Fighting the Stigma Against Tutoring

Sean Stewart

One aspect of teaching that I had often overlooked is one on one tutoring. The reasons for this are that it normally occurs outside of normal school hours and it is heavily stigmatized. However, one on one tutoring is one of the best methods to raise student efficacy and help one improve their academics.

When I was in middle and high school, I remember there being flyers for after-school tutoring from older students. Unsurprisingly, these opportunities were not taken seriously by most and were not used effectively. Talking to some people, I got the impression that getting tutoring was the academic equivalent of having leprosy. One reason for this that many people do not think about is the nature of tutoring being after school. As students, the last thing we want to do is spend more time at school, so why would anyone willingly spend more time after school doing more schoolwork. Most students view homework as a death sentence. Adding tutoring on top of that would be a date worse than death.

Another reason, and probably the biggest one, that tutoring is not more successful in schools is the stigma that surrounds it. Most people do not view tutoring as a positive way of learning. They think of it as a negative. The common thought about someone in tutoring is that they’re stupid or not good enough. This attitude needs to end. Tutoring is a responsible way to improve academic performance and knowledge. There should be nothing wrong about wanting to make oneself better. 

In my experience, students who are tutored one on one perform better in classes that they struggle with. This is because instead of the teacher catering their instruction to the middle of the class, the student is receiving specialized instruction that is designed for them. When a student struggles, one on one tutoring is one of, if not, the best options to help them. 

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