Coaching with Connection
Students who come to us as Wright Academics often say one of two things. First, “I just need to try harder.” Second, “I really want to do the work, but I just can’t make myself do it.” Often, these students are bright, curious, and creative, but they struggle to stay on top of their work. They often feel like they are in a hole they cannot get out of causing them to feel defeated, paralyzed, and overwhelmed. These students feel like they are spinning their wheels but getting nowhere.
This difficult, stressful point in a student’s education is often where we meet them. They have tried the major tutoring companies to no avail. If anything, the major tutoring companies cause these students to feel less confident and more stressed. Why? Because the major tutoring companies focus solely on the content the child is learning. At Wright Academics, we embrace a holistic approach that takes into account the student as a person rather than the person as a student. Most importantly, we value relationship.
Instead of a tutor, Wright Academics offers students a coach, someone to meet students where they are and develop a personalized plan to help them not just learn content but learn skills that will help them be successful in life. The relationship aspect of coaching is by far the most crucial because it is the first step to helping a student feel empowered and confident enough to try out the new skills we offer. Our coaches offer motivation, encouragement, and a steady presence to guide students through the difficulties they may be facing.
Maybe this process sounds like something you or your student could benefit from…if so, continue reading to learn more about our approach to learning.
Aside from the logistical components (scheduling, content, frequency,) we ask new students a few key questions that help us pair them with a coach the student can relate to. In an in-person meeting, we will start out by asking the student what they like to do. Often, this tells us a few things about them. First, their answer tells us what type of learner they are. If a student likes to draw, often they are a visual learner, or if a student likes to play sports, they will probably learn best through movement. Second, the student’s answer reveals their strengths. Nearly everyone likes to do what they are good at and students are no different. If students like to draw or play sports, chances are those areas are their strengths. By asking the student what they enjoy, we are able to pair the student with a tutor who has similar interests or strengths.
Next, we ask the student to evaluate their school, home, and social life on a scale of 1-10. There is a large emotional component when it comes to children who are struggling to keep up in school and getting more information about their feelings and circumstances outside of school helps us to serve the child in the most effective way possible.
You may be thinking, This sounds wonderful but, practically, how do you help students improve? Fantastic question! We offer help with content, of course, but we also focus on executive functioning skills. Often, students do not struggle with the knowledge a course presents but the roadmap for how to complete their work and stay on track with assignments.
Our coaches help students figure out a schedule and an organizational approach that works best for them. Some students do well with planners while others prefer reminders on their phones. Accordion folders are an effective organizational tool for some students while others have more success with subject binders. The bottom line? There is no one way to learn, and we offer structure and resources for students to discover the ways that THEY learn best! So often education is about the student adapting to the learning environment rather than adapting the learning environment to fit the student’s needs.
We offer regular check-ins with our students outside of coaching sessions and provide parents with detailed notes after every session. If the parent feels comfortable, our coaches can be liaisons to the student’s school as well. Our goal is to keep everyone on the same page and offer the student a team of powerful, encouraging resources to help them succeed.
Our coaches are more like mentors for our students, and we emphasize connection. Without connection, tutoring is a waste of time, energy, and money because the student’s underlying issues are never addressed. With a coach who takes the time to get to know a student, the coach is able to provide that student with skills that will equip the student to better handle any course, challenge, or change life throws at them in a productive, healthy way.
So much of the student, coach, and family relationship spills over into more than just academics. We have helped students with everything from formatting college essays and applications, finding an apartment, securing a job, or figuring out their next step in life. In fact, working with a coach typically improves the parent-child relationship because some of the pressure is relieved. Parents no longer feel like they need to be constantly hovering over their child, yet they get to experience their student’s growth.
What’s the best thing about doing what we do? Seeing a student’s confidence grow. So often, we see a beaten down, flat student come into our office, and a few sessions later, we start to see them connect with their coach. Maybe we notice a smile creeping back onto their face. After a bit more time, that beaten down kid is laughing, collaborating with others, and genuinely enjoying coming to our office! Seeing a student grow and feel empowered is the BEST reward! There are so many students out there that need a coach to believe in them and meet them where they are.
We feel grateful and blessed to provide an experience to students, parents, and families that fosters the connection and relationship we all so desperately need to flourish in our academic journey and beyond!
Interested in finding a tutor specific to your child’s needs? Learn more about Wright Academics here.
About Evelyn Wright
Evelyn Wright is the Director of Wright Academics, a tutoring business created to target kids’ specific needs. Her passion is helping students and families succeed so that they achieve their maximum potential in and out of the classroom.
With over 25 years of experience working with children and their families in public and private schools, as well as in private practice, Evelyn’s focus is understanding the individual’s learning profile, guiding families of children with learning differences and matching students to the tutor or coach that best fits the student. She believes in not only matching educational needs to the right tutor’s skills, but matching a student to the tutor with the right personality.