Online Tutoring – A Success Story
One of the reasons that I became a teacher and later, a private tutor was because I enjoy the satisfaction of feeling like you have helped someone. The teacher pupil relationship is not unlike a parent child in some ways. The parent feels joy when the child succeeds. The teacher feels joy when the student succeeds.
I have been teaching close to 22 years now. There have been countless success stories and countless moments of satisfaction. Recently there was a case study that really exemplifies what can happen with the right situation and the right efforts and the best use of technology.
In 2008, I began working with Cathy. She was in 7th grade at the time in a public school where she had just started after relocating from my area. My office is in the Philadelphia area and she was living in Florida with her mother (as the parents were divorcing). A friend of the family had recommended my service highly and they wanted to work with mAke the grAde, but 1200 miles… How do we do it? I suggested my newly launched (at the time) online tutoring system. The mom was concerned…How could I work with someone that I hadn’t met? How could we get homework done if I didn’t have the book? Would it work? Let’s give it a try. I think we’ll be fine. And so we started…
The technology was adequate (and expensive!!) and frankly, by today’s standards, the system was very slow and occasionally we got disconnected but we made it through. Cathy increased every grade that she had by the end of the year and ended up with all A’s and B’s. We continued to work over the summer to remediate some areas and then right through 8th grade. Same for the summer before High School… as we worked around summer camps and field hockey tryouts and eventually other conflicts. Basic Math and General Science turned into 10th grade Biology and Algebra then as time went along junior year Chemistry and Physics and Geometry and Pre-Calculus. Finally we tackled the prep for the SAT and ACT as part of the college admissions process. All along the online tutoring was our platform for teaching and learning. The technology improved and got faster and more portable, but the basic teaching and the relationship remained the same.
Just yesterday I got this email…
“Dr Greene. Great news. I got accepted to UM[iami] today. I am so happy. This is my first choice and I am all set. I am not even going to apply anywhere else. There is NO possible way that I can thank you enough for all of your help and your support for like the last 10 years. Has it really been that long? I think I would have failed most of my classes if it weren’t for your help and understanding. Can you come to college with me?”
And all this from a student that I still have yet to meet face to face. This shows the power of the teacher-student relationship and the technology that enabled it to happen.