Why have a teacher-tutor kickoff meeting?
Teachers and tutors both work better when they work together. Tutors can drastically increase both the actual and perceived effectiveness of their tutoring sessions by building a dynamic relationship with their students’ teachers. To launch this partnership, an initial kickoff meeting helps set the stage for the rest of the year. This meeting should happen before the school year starts, so that teachers can make planning adjustments with the tutoring program in mind and tutors can start strong with students on the first day. Regardless of when your program begins, teachers will benefit from a structured introduction to the program and tutors will benefit from learning more about students before meeting them. Depending on the oversight provided through the tutoring program, this kick-off meeting may be led by the Site Director or a Senior Tutor at the school site.
Kickoff Agenda: Tutors Share
(Written) Introduction to the Tutoring Program
To formally introduce the tutoring program to teachers, share any written introduction, including the Introductory Statement to Families, ahead of the actual kick-off meeting so teachers can come with questions and have a written copy to refer back to later on.
(In-Person) Introduction to the Tutoring Program
The teacher is likely to have already received much information about the tutoring program from school administrators who established the program partnership. The tutor or program Site Director should reiterate this information as necessary and answer any questions. Let teachers ask clarifying questions about the program, interalize key points, give feedback, and flag potential challenges on the following:
- Tutoring Purpose/Mission
- How is the tutoring program positioned to students? What is its focus?
- Tutoring Logistics
- When and for how long is tutoring? Is there drop-in tutoring?
- Is the student-tutor ratio 1-on-1 or small group?
- How is tutoring attendance tracked?
- Can teachers refer students to tutoring? How and when can they do so?
- Tutoring Schedule
- If your setting is in-school: confirm tutoring schedule with teachers.
- Share the list of students who will receive tutoring
- If this list isn’t created yet or if take-up is voluntary share the student recruitment strategy instead.
- Ask for Teacher Input
- Are there any specific topics or recurring assignments (such as test corrections) teachers would like to see tutors cover with students?
- If Take-Up is Voluntary: How can teachers support recruitment?
- Ongoing Communication & Collaboration:
- What are the expectations for ongoing communication and collaboration amongst tutors and teachers? Who will coordinate this collaboration?
- What style of communication will teachers and tutors adopt? See Teacher-Tutor Communication: Continual Updates for details on different types of communication between teachers and tutors.
Kickoff Agenda: Teachers Share
Curriculum alignment ensures that tutors hold students to the same standards for content knowledge, skills, vocabulary, and methods that students are learning in class. If tutors know more about their students’ classroom curricula ahead of time, they can plan out their sessions further in advance and spend more time delivering high-quality instruction instead of building context.
Share all that apply:
- Name of Prefabricated Curriculum (or curricula, if applicable)
- Physical and/or Online Textbook (for aligning practice questions and prompts)
- Syllabus (including any class introductions, such as a letter home to families)
- Scope & Sequence/Pacing Calendar (for aligning tutoring session topic pacing)
- Unit Plans (to see prerequisites for remediation and upcoming topics for extension)
- Summative and End-Of-Year Assessments (to reverse-engineer tutoring goals)
If teachers have data to share, tutors can get a jump start on understanding their students as people and as thinkers. Academic data will help tutors minimize the amount of time they need to spend on baseline assessments to understand their students’ academic needs. Qualitative personal data will help tutors build strong relationships with students faster. And knowing what their students are like in the classroom will help tutors support students in transferring both academic and study skills from tutoring sessions into students’ time at school.
Share all that are available at time of kick-off:
- Baseline Academic Data (Quantitative)
- If no baseline data is available, is there end-of-year data from the students’ previous year (e.g. summative tests, state exams, and/or final grades)?
- Teacher Insights (Qualitative)
- What academic strengths do these students have?
- What academic struggles do these students have?
- What motivates each of these students?
- What frustrates or shuts down any of these students?
- What other student information would be helpful for tutors working with these students? Student interests, unique circumstances, etc.?
- Student Statuses
- Are any of these students classified English Language Learners/Former ELLs?
- What classroom setting(s) are these students in? (e.g. ICT, 12:1, Self-Contained, Reading Pull-Outs, etc.?)
- Do these students receive any other supports (e.g. working with an aide or paraprofessional), whether push-in or pull-out?
- Student IEPs/504 Plans
- Do any of these students have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)? Did they have one in the past?
- Do any of these students have a 504 Plan? Did they have one in the past?
- Is written permission from families needed to access these IEPs/504 Plans?
- Can a student bring a copy of their IEP/504 Plan to tutoring (if applicable)?