Question: “My 7th grade student just started a new middle school in January and is having difficulty catching up. She wasn’t enrolled for a couple of months because the family was moving and they are on different material. How can I help her?”
Cathie Alter: I think it’s important to confirm that change is difficult for everyone, but many times it turns out to be better than what you had in the past. I recommend spending time talking about her new school, teachers and students. Let her know that you’re there to help her, and if you work together, she’ll catch up very quickly.
Pat Bayha: Oftentimes, the English vocabulary and social studies material will be online. You can work on it as you tutor weekly. Vocabulary tests are easy to create, as well.
Amanda Carr: As the other tutors emphasize, it’s important to let your student feel supported. Since students miss so much school as they move, they can often get overwhelmed. Work with your student on the subject(s) she needs the most help with. Often this might be math, since mathematical principles are built upon progressively.
You might also see about getting permission to contact your student’s teachers. Usually they will meet with students and ensure they receive any work they’ve missed and help them get caught up. They might have material for you to review with her. Remember that teachers are busy, however, and may not respond to your request.
Last, remember you can’t complete all of the student’s homework each week. Your tutoring hour is best spent on making sure she understands the most fundamental concepts in math and English language arts.
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