What We Do: Strengthen Partnerships with Parents and Teachers

2. We Respect and Partner with Your Child’s Teacher

From the moment you invite us to be a part of your child’s academic team, there is a flurry of activity behind the scenes. We prepare a packet of information for your child’s teacher and deliver it to the school within days of the Parent Orientation.  On delivery day, an explanatory email is sent to the teacher requesting a brief meeting to talk about your child.

This meeting is a professional collaboration between two teachers, working together in your child’s best interest!  What a powerful service for your child!  This is actually a rare benefit for an after-school tutoring program that sets us apart.

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We use the information from the meeting with your child’s teacher to streamline our services to your student, ensuring that their time spent with us is relevant to class.

Although we are getting to know your student personally and academically, collaboration is a dynamic tool for excellence in any business — especially education!  Over the last school year, I’ve had dozens of collaborative meetings with a variety of teachers, and every single time, I’ve walked away with some actionable nugget of insight about my student that I was able to use to optimize their program.

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A Word About Teachers

My own teaching experience instilled a deep respect for the job set before those who aspire to teach.   Even the most dedicated, gifted, organized teaching professional can be overwhelmed as they attempt to balance a multitude of data-driven details while at the same time, establishing and maintaining a student-driven relationship with anywhere between 25 and 125 students of varying learning styles, backgrounds, and personalities.

My perspective about teaching comes from a strong community-service background.  I was raised in a family that deeply values public service. My dad was a Detective Sergeant with the local police force; my mother taught school, tennis, crafting, and Sunday School.  If volunteering was happening somewhere in our small community, my mother was in the middle of it, very likely with my sister and I in tow.  The two of us were blessed with these community-oriented role models, and we were both, not surprisingly, drawn to public service, also.   I explain this to help our parents understand that The Tutoring Center, Greer’s philosophy toward our teachers as well as our students is service-oriented.   As we help our students, we support our teachers.  I have so many emails from local teachers who express appreciation for the changes they’ve witnessed in their students through our efforts.  These messages are quite meaningful to me.

From the very first email, I let our teachers know that I highly value their time.  The teacher realizes that when we can help our student, it also helps the teacher.  Our collaborative meetings are brief and loaded with pertinent information.   We share data and observations as we form a new partnership, focused on one student’s best path to success.  I’m cognizant that this partnership not only benefits the singular student, but sends ripples of cooperation and goal-sharing across that classroom and the school.  I’m honored to perform my role in this work.

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Additionally, one thing The Tutoring Center, Greer cannot know without teacher collaboration is if student’s behavior is a barrier to their best performance.  If the teacher cites behavior, we have an app for that!  (OK, not an app, but a great form) After explaining to the teacher how they can use the Weekly Performance Sheet (WPS) to shape the student’s behavior, we present the form to the student in a positive way, by reiterating what their teacher has likely told them many times – how they spend class time is reflected by their grades.  We explain to students that if they focus on improving the three behavioral items on the WPS, their teacher and I believe their grades will improve.  We encourage the student to join us in this experiment, and The Tutoring Center, Greer attaches the prospect of Toy Store Bucks to each good weekly performance.

THE WEEKLY PERFORMANCE SHEET WORKS.

The combination of awesome tutoring and a tight teacher/parent/tutor partnership has been the ticket to higher grades, improved understanding, and elevated maturity.

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Next week, check out one more thing we do for you:    We Pay Attention to Your Child!

 

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1.  The Diagnostic Assessment 

Before you’ve even decided to work with us, we give your family a valuable gift! For no charge, we administer the nationally recognized Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement (KTEA) to your student. As I’ve discovered in the past year of tutoring service to the Greenville / Greer area, the value of the KTEA exceeds the waived $150.00 cost.  

Many of our students come to us because, for different reasons, their academic performances don’t match their abilities.  Parents sometimes request, or are invited to, meetings at school to consult with teachers and other educational professionals to pinpoint their child’s barriers to success.  Even under the best circumstances, this can be a daunting moment in a parent’s life.

The Tutoring Center, Greer is happy to attend these meetings as an additional support for our parents.  Our Head Instructor is a certified teacher who can help parents know what to expect at these meetings and can de-brief them later, if needed.  She frequently brings pertinent data to school meetings and shares when asked.

The KTEA we administer to all of our students is also administered by Greenville County Schools, so our tutors and school officials are speaking the same language and are on the same page!   This one fact is a great comfort to many of our parents.

Do you know what RTI means?  What happens at an IEP? The educational profession has its own language.  Although the school psychologist at one meeting last year patiently explained terms and meanings to the parents, learning a new language during what can be an intense meeting about your child’s educational progress can cause you to feel that you’ve forgotten something, that you missed something, that you didn’t understand everything….

Our families have a certified teacher who will:

    • attend interdisciplinary meetings with you 
    • provide data to the team that may give important insight about your child 
    • listen and take notes, and 
    • answer any questions that remain, or explain terms or processes after the meeting

To me, speaking as a parent, this service is priceless! 

Some of the most heart-warming conversations I’ve had with parents have been after these meetings.  I think when we’re there with them in these meetings, and we speak for them and their children, they see that we love their child, too.

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The KTEA pays even more dividends for our Tutoring Center, Greer families. Part of our service is teacher contact, and the KTEA factors heavily in that.  One of the tools we use to track each student’s progress with his or her teacher is comparing our KTEA scores with classroom performance.  Our initiative to collaborate with your child’s teacher strengthens the educational team around your child.

    • We deliver the KTEA to the teacher, and 
    • schedule a collaborative meeting to compare our scores with the teacher’s observations.
    • We immediately implement any pertinent information gleaned from the collaboration into the student’s program to make The Tutoring Center as relevant to class as possible.
    • We attempt to check in with teachers periodically to gauge success.

After 40 sessions, the student sits for another KTEA to gauge growth, and we follow the collaborative process again…

As fantastic as the gift of the KTEA is, it’s only the first thing we do for our families!  Check here next week to see what more we can do for your child!

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A Peek Inside The Tutoring Center, Greer: What We Do

A Peek Inside The Tutoring Center, Greer

See what our families are saying about us!!     IMG_1047

     There are two carefully arranged rooms, furnished in bright primary colors, tucked into the Thornblade Publix Shopping Center. Personal celebrations percolate through these rooms every day. I wish everyone could see the meaningful smiles that we see from precious children and young adults when their focused attention to academics begins to change the way they think about school and themselves.

     Here is the basic equation for this miraculous shift in perspective as I’ve seen it play out in The Tutoring Center:

  1. The Tutoring Center method of academic support* leads to increased understanding.
  2. Increased understanding leads to increased success.
  3. Increased success boosts confidence.
  4. Increased confidence makes students aware that school is not a scary place designed for their personal embarrassment and frustration.  They discover that they can ‘do school’, and this discovery creates waves of synergistic growth in other areas like intrinsic motivation, critical thinking, hope, goal-setting, and so much more.

There is so much to say about the power of The Tutoring Center program! When I decided to regularly share specific information and experiences through our blog, I thought about what inside information parents, or prospective parents, of our students would want to know about:

  • what we do,
  • why we do it,
  • and what, specifically, makes The Tutoring Center in Greer unique in a sea of tutoring options in the Greenville/ Greer/ Taylors area.

I welcome parents and interested stakeholders in education to check in with us weekly for a look at what we’re doing for students and their families.  We have a winning system; an exemplary, dedicated staff; and a peer-reviewed, proven system of instruction.  We also have a heart for young people who are striving to improve.  We love being the coaching staff running alongside your student as he or she stretches past previous barriers!

Next week’s blog entry will discuss in more detail examples of what we do for our families.

How This All Got Started

My name is Zack Rish. My wife and I moved to Greenville in 2010. Originally from rural Georgia, I earned a scholarship to Clemson University for a Master’s Program. During my time in Clemson, I absolutely fell in love with Upstate South Carolina and decided to make the Greenville area my permanent home. Upon moving to Greenville I was hired as a History professor at Greenville Technical College. During my four years there I designed my class by utilizing the best instruction techniques I encountered as a student and applied it to my own class.
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The result was an amazing experience. It was obvious that my students felt respected and engaged. One of the greatest joys in my life is witnessing a student transition from experiencing frustration and apprehension to exuding enthusiasm and confidence. I loved going to work every day. I have always believed that the foundation of a healthy society is a education system that works for the children and respects the family unit. As many parents know all to well, the “system” doesn’t always work this way. Even wonderful teachers can become so overwhelmed by the bureaucracy associated with education that it can take away from their passion to teach.
When I learned about the Tutoring Center, and saw their amazing success rate with students, and witnessed children who genuinely enjoyed coming to the center, I knew I wanted to be a part of that team. I am extremely happy to bring the Tutoring Center, and all its amazing benefits to my community. I look forward to helping make Greer and Greenville an even better place!

Lee Rish – Head Instructor

Lee Rish, our Head Instructor, might be the best teacher on the planet. As the Center Director, I feel blessed that I am able to bring such an amazing educator to the Greenville area. Ms. Rish has been a certified teacher in California, Georgia and now she brings her talents to South Carolina. Ms. Rish has taught students of all socioeconomic backgrounds at the elementary, middle-School and high school level. But her resume, including a Master’s Degree, is overshadowed by her ability to reach children of all personality types and of every skill level. What’s her secret? Apart from an extreme passion for helping children, she has an uncanny ability to relate to kids, quickly identify their academic obstacle and implement a FUN, personalized approach.

Our classrooms feature an intensive learning environment that combines “The Rotational Approach to Learning” and One-To-One Instruction. Both methods were developed by Edward S.Thalheimer, Ph.D., founder of THE TUTORING CENTER. Our innovative system gives your child far more One-to-One Instruction than he or she will ever receive in a classroom full of children, or even in a small group.

You have many choices available for your child, and we want you to make the choice that’s in your child’s best interest. For instance, many schools provide after-school tutoring or intervention programs for students who are having difficulty in school, and maybe your child has been offered one in the past. Even though these programs are free to families, current research indicates that these programs are inefficient and time-consuming. Since they focus mostly on completing your child’s homework, they can not offer you a permanent solution. While school-based tutoring may provide your child with short-term homework help, THE TUTORING CENTER‘s intensive One-to-One Instruction and “The Rotational Approach to Learning™” actually provide your child with long-term skills that will last a lifetime.

TAKE THE FIRST STEP NOW!