Monday, August 31, 2009

3 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Tutor

CROSSWALK serves student and life learners alike. We supplement the classroom setting and we also create our own curriculum and program depending on the student's needs.

However, most of our clients fall into the first category: they need some help in addition to the classroom work. This post is directed towards these same students and their families.

CROSSWALK is not simply about hiring a tutor. CROSSWALK is more about finding the right supplemental education fit so a student can achieve both academic and life goals.

So before you jump into finding a tutor, ask yourself these three questions:

1) Can I schedule some extra help from my teacher?

Sometimes it's impossible, but the first place to start is with the current teacher. If there is a gap between a student's expectations and the student's results, the teacher can be the first to recommend a program.

2) Is there another resource available on campus?

Most local schools offer a resource center with study guides, tutors and extra help. Often times, a regular visit to the resource director is all a student needs.

3) Can Mom or Dad help out?

Many times, a student simply needs some motivation and support. Mom and Dad might not have the subject knowledge, but they can certainly help encourage and direct.

If you answered "YES" to any of them, consider your other options.

But if you've answered "NO" to all three questions, then it is probably a good idea to think about a tutor.

Wherever your decision-making process leads you, give us a call and we can offer some ideas.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's the Teacher's Fault, Isn't It?

Learning is complex. Students respond to different materials and different methods.

We see this time and time again. In a classroom setting, especially when there are a lot of other students, the needs of one particular student can get overlooked. It's a fact of the matter.

Despite a teacher or a school's best efforts, some kids fall through the cracks. Other kids don't achieve their potential.

It can be frustrating for the student, the parent, the teacher, the school and anyone else involved.

But don't be too quick to blame the teacher. I've heard it time and time again from CROSSWALK's clients. They bad mouth the teacher for not helping the student.

While that may be the case for some students, the vast majority of our clients find that there are other factors involved. Simply blaming the teacher is an easy excuse, but underneath there might be other learning challenges like too many distractions or lack of motivation.

Whatever the case, a tutor is a great resource. A tutor can sift through the learning challenges and personalize a program to achieve maximum results.

We do it everyday at CROSSWALK. Achieving a student's academic potential is what drives us.

After all, we're teachers. And we're here to serve your academic needs.

CROSSWALK Celebrates 7 Years

It all started back in 2002. I was starting an MBA program at M.I.I.S. and I had reconnected with some of my high school teachers. One requested that I tutor a student of hers in Spanish. One student led to two, two led to four and soon I had more than I could handle. It was great for me because I didn't have to do some work study desk job! And since I was pursuing my MBA, I figured I'd start a business. I hired out my classmates and CROSSWALK was born.

Thinking back, I had no idea I'd still be tutoring and helping people achieve their learning goals. It's been great fun. CROSSWALK has seen a lot of learning: SAT courses at Soledad HS, ESL classes for Scheid Vineyards field supervisors, private instruction for all of the Monterey Peninsula high schools and everything in between. Even a crash Spanish course for an elderly couple preparing for a trip to Nicaragua! All great--and wonderfully learning--experiences.

I've even got to travel a bit and take my SAT prep show on the road. I'll be doing some SAT prep classes in Auburn, CA in September. Who knew?

Yet at the core we still remain a small, flexible and responsive service. We still aim to personalize our programs and we pride ourselves on hiring only the best instructors.

So far a recipe for success, but more a recipe for serving the tutoring and supplementary education needs of our clients.