Tutoring: Building Relationships First

One of the biggest misconceptions about tutoring is that a student who receives these services is doing something ‘wrong’ that is causing him or her to be behind peers. Not only is this perspective untrue, but it is also damaging.

At Donnelly’s Daily Apple, we provide tutoring to ALL students, regardless of their age, grade, or academic level. Receiving tutoring in a subject area, on a specific area of curriculum, or simply as additional support does not mean that something is ‘wrong’ with a student.

We see our tutoring services as a way to connect more deeply with students, to provide alternatives to traditional programs, and to find the perfect educational ‘fit’ in order for our students to prosper academically, socially, and emotionally.

In order to do this, we focus on a ‘relationships first’ perspective.

#1: We believe that learning is personal

What does this mean? Well, we believe that just as each student is different, so is the process in which he or she learns. In the academic sense, this means that what works for one student may not work for another.

For example, one student may thrive with virtual learning because he is able to go at a self-directed, faster pace. Another student may thrive on hands-on aspects of learning and will only be successful in a place where she can manipulate items and converse with her peers.

We believe that learning is personal in the sense that the curriculum must be personalized, yes, but that there needs to be a basis of a relationship in order to make the learning happen more purposefully.

When a student feels seen, heard, and respected, he or she will be more receptive to learning. When a relationship between the tutor/teacher and the student is developed, there will be a level of safety, comfort, and rapport that leads to long-term development (socially, academically, and personally).

So, we focus on building relationships with ALL of our clients—students, parents, families, and outside support teams.

#2: We believe that a positive instructor-student match is critical

With a simple Google search, one can find tutors/teachers and private educational programs everywhere.

What makes us different is that we prioritize creating a positive match between instructor and student. Tutoring services, in our perspective, should be relationship-focused. Sure, you can prosper in an ‘okay’ relationship, but you can THRIVE in a healthy, nurturing one.

Our goal is to provide tutoring services with a prioritization of positive and empowering relationships.

#3: We Believe in honoring our students’ perspectives, too

How often does a student get to make educationally-related decisions for him/herself?

Unfortunately, not that often (especially when the student is younger). While we, of course, value leadership teams, parent/guardian perspectives, and expert opinions, what sets us apart is that we also see the students themselves as a critical part of the learning.

Student buy-in is important and we create space in our tutoring services for students to have their own thoughts and opinions about how they learn, what they like/don’t like, and what they may want to change.

While this doesn’t necessarily mean we will shift things at first student complaint, what it does mean is that we focus on relationships and rapport—a student has an opinion about his/her learning (and should be allowed to). Oftentimes, students know themselves far better than us ‘experts’ give them credit for.

Ready to invest in tutoring?

We offer tutoring services to students of all ages, grades, and learning levels. We are located in San Diego, California, but we operate virtually as well. If you are ready to invest in a personalized educational experience or supplement your current program, contact us!

We would be honored to work with you.

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