Here are some common myths about why online tutoring might not work.
Some people have said to me, “Okay, well, my child has trouble sitting still for a while, how are you going to be able to tutor them?”
Someone else said to me, “My child is not confident with a computer” or “My child is too young”.
But the benefits are that if you have a break in your work day and you’d like to sit with one of your younger children, you can sit with them at the desk, chat with me, work through things with me and see how I talk to your child and work with them. So you can take some of my lingos, some of my vocabulary, some of my open ended questioning, and use that throughout the week until we we talked again,
The other thing that is a myth is that there’s not enough whiteboard time or paper examples or feedback. And this is definitely a myth because one of the great things about Google Classroom or Zoom is that you can share your whiteboard.
I was working with a child online last week doing grammar and reading comprehension. The student had an email booklet that I had sent to her and she was reading through her passage. She read the passage, she answered the questions, we went through the questions together, and she was able to then type some of her grammar questions and I was able to copy and paste those grammar questions into the whiteboard. I shared my screen, I rearranged some of the words, I rearranged some of the punctuation, I wrote a couple of sentences incorrectly to see if she could edit them. And she was all able to do that through using the whiteboard. So there are many, many different ways.
Also, some people may think, “Oh, writing tutoring is going to be basically impossible”. It is not impossible. For older children who are more proficient at typing, I was working with narratives a couple weeks ago, and the kids I was working with were typing in their introduction, I was giving verbal feedback, I was muting the other participants, gave them feedback, muted them then went to someone else and gave them verbal feedback. While I was giving them verbal feedback, the other students were working on their first paragraph. I’d mute them then they typed in the chat.
And the best thing about the chat is that they can send their paragraphs to me privately if they wanted a bit more clarification or have any questions, or they can send it to the whole chat. And this was a group of nine kids that I was working with. So the other eight children did not see the one question that one of the kids wanted to ask me. And then when he was feeling more confident, he went through and sent it to the whole chat because he was a lot more proud at that moment after the editing.
So there are many, many different ways to work through the online tutoring.
There’s also different ways that kids can hold up a piece of paper. Some of the kids were showing me their writing, just holding it completely up to the screen and I could see it through the screen. Some people were working on their fluency and expression while reading and I’d mute everyone else to make sure no one interrupted. And they would read out their paragraph. It was really, really great!
And I even had a couple kids doing the little reactions that you can do on zoom, which are the thumbs up and the clapping. So they would do that when they liked another person’s writing instead of interrupting them. So there’s many different ways that this can work.
I’ve even used flashcards. I’ve held cards directly up to the camera so my face is not even in it so that I can see everything very clearly.
So for parents who think “How can a tutor actually work with my child virtually?”, there’s many different ways.