Monthly Archives: April 2015

Conditions for Effective Tutorial

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor eight years running, Tutors for All programs have achieved jaw-dropping results for Boston kids and the organizations that serve them.  Settings have varied — High school/Middle School (and now Elementary School!); charter school/district school/community agency; during school/after-school – but the story has remained the same:

  • Students come into Tutors for All program years below grade level in fundamental skills;
  • Students receive high-dosage tutoring from Boston-area college students;
  • Students catch up with, and at times even surpass, their suburban peers.

How have our programs accomplished this?  What’s our “special sauce”?  Can other schools and programs replicate our success?  While each program in our history has its own unique story, we believe that seven key elements unite them and offer a roadmap to follow.C-23

  1. High Quality Oversight
  2. Professionalization of Tutors
  3. 1:1 or 1:2 Ratios
  4. Balanced Collaboration and Autonomy
  5. Regular Assessment and Progress Monitoring
  6. Tutors for All (not Some)
  7. Leveraged Subsidies for Service

Over the next two months, we’ll drill down into each element, sharing what it means from a theoretical and practical standpoint.  If you’re hungry for more now, take a look at this.


Meet our Talented Coordinator and Tutor: Harrison

We first met Harrison, a Teach for America Alum, at the Harvard Graduate School of Education Internship Fair back in August.  This year, he has contributed significantly to Tutors for All as the Humanities Coordinator at Codman Academy and as a Lead Tutor at our MGH Program.  His passion for working in the field of education continually inspires us and we hope that this interview with him inspires you too!


What got you interested in working in the field of education?
Harrison: I was lucky enough to have teachers who helped me love what I learned and the process of learning itself. They inspired me to stay in the classroom to try and spread that passion.
How did you come to start working with Tutors for All?
Harrison: Tutors for All had a table at an internship fair that I visited. It was great to find an organization that would help me stay in contact with students during my studies, and the Tutors for All model is one that I immediately supported.
What has been the most memorable moment during your time working as a Codman DSC_7335Coordinator and an MGH Lead Tutor?
Harrison: The first few times that I experienced Saturday tutorial at Codman were breathtaking. Seeing so many students enjoying working with their tutors on a Saturday morning is more than enough to make most educators smile.


What was your favorite childhood book?
Harrison: The Lord of The Rings was my gateway into fantasy. I still love it.
When you are not working with us, what do you like to do for fun?
Harrison: I typically try to stay active, but this past winter in Boston made me spend much more time reading.
What words of advice do you have for our tutors?
Harrison: Dedication to helping other people is impressive. Make sure that you make the most of that time. Be prepared and help your students have fun.
After you finish your degree at Harvard Graduate School of Education, what’s next for you?
Harrison: I’ll be joining the English department at Northfield Mount Hermon, a boarding school in Massachusetts.
Is there anything else about yourself that you would like us to include in your story?
Harrison: Thank you so much to Luisa and Mark for their guidance at MGH and Codman, respectively. It’s been a pleasure to be a part of your programs.