As students continue to find their academic footing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, tutoring has become more necessary than ever. One-on-one or small group tutoring is a powerful strategy for keeping students on track, as well as for responding to learning loss across a range of subjects. But what does tutoring look like when students are learning remotely, quarantined or otherwise locked down and unable to meet with learning guides?

First, a general note about in-person tutoring. Though it is difficult to understand the reason why tutoring is so effective, it’s clear that there are numerous benefits. One huge benefit is that instruction can be customized to address specific content gaps or cracks in the academic skills of individual students during tutoring sessions. Further, students benefit directly from developing relationships with their tutors who focus on addressing their precise needs and particular learning styles in a way that shores up those things and builds greater academic confidence. Emily Freitag, the co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit Instruction Partners (currently assisting several state school districts to develop COVID-19 instructional plans), told EducationWeek in August 2020 that “[t]he magic of tutoring…seems to be this individualized ability to both diagnose, and hover, in ways that just lead to real progress.” 

Using tutoring during the current pandemic adds another variable, however: distance learning. Tutoring in a remote-learning situation involves challenges in terms of creating the kind of student engagement that can happen in-person. Building a relationship with each student and guiding learning in an interactive way via telephone/video conferencing or online is different. Even though there are countless digital education resources available online, students often need responses in the moment, as they are studying. They require some level of guidance that complements available educational resources; virtual tutors can suggest different ways to engage the materials and different means of inquiry while challenging students. Moreover, the direct and immediate feedback students receive is sometimes all that’s needed to progress. 

Virtual tutoring via video conferencing is the most common way students are receiving learning assistance in this time of pandemic-driven distance learning. This method of tutoring is likely as effective as in-person tutoring, especially when combined with other technology tools, such as chat and virtual whiteboards. The main advantage is that students still can ask questions in real-time and get immediate feedback, just as though they were in the same physical space as their tutors. Virtual tutoring is, no doubt, here to stay.

Virtual tutoring is an effective and convenient means of helping students learn, especially as they spend more and more time outside of traditional classrooms. Whether your student is in a gifted program, is struggling due to a learning challenge or disability, or needs more direct attention for any other reason, tutoring services can be tailored to meet his or her specific needs. Tots ‘N Tutors has the solution you need and is ready to help! Tots ‘N Tutors is a professional mobile and virtual tutoring company that offers support to students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and college in all subject areas. Contact Tots ‘N Tutors today to discuss the in-person and virtual availability of tutors who are committed to helping your child learn as the education system responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond.

Written by Erika Mehlhaff