My daughter goes to a charter school. I’m not going to spend any time in this post debating the politics of charter schools. Actually, aside from this paragraph right here, I’m not even going to mention that. My child attends the school because it was the best option for us when needing to remove her from her regular public school after the administration made some questionable choices.
What I want to talk about is tutoring and the role it plays at my daughter’s school. It was one of the most surprising things to me when she changed schools. Tutoring is a regular, normal part of her schooling now. The teachers are constantly tutoring in the hour following the regular school day. Any child with slipping grades, struggles, or standardized test scores that are deemed “too low” are automatically scheduled for tutoring. The kids – at least at my daughter’s age – see it as a normal part of school. They don’t look down on anyone in tutoring as I might have when I was in school.
It is just a regular part of school. I hear a lot of “Oh, so-and-so has tutoring on Wednesdays now so she won’t be riding the bus with me.” Etc.
O’s science score came in a little low on their last benchmark test, so she is starting tutoring this week. If it looks like it was just a fluke (from not paying attention during testing, being distracted, reading a section wrong, etc.), she will re-test in a couple of weeks and leave tutoring. If it turns out to be an issue, she will stay in tutoring and we can be glad to have caught it early.
On one hand, my brain tells me that the test shouldn’t have so much sway. In general, I very much dislike the “teach to the test” mentality that our schools have developed over the years. But in this case, I’m enjoying the results. I love that my daughter attends a school where the children have accepted extra help as a positive, normal part of learning. I love that O isn’t thinking twice about having to attend tutoring and that she is being taught it is okay to use the resources around you if you need them.
I also love that I have an excuse to take off early on Thursday afternoons to pick her up, but that doesn’t really apply here.