As Canadians, we take pride in having one of the best education systems in the world. Upkeeping world-class education is no simple task – delivering education in a province as diverse as Ontario poses many challenges. From time to time, we see parents stressing about how their kids are struggling in the classroom and schools are not providing adequate support. While there are many factors involved, we should recognize the individuality of students with varying learning aptitude, and “one size fits all” simply does not work in education. This is where customized, one-to-one teaching could fare much better in student development.
Tailored lesson plans based on your child’s needs
With typical classroom-based instruction, teachers operate according to a curriculum with guidance on covered topics, teaching materials, and progress evaluation. In the past couple decades, the Ontario government has taken good measures to support equal rights to education such as the Individual Education Plan (IEP) program. While teachers are motivated to support every student in the classroom, with limited time and increasingly tightened support, they can only adjust their lessons based on the general aptitude of the class. Consequently, there could be a mismatch between teachers’ teaching styles and students’ learning styles, which impacts students’ academic performance.
Individualized teaching is one effective way to address this mismatch problem. A teacher can fully assess a student’s strengths and weaknesses, and develop an individualized lesson plan that complements school lessons. The customized lessons, evolving as progress is made, would incorporate better pacing, teaching strategies, and learning skill development that are most appropriate for the individual student.
It is important to note that Ontario Certified Teachers (OCT) are well-versed in the IEP process. With more focus in an individual setting, they can work with parents and offer tremendous help to students in the program. This is one reason why TeachRequest tutors are exclusively OCTs, and among the best of them. For details about IEP, stay tuned for our future blog post.
Fostering confidence in a private, positive setting
Building student confidence works wonders in keeping them motivated, helping them overcome challenges, and ultimately enabling them to learn effectively and enjoyably. As attention is divided in group or classroom settings, students might not have enough opportunities to ask questions, demonstrate their knowledge, and receive positive feedback. Meanwhile, there could also be peer pressure and judgement that contribute to anxiety at school, thus hampering student learning progress. In fact, not seeking help in fear of judgement is a common learning impediment at school.
In a one-to-one setting, a teacher can create a safe and private environment where the student is empowered to learn free of anxiety. The teacher can promote openness and independence by encouraging the student to ask questions, and think out loud for feedback when working through topics and assignments. It is crucial for the student to have a safe zone to make mistakes and learn from them, knowing that the teacher is there to support. Gradually, the student would build up confidence and perform much better in school.
Fully engaged with undivided attention
Nowadays, students must juggle many different classes and extracurricular activities especially during high school in preparation for higher education and future career. While schools provide office hours and sometimes peer tutor programs, their schedules don’t always fit. As well, the advance of technology has created many distractions and overstimulation which results in shorter attention spans among children. In these cases, individual teaching may offer a remedy.
In a setting with dedicated time for learning without distractions guided by a teacher, the student can solely focus on the learning at hand. During the lesson, the student has sufficient time to practise, reinforce their knowledge, and seek immediate feedback. This model works especially well for language subjects such as English and French, where dedicated conversation time with the teacher provides ample real-life practice opportunities in addition to regular classes.
Combining different teaching methods for a well-rounded learning experience
While customized, one-to-one teaching offers tremendous advantages in students’ learning, it is important to recognize the benefits that other teaching methods provide. Group or classroom settings offer the benefits, such as teamwork and social interaction, that individualized learning may not provide. One-to-one teaching is also more costly due to the labor and expertise involved, while others are more cost-effective and runbook-oriented options might still provide students with sufficient support. Ultimately parents should assess the cost and benefit, and look for a middle ground by combining different teaching methods that work best for their children.
That being said, many parents who engaged TeachRequest for our private, one-to-one tutoring services have found it very much a worthwhile investment in their children’s growth. As evident from our reviews and testimonials, parents have seen great academic success and higher confidence level at school. This is all thanks to our Ontario Certified Teacher tutors who are passionate and highly competent, and we are proud to be making a difference!
If there are topics that you would like us to cover, please drop us a message! Thanks for reading and be sure to check the TeachRequest Blog regularly for updates.