kitchen table math, the sequel: it's good to be rich

Saturday, June 13, 2009

it's good to be rich

I was out for a run with C. and the dogs, and, since we don't have sidewalks, passing cars were having to stop so I could clear the dogs off to the side of the road.

After a late model European sedan slowed for us, C. said, "That was Ms. Xxxx."

Math teacher in the district.*

"Really?" I said. "She's probably here to tutor somebody." I was joking.

"She tutors so-and-so," C. said matter of factly.

Sure enough. When we got to so-and-so's house, there was the late model European sedan parked out front.

Funny how you can search far and wide in the effective schools literature and never find an expert recommending that teachers set up shop as private tutors for their own district's students.

* for passersby: roughly 1900 children in K-12, per pupil spending $26,718 rising to $27,722 next year

1 comment:

Kate Nowak said...

I teach in a district with many wealthy families.

Some of the teachers at my school drive very nice cars. They are all married to someone who makes alot more than we do.

Some parents would hire a tutor whether their child needs it or not. They feel like if they don't, they're not doing everything they can.

I don't think tutors are particularly helpful, for several reasons.

In my experience the main benefit of a tutor is that it compels students who tend to blow off/copy assignments to sit and focus on math for at least an hour a week.

I prefer my students not get tutored because they sometimes cop an attitude in class like they don't have to pay attention, because the tutor will teach it to them later. (This is not very many students...just an obnoxious, overprivileged few.) Overall it sends a message that parents don't trust teachers to get the job done.

All that being said, most of my students don't have tutors. They participate in learning activities and complete the work I ask them to, and we get good results.