Meaningful Learning Experiences
Yesterday someone asked me my “why.” Why do I do what I do? Why am I so passionate about my work? My answer was simple: I care about creating meaningful learning experiences for students, in academics and beyond. To me, meaningful learning experiences can be defined by 3 core attributes. Is it worthwhile? Is it practical? Is it build on connection? In fact, when I first meet with students and families, my initial question is, “Why do you want to do this? What is your greatest hope for this tutoring?” Their answer is their why, and this helps me determine what is motivating for both parties, parents and students alike. Most often, students will say their goals include improving their grades, completing all of their assigned work, or finding a source of accountability that is not their parent.
What is Their Why?
This is a question I ask our tutors as well before I bring them onto our team. I ask them why they want to tutor with Wright Academics. Most often, tutors respond that they want to help students feel successful, confident, and empowered to have a learning experience that makes sense to them. Practical support can be incredibly motivating because it helps the individual navigate through the process. Most things are easier when you have someone sitting next to you, ready to help if you get stuck.
It’s been a blessing to be able to support our community in these situations and provide an environment where meaningful learning experiences are the norm. We have the tutors, space, mentorship, and resources to help students gain momentum in academic work and internal motivation. As I noted in a previous blog, motivation can be extremely hard to come by this time of year, specifically for older students or young adults.
To combat this motivation slump, we have been implementing shorter, more frequent accountability sessions throughout the week with the majority of our students. Instead of checking in for 1 hour, most tutors will split up that hour into chunks of 20 or 30 minutes at a time in order to provide more frequent check-ins and more applicable accountability. Some tutors will check-in with their students in the morning and at night each weekday to help with follow through. Students, both young and old, have been responding really well to this practice.
Some other practices that can help increase motivation are listed below. Some of these actions we take for granted or neglect, but they are extremely important.
- Get outside.
- Connect socially. See friends in person rather than Zoom, Xbox, social media or FaceTime.
- Schedule things you enjoy every day.
- Eat healthfully.
- Drink plenty of water.
Motivation is like a stuck car. Initially, you might need 3 or 4 people to push it at once. But when the car starts moving, its momentum makes it that much easier to push. Then, you might only need 1 or 2 people to push the car. Motivation is much the same. Initially, it takes a lot of energy to enforce a routine or do the above self-care practices. However, once you get moving and complete one task, it becomes that much easier to complete the next one and then the next one and then the next one and so on.
At the end of the day, my ultimate goal is to provide the most engaging learning experience possible for the students that come through our doors.
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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.