Building an Educational Village: The Power of High-Impact Tutoring

June 24, 2024

For ten years, Saga Education has been at the forefront of a movement shattering the one-size-fits-all mold in education. We believe every student deserves personalized attention, and every teacher, a supportive village. That’s why we champion high-impact tutoring, a transformative approach that empowers educators and unlocks student potential. As we celebrate a decade of impact, let’s explore the power of this model and how it can revolutionize your classroom.

Chris Dupuis, Chief of Direct Service Program at Saga Education, shares high-impact tutoring helps reduce teacher burnout by providing a supportive community for educators. Additionally, tutors are viewed as amplifiers of effort, rather than substitutes, allowing teachers to have more time and space to share their expertise.

Key Takeaways:

  • High-Impact Tutoring Provides Individualized Support: The traditional classroom model struggles to cater to each student’s unique needs. High-impact tutoring bridges this gap by offering personalized attention that fills knowledge gaps and ignites a love for learning.
  • High-Impact Tutoring Empowers Students and Teachers: Students who previously struggled gain confidence and develop a growth mindset. Teachers benefit from a collaborative environment where tutors act as “force multipliers,” alleviating workload and fostering a sense of community.
  • High-Impact Tutoring Overcomes Teacher Burnout: The pressure of catering to diverse needs can lead to teacher burnout. High-impact tutoring offers a research-backed solution by providing additional support, fostering open communication, and creating a more manageable workload.
  • High-Impact Tutoring Requires a Shift in Mindset: Initial anxieties about being replaced by tutors may arise. However, open communication and a focus on student-centered learning can dispel these fears and create a collaborative “educational village.”

The Crushing Burden of Meeting Every Student’s Needs

As teachers, we’ve all felt that overwhelming feeling of having too many plates spinning at once in the classroom. With 30 or more students at varying levels, how can we meet each student’s unique needs? The cognitive load is immense – monitoring understanding through body language and expressions, adjusting lessons on the fly, and differentiating for diverse abilities. It’s unsustainable for even the most skilled teachers to do it alone.

Discovering the Power of High-Impact Tutoring

This was my experience for years until I discovered the transformative power of high-impact tutoring. At Match Education in Boston, I was surrounded by a “village” of support – not just fellow teachers, but also tutors dedicated to my students. Suddenly, I had a team ensuring each student stayed in that “productive struggle” zone, receiving personalized attention to fill knowledge gaps or extend their learning.

From Disengaged to Empowered Learners: The Transformative Impact

The impact was truly transformative. Students who had previously disengaged or lacked confidence blossomed as they developed relationships with their tutors. I witnessed their beliefs about themselves shift from ‘I’m just not a math person’ to active, empowered learners advocating for their needs. This shift in mindset was not only inspiring for the students but also for me as an educator, as it demonstrated the true potential for growth and learning that high-impact tutoring can unlock.

From Replacements to Force Multipliers: Fostering Collaboration

Of course, integrating tutors into an established school culture can bring about some initial challenges. Teachers may feel a sense of threat, triggering insecurities about being exposed or becoming obsolete. However, by fostering a culture of vulnerability and open communication, these fears can be alleviated. It’s important for teachers to understand that tutors are not replacements, but rather, they are force multipliers that enable deeper impact. This reassurance can help foster an interdependent relationship where everyone is rowing in the same student-centered direction, making each educator feel secure and valued in the process.

High-Impact Tutoring: Personalized Support & Collaborative Community

The high-impact tutoring model provides the individualized support every student deserves and the collaborative community every teacher needs to thrive truly. It’s a research-backed solution to the enduring challenge of meeting all students where they are. 

Disrupting Isolation: Building an Educational Village

If we’re tired of chasing educational fads and want transformational change, we must disrupt the traditional isolated classroom model. When schools embrace building an educational village around every student, we’ll finally shatter the one-size-fits-all myth and unlock meaningful learning experiences for all.

Chris Dupuis has worked in education for nearly 30 years, spending 20 of those years as a high school math and science teacher and, at times, an instructional leader among his peers.  After working in New Hampshire schools, a Boston charter school and an American School in the Netherlands, Chris joined Saga Education as a full-time staff member, serving in various roles including Chief Academic Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and now the Chief of Direct Service Programs.  Through it all, he remains dedicated to a single passion–access to and equity in high-quality education for all students.