One-to-one learning can give students who need extra support a much-needed boost in helping them reach their full potential.
I am proof that a one-to-one approach works.
My pre-teen years were a very painful time of life for me. Missing a great deal of school due to illness resulted in me being bullied by classmates for missing school. The bullying had a “snowball effect” on me as, the more I was bullied, the more I missed school…and the more I fell behind in my studies.
Thank goodness for the one-to-one help I received from an educational instructor that was provided to me to help me catch up on my studies. I truly believe my educational road would have taken a vastly different (and dismal) route, had I not received the help of this wonderful instructor. During a horrible period in my life, she became my friend, my confidant, my cheerleader, and the one who made sure I stayed on a path to greater learning.
There are many reasons a child may need the assistance of one-to-one learning. I recently had the chance to interview Ruth Rumack, Director of Education for Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space. Focusing on children with learning disabilities, and other exceptionalities such as ADD/ADHD, Ruth’s one-to-one approach reminds me very much of the type of educational assistance I received as a child.
Ruth, you seem to focus on a “team approach” with your Learning Space. Tell me more.
“The more communication, the better! Each child’s one-to-one teacher, known at RRLS as a Learning Specialist, communicates not only directly with parents when they pick up their child, but with other educational professionals in a child’s life, including classroom teachers, psychiatrists, resource teachers, speech and language therapists, and any other professional who could benefit from sharing strategies and progress. Learning Specialists are often invited to IPRC and IEP meetings to share valuable insights with other professionals. It may take a village to raise a child, and the same goes for educating one!”
The “one-to-one concept was exactly what I needed when I was a child having difficulties at school. How does this “one-to-one” concept work at the Learning Space?
” One Learning Specialist works with one child in one room. Distractions are limited, attention is undivided, and an hour of support is extremely focused and productive.”
How will parents know how their children are progressing in the one-to-one Learning Space program?
“Learning Specialists not only share progress informally after lessons, but also write regular reports that update parents and classroom teachers on a child’s successes, challenges, and future goals for sessions. Learning Specialists share tips for parents to support their children at home, and are available for phone conferences to discuss each and every report. “
According to my mother, my educational instructor used to spend a great deal of time prepping for our sessions, before and after. Is this similar for the learning specialists at Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space?
“The support for students is not limited to an hour of instruction. Teachers spend dedicated support hours to plan individualized lessons, take and review notes after each session, communicate with parents and classroom teachers through phone and email, and develop resources specifically for their students’ use.”
I have heard that some children with disorders such as ADHD have a hard time sitting still and focusing on their learning. How does Learning Space account for each child’s individual learning requirements?
“Each new student at RRLS participates in an informal assessment before beginning lessons. Strengths, needs, interests, learning styles, and psycho-educational reports (if applicable) all inform the planning and program that a student will have. Many students are such active learners that frequently a student’s planning will incorporate kinesthetic, whole body activities to reinforce whatever concept is being taught. A large program room in the back of RRLS provides the physical movement many kids need to stay mentally engaged. It’s not uncommon to see students bouncing down the hallway while reviewing a spelling concept, or hear hockey and math combine in the program room!”
Children with learning difficulties, and other problems, often have difficulty with change. They also need help from specialists who understand these difficulties and problems. How does the Ruth Rumack Learning Space make sure its instructors are qualified for the job, and are a “good fit” for students?
“No matter how great an academic program is, a teacher’s enthusiasm, knowledge, and experience takes it to the next level. Learning Specialists at RRLS are full-time, Ontario certified teachers with a wealth of classroom and one-to-one experience. Teachers may have additional qualifications, specializations, and degrees in their fields. They all continually upgrade their knowledge and training through sharing ideas and resources, attaining additional qualifications outside of teaching hours, and attending professional development workshops. Associate Directors of Education and the Director of Education act as resources to support teachers’ planning and goal setting. Many students have the same Learning Specialist for years at a time, who acts as a resource for students’ new classroom teachers, making yearly transitions that much easier.”