Using students as tutors is a bad idea
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, Chark2@ix.netcom.com
Subject: RE: TECA: Students correct teachers' failures?
Date sent: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 16:35:37 -0500
Hey, the only form of reading instruction my son's classmates received
in second grade was having my son read out loud in class to those who
could not read (I guess it was a form of whole language!). The funny
thing is, with this method, some of them are still not reading in fifth
grade. I guess it's time to get a high school student involved.
From: Chark2@ix.netcom.com [SMTP:Chark2@ix.netcom.com]
Sent: mercredi 7 janvier 1998 15:38
Subject: Re: TECA: Students correct teachers' failures?
Jeanne- thanks for the report. Several of our High Schools here in
Williamson County are doing
the same thing- almost exactly. It even has a formal title, but that
escapes me now. At
Brentwood HS the students sign up for this "course" and are bussed to
the elementary school one
afternoon a week ,12:30 pm till 2:30 pm to be reading buddies and
mentors. Where do the schools
get these ideas!!? There must be a central "well" somewhere sprewing
forth all of these
senseless, wellmeaning but essentially non-academic hairbrained schemes
I thought I had heard it all until today! A very good friend of mine
has a son with minor CP-
it only seems to be affecting his hands, and specifically fine motor
control. He is in 4th
grade. For the last 2 years she has been fighting the school over
grading him for
"penmanship"...it is impossible for most people to read his writing. He
tries so hard, but just
can't do it. Printing was better than cursive....But of course, by 4th
grade they are into
cursive. This makes test-taking, and reading his creative writing,
difficult . Anyway, now to
the relevant part: This whole semester "C" was supposed to be getting
exposed to the keyboard
at school. This was written into his m-team ( what they call the IEP
here in Tennesseee) plan.
He needs this skill to continue in school as it is obvious he will have
to be very dependent on
a computer or typewriter to complete his school work. Anyway, the
school got a 5th GRADE BOY to
tutor him in "keyboarding". This was supposedly 15 minutes a day every
day. I was also
supposed to be voluntary , on the child's recess time, but somehow the
school was finding a way
to "compensate the child". My friend never could find out what they
meant by "compensate".
Anyway, "C" did not seem to be making any progress so last week my
friend pinned down her son as
to exactly what was going on???? "C" told her that the tutor stopped
coming in early November,
and nothing had been done since then...and anyway, it didn't matter
"because all we did was sit
around and play games anyway." Turns out, no one has yet tutored him in
family now has an appointment with the principal....I think they have a
major beef. I cannot
imagine the school actually using a 5th grader this way. Our schools
have lost their minds!
On 01/07/98 12:04:49 you wrote:
>Nothing like a bit of free, untrained labor to fill the gaps left by
>teachers. The students deserve credit for caring, but . . .
>Updated: Monday, Jan. 5, 1998 at 22:43 CST
>Teens brush up on mentoring skills
>By Ellena Fortner
>Special to the Star-Telegram
>Teen-agers are often used to having mentors. But a group of Richland
>School students are working at being mentors.
>About 15 members of the school's Health Occupation Student Association
>tutoring Birdville Elementary School students once a week as part of
>student- organized Dino Step Reading program.
>"The students look up to us and see us as mentors," said Richland High
>senior Anilia Nanji, who heads the program. "The kids think teen-agers
>so very cool, so they like working with us."
>The high school students prepare lesson plans, grab children's books
>visit the elementary school at 4 p.m. Mondays. While they are there,
>read and listen to the younger students.
>About 15 first-, second- and third-graders participate in the program,
>which helps children who are considered "at-risk readers" by their
>teachers. Parents must give permission for their children to
>"The high school students have already realized the importance behind
>able to read," said Sally Duke, Richland High School's health
>teacher and the group's adviser. "They understand how rough it will be
>the younger students if they do not master this skill. This
>makes them want to really help."
>The younger students look forward to the program and take it seriously,
>Birdville Elementary School Principal Marta White said.
>"I think at the end of the year, we're going to see some results
>academically as well as socially," White said.
>Besides reading, the group also sings at the beginning and end of the
>"These are kids who are already behind in school," Nanji said. "We want
>do everything we can to make them feel good and let them know they are
>Although this message is aimed at the younger students, the high school
>students also receive the same message, Nanji said.
>"It makes you feel good when a young child looks up at you and thanks
>for helping them," she said. "It makes you feel like you have done
>Although the program has been successful, its participants still have
>"We need more books desperately," Duke said. "We have a very limited
>library and a wide range of reading tastes."
>Books can be donated by calling Duke at Richland High at 581- 5400.
> © 1998
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