Early Academic Intervention: Should the Classroom Teacher Tutor?

Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Doing more of an ineffective thing doesn't qualify as a genuine attempt at becoming more effective, right? That's not how any of this works.

I want to preface this message by showing gratitude for how hard classroom educators work. Their commitment and sacrifices are not sufficiently acknowledged nor rewarded.We shouldn't expect them to do it all alone...


I raise this question - should the classroom teacher tutor? - because tutoring sessions held by classroom teachers are failing so many students. As a nationally certified professional tutor, it's disheartening that the majority of my clients believed they couldn't learn because of how the classroom teacher unpacked learning material. All too often, learners become frustrated because the multiple representations strategy is missing in many classrooms.

As practitioners in the education community, we tend to present concepts in ways that make sense to us. This approach makes sense. Deconstructing complex ideas and re-packaging them into lessons is challenging. Figuring out multiple ways to present complex ideas to students is even more challenging and requires a level of time commitment that's scarce given the work load of classroom teachers.


Here's what to look for...
First, we have to be willing to look around us to see that an issue exists. Then, we have to name it and look inward to see how we've contributed to the issue. Finally, we have to commit to removing the culprit: environmental influences, preconceived notions, unproductive behaviors.

  • If he's not learning in the classroom, stop expecting the classroom teacher to tutor the child. Using the same teaching strategies for tutoring sessions isn't likely to improve performance. For a few, this approach works. For most, it's a bust.

  • If she attends class regularly and is failing, stop expecting the classroom teacher to tutor the child. Showing up is half the battle; still students need to receive equitable instruction during class time. Evidence of inadequate instruction shows up early on: inability to complete homework independently; and low daily grades and quiz scores.

  • If they don't like being in class, stop expecting the classroom teacher to tutor children. We are reminded by Rita Pierson quotes that building relationships with students is mandatory. Click the image below to learn why it's important for kids to like classroom teachers and how you can facilitate this transition.


Students don't learn from teachers they don't like. Forcing a student to try to learn something from someone they don't like has the potential to strengthen character; but, it's unlikely that academic performance will improve in a timely manner. We want to look for opportunities to match learners with professionals who are best equipped to reach them... and transform performance quickly.

Next steps...
When students are struggling, investigate. Resist the blame-game and finger-pointing. Stressful times are opportunities for parents and educators to show compassion, to follow the student's lead, to seek early academic intervention from a professional experienced in identifying and addressing the root causes of poor performance.

Jackson Education Support exists to develop more independent learners by implementing personalized services and supporting engagement efforts. Both low-performing students and gifted students benefit from intensive academic intervention. Early academic intervention is always best; nonetheless, commitment to a personalized learning plan results in dramatic improvement in performance as well as noticeable increase in confidence.

Here's the secret to Jackson Education Support's 96% success rate among private tutoring and exam preparation clients of all ages.

  1. Make content accessible to students through equitable instruction.

  2. Engage students in meaningful and rigorous learning opportunities.

  3. Encourage multiple means of expression (not only teaching to the test).

If you have a student or know a student

who could benefit from academic intervention,

visit je411.com/schedule to explore support options.