show What You Know exams.  This was in part due to the excellent instructional coaching that tutors were given throughout the semester.  I sat down with Hannah DeAngelis, the Tobin Program Manager, to hear about student growth and tutor coaching.  Here is what she shared with me:

We were able to observe tutors with their students and compile a lot of constructive feedback that we gave to tutors during mid-semester conferences.  This held tutors to a high standard of professionalism and high rigor in their lesson planning.  That made the Tobin a very academic setting.  It’s easy when you’re tutoring to do what your student wants to do like playing games.  Tutors were expected to share their lesson planning ideas with their teams which ultimately made tutoring more academically rigorous.

In our coaching, we emphasized how important relationship building is with our tutors and students. It is essential for tutors to be advocates and allies for their students and care about what they are doing.    When tutors notice things like student attendance and bring it up to us, it is extremely helpful to the student’s growth.

We also relied on sharing student data with tutors.  Melissa (the Tobin Program Coordinator) did an amazing job of tracking how students were progressing and how their test scores aligned with what they were working on. We tracked a lot of data throughout the semester to find the gaps where students were struggling and were then able to coach the tutors in where they should be focusing in tutorial.

The overwhelming response from students on their end of the semester surveys was that they liked their tutors as people.  The students that gave the best feedback were the ones that had extremely consistent tutors.  The coaching combined with tutor commitment made for an excellent semester.

Mid-semester tutor conferences are coming up at the Maurice Tobin School and we look forward to seeing how they will influence the growth of students!

Tutor and Student Spotlight: Soriya and Jacquez

P1000961This month’s Tutor and Student Spotlight features Soriya (Ms. Peng), a Lead Tutor from Wentworth Institute of Technology and Jacquez, a 7th Grader from the Maurice Tobin School.  Over the course of last semester, Jacquez’s score on his Show What You Know Exams grew from 59% to 89% (30%).  Jacquez was one of the top five Tobin students who grew the most from tutorial last semester.

Why do you tutor?

Soriya: “I got into tutoring my freshman year of high school and was happy that I was able to find a tutoring gig here in Boston.  I love knowing that I can help further a student’s quality of education while getting to know someone new.  Being able to take part in someone’s development is always a good feeling.”

What have you learned from Ms. Peng during tutoring?

Jacquez: “Ms. Peng taught me how to multiply decimals better.  Ms. Peng taught me how to turn fractions into percentages.  Ms. Peng taught me how to turn fractions into decimals.”

What have you learned from Jacquez in tutorial?

Soriya: “Looking back at my years in middle school, it was pretty miserable and boring so I can relate to how he feels as we walks into yet another class. I think my job is to reiterate what he has learned, but in a more engaging way.  Jacquez is a really bright kid, but with so many students in this school, it’s hard to stand out and show everyone how great of a kid he is.”

What do you like the most about tutorial?

Jacquez: “At first I didn’t like it because I thought I knew everything but then Ms. Peng was cool and I started liking tutoring. Me and Ms. Peng started to get through work easily and Ms. Peng taught me a lot of new stuff. She’s a great tutor.”

Soriya: “With Jacquez, I’ve been able to track his growth because I was able to return this semester.  By seeing this commitment within each other, we are both comfortable with each other and know that we’re here to help each other.  Tutorial gives both the tutor and student an insight of our lives and enables us to create a professional working relationship.”
Has Ms. Peng ever done anything creative or really funny??  What was it?

Jacquez: “Ms. Peng did creative things like if I didn’t get a problem she would try to put it in other formations for me to understand the problem.”

Has Jacquez ever done anything creative or really funny? What was it?

Soriya: “I think mentioning just one of his really funny moments would be too hard! Jacquez is always creatively doodling in between me correcting his worksheets, so it’s nice to see his artistic side. Overall he’s just a really funny kid and I think that’s what makes our relationship and tutoring sessions so fun and relaxed.”

What are your favorite things to do outside of school?

Jacquez: “What I mostly do right after-school is go to Chacho’s (pizza) and then I go to the Tobin Community Center that’s where my Uncle Dorien works.  I go work out and then after work-out, I play basketball and my uncle trains me then I go home to my Grandfather (pop-pop) and do some homework with my dad. Then I watch tv and eat food and have ice cream and maybe play the game and go to sleep.”

What else would you like people to know about you?

Soriya: “I lost my native language of Khmer when I entered the American school system, so as one could imagine, school was pretty difficult as a kid. I don’t think I ever felt comfortable with an educator enough to even admit I didn’t understand something. Of course as I got older, this just made it more difficult and really made me realize how critical this stage is. With that experience and having four younger siblings, I would want someone besides family to be there for me and my educational development. Especially in a school with a larger student to teacher ratio, it’s really difficult for a student to get the attention they need to get a quality education. With Tutors for All, students get the attention they need and with Jacquez’s ridiculous improvement, it just shows how important this program is. I tutor because I know that’s what would have helped me. For any student out there, I’d say that if you reach out to any kid of any age, you’ll never regret it.”