Reading with the Reluctant

by Mike Hernandez

reading time!

After school tutors know that reading can occasionally be a hard sell.  Before students come in to tutoring, they’ve spent six or so hours in front of books, more or less on task.  I try to remember that all the time, but especially during reading rally–maybe even more than during writing time.  Some students come in ready.  One might just want me to mind my own book for twenty minutes while he enjoys his, while another might give my personal reading a funny look and then say something like “okay, I’m going to read The BFG to you now. Are you paying attention, or what?”  (That happened. It was delightful, and I wish I could sheepishly put my book away and listen to her read Roald Dahl every afternoon.  Obviously.) Continue reading “Reading with the Reluctant”

Interesting Student Disinterest


By Rajiv Haque

Let’s face it, some kids don’t like school. Even if they do like school, they still pretend like they hate the magical land of learning. More specifically, students, like all humanoid creatures, have subjects they like and dislike. As a creative writing center, one of the primary challenges we face is engaging students to write. As tutors, that challenge further filters through to the homework we assist kids with. Is it our job to make a kid like writing? Math? Underwater basket weaving? If it is our job, how far do we push it before we risk alienating the child and becoming yet another fish in the vast sea of authoritative adults in their lives? Continue reading “Interesting Student Disinterest”

I’m Not a “Math Person”

2306958.main_imageby Shannon Monson

More often than not when I try to enlist friends to volunteer I am met with this reaction: “I am so terrible at math! I wouldn’t be able to help kids with their homework.”  I felt the same apprehension before I started tutoring. Long division? Multiplying fractions? No thanks! But once you get started you quickly realize that those fears were silly, and the homework isn’t all that intimidating. Here are a few tips for helping students with math, when you are not so confident in your own abilities. Continue reading “I’m Not a “Math Person””