Monday, September 17, 2007

What does it take for a student to succeed?

Nicole White, who is a Public Service Fellow from Northwestern University wrote a summary of an article by Paul Tough in the New York Times Magazine, titled "What it takes to Make a Student.

You can read Nicole's article here.

In the conclusion to Tough's article he challenges us to consider whether we have the will power to build the types of programs needed to reach and help more kids get the type of learning support they need to compete with more affluent kids. I think this challenge should be one of how do we provide the resources to help these kids compete with kids in China, India and other countries who are doing more to prepare their kids for 21st century jobs.

The reason I support volunteer-based tutoring/mentoring is not that it expands the network of adults working to help kids move through school and into careers, but that the involvement of volunteers in the lives of these kids can expand the number of adults who are personally connected and willing to sacrifice more to help kids who are not their own.

Unless we expand the number of people personally involved, and reading articles like Tough's, we'll never have the national will-power to make the investments in learning and mentoring that are needed all over the country.

Agree? Don't agree? Why not come to the November Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference and connect with others who operat tutor/mentor programs, or who understand how important they are to workforce development and diversity strategies.

2 comments:

Sanjay said...

Did you hire a tutor from myhwsolution.com . They help you out with your homework, give a homework solution and help you learn the material.

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

One of the goals of the article, and the Tutor/Mentor Connection is to help people understand the different challenges that poverty puts on kids which are not as common in more affluent areas.

Many families in high poverty areas don't have the money to hire a tutor, and often don't have the money for a computer or internet access. Thus while excellent on-line and place based tutoring may be available, access is limited.

Another lesson we're trying to teach isthe role of the mentor, being different than the role of a professional tutor. A mentor works on aspirations, habits, motivation, then serves as a tutor, to help kids do the work to reach these goals. Depending on the level of motivation and learning a youth brings to a tutor/mentor program, there may be many more hours of mentoring befor there is any tutoring.

The professional tutor is successful because the student is already self motivated, or family motivated, to take advantaged. However, because of the costs, the professional tutor will only be part of a youth's life for a short time, measured in weeks or months. A mentor might be involved for years.