High-impact tutoring is a widely-proven method to address learning loss and accelerate learning. Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of high-impact tutoring and its direct benefits to students and school districts. An invaluable component of high-impact tutoring is, unsurprisingly, the tutor. So, what makes a high-impact tutor effective? Here are five traits of successful high-impact tutors and how those traits positively impact students and learning.
5 Traits of a High-impact Tutor
1) They Form Consistent Relationships with Students
High-impact tutors work with small groups of students with a 1:3 tutor-to-student ratio in the classroom or live online through a device. Students work with the same tutor for the entire academic year and usually with the same small group, barring enrollment changes. Working so closely with the same tutor all year, students benefit from the relationship's progression, building trust with the tutor to help them learn materials.
The consistency of the tutor-to-student relationship benefits both the student and the tutor, as high-impact tutors receive continuous support with ongoing feedback and training. As they become more effective and learn ways to differentiate lessons and provide individualized learning for their students, the students benefit from the tutor’s growth.
In turn, the whole class benefits from the consistent relationships, as students gain skills and knowledge through their tutoring sessions that make the classroom instruction easier to understand, increasing engagement and willingness to take risks and participate. The accelerated pace of learning and increase in skills also create more opportunities for the classroom teacher to focus on increasing student achievement instead of grappling with the learning loss and remediation needs of many students.
2) Their Tutoring Sessions are Relationship-Driven
High-impact tutoring sessions differ from many types of other tutoring students may receive. Rather than acting as a homework helper or a place to get answers to specific questions, high-impact tutoring is relationship-driven.
As mentioned above, meaningful connections in the classroom provide students with the support they need to succeed, in the form of another consistent adult who notices and cares whether they come to class, show up prepared, understand the material, and ultimately succeed. With large class sizes, ever-increasing workloads, and specific job demands, one classroom teacher for twenty or more students is often inadequate to provide the support students need.
High-impact tutoring even proves to increase student attendance rates. When students know someone is looking forward to seeing them and that they have a team of support between the teachers, tutors, and other small group members, they show up.
3) High-impact Tutors are Focused on Accelerated Learning
In contrast to other tutoring methods, high-impact tutoring aims for accelerated learning over remediation or homework assistance. Sessions include data-driven instruction and adapt to meet the needs of individual students.
Differentiation is made possible by the high-impact tutoring model, which provides small-group learning opportunities for all students and supports the classroom teacher, who cannot meet the individual needs of each student within a single class hour. Accelerated learning requires a deep understanding of concepts and principles and opportunities to practice lessons in different ways to master skills.
Remediation can help a student catch up on material or address learning loss. However, if the concepts aren’t sufficiently understood, students will struggle to advance in their learning and graduate to the next grade.
For example, research shows that students who do not pass 9th-grade algebra have lower high school graduation rates than their peers. Simply providing remediation is often not enough to bring students up to speed, learn current material, and still be ready for the mathematics they’ll encounter in subsequent years. High-impact tutoring can address the learning loss or educational gaps and prepare students to continue successfully with their education, even increasing graduation rates.
4) High-impact Tutors are Available During the School Day
Many barriers exist to tutoring methods successfully increasing student achievement. One of these barriers is the lack of availability. Programs like No Child Left Behind offered tutoring to address learning gaps but required parent/guardian involvement, application, and availability. For many families, even in well-funded districts, getting kids to a tutoring session outside school hours is difficult. Many families face transportation issues and work-school schedules that don’t align well with after-school activities.
High-impact tutoring is embedded into the school day and occurs three times a week for at least 30 minutes or more per session. Student transportation and scheduling concerns are not barriers to tutoring; all students have access to the necessary resources.
In addition to the student and family benefits of high-impact tutoring during the school day, school districts and classroom teachers benefit from additional resources for students without having to overcome complicated logistics and challenges to implementation. And an added long-term benefit is the other pathways to enter the teacher pipeline. Many tutors have fulfilling tutoring experiences, get to know the teachers and staff members, and pursue educational careers.
5) High-impact Tutors are Accessible to All Learners
Similar to availability, accessibility is an issue facing many districts and families. Inequities in the educational system create barriers to student achievement that can be challenging to address. High-impact tutoring closes the opportunity gap for students and addresses learning loss, gaps, and inequities through accessibility without significant barriers.
High-impact tutoring is a cost-effective and proven solution to increase student achievement. While other interventions may require family uptake, community support, and increased staff or facilities, high-impact tutoring occurs during the school day, requires no transportation, and doesn’t require additional hiring.
Bring the Power of High-impact Tutoring to Your School District
At Saga Education, the evidence is clear: kids learn best in relationships with caring, consistent adults who invest in their success.
As shown above, using high-impact tutors to improve student outcomes and meet district goals has proven powerful. The consistent support, relationship-driven instruction, focus on accelerated learning, availability, and accessibility contribute to increases in student success. Get more information about bringing high-impact tutoring to your schools.
Are you interested in becoming a high-impact tutor or bringing this opportunity to students in your college or program? Learn more about spending a service year with Saga Education!