Interview with the first TeacherOnline parent.
This is an interview with Amelia, the first TeacherOnline parent. Amelia is American. Her interview was conducted in English.
Amelia and Zoē participated in the TeacherOnline trial.
We chose Amelia’s daughter, Zoë, for the trial because she needed help with math. Zoë has dyscalculia and is in the first year of secondary school.
At the start of her participation with TeacherOnline Zoë’s first semester math results were average. Amelia was concerned that the second semester of middle school would be more challenging than the first, which primarily consisted of review of 6thgrade material.
Zoe’s trial period with TeacherOnline began April 4, 2018 and ended June 6, 2018. It was comprised of 12 planned online tutoring sessions: three sessions in April, four sessions in May and five sessions in June.
What were your expectations when you decided to participate in the trail period?
I’m not sure what my expectations were precisely. It was clear that Zoë needed help with math to succeed in middle school. I hoped that her participation in the trial would offer that much needed support.
What were your main reasons for joining?
I want Zoë to succeed in math. I am unable to assist her in the way that she needs for a few reasons: my Dutch language skills are not adequate to comprehend her textbook very well, my abilities in math are limited and our family’s after school schedule does not allow the extra time for travelling back and forth to standard tutoring sessions.
How was the first tutoring experience?
Zoë was nervous about meeting a new tutor and having online lessons. She was reluctant to begin because she had become comfortable with her previous face-to-face tutor.
The first lesson was also imperfect because I had not sent the topic of Zoe’s math lesson to the tutor ahead of time. As a result, the teacher was unable to prepare beforehand and spent time during the lesson searching for appropriate materials.
How was the experience during the following sessions?
The second session was much better than the first because I provided her teacher with the topics and uploaded worksheets on time. This contributed a lot to a successful lesson. The remainder of the sessions went smoothly and proved very helpful in developing Zoe’s confidence with math.
What was Zoe’s impression of her teacher, Kim?
Kim was very kind, helpful and patient. She had a positive attitude, offered clear feedback and never made Zoe feel inept. Zoe always ended her lesson with a smile and a sense of accomplishment.
Did you notice a difference in her grades at school a result of TeacherOnline?
Yes, Zoë achieved 91% on her math exam in June. This was the highest score she’s received thus far in mathematics. The class average was 62% and median 59%. Although Zoe put a lot of effort into studying for her math tests, TeacherOnline tutoring sessions contributed a large part to her results. In preparation for tests, Zoe would complete exercises independently as much as possible. What she didn’t understand, she brought to Kim in the tutoring sessions.
How did you and Zoe feel after receiving such a high exam grade?
When Zoë got the results of her exam, she was thrilled and extremely proud of herself. Previously, because of her dyscalculia, she struggled tremendously to grasp concepts and keep up with the class. Zoe can succeed in math with the right support and guidance. TeacherOnline offered this. As a parent, I was happy and satisfied that my child received the help she needed.
Was there a change in your daughter’s attitude towards mathematics?
Yes. She has much more confidence, is less afraid of the new material and even started to enjoy math!
Do you think that TeacherOnline can be as effective as standard face-to-face tutoring?
Yes. Regardless of whether a student is sitting directly next to a teacher during a tutoring session or seeing them from their computer screen, they are being given individual attention. The tutor is focused on what Zoe needs.
As a parent, being able to hear the interaction between Zoe and Kim or to peek in on lessons to see how things are going is a bonus. I was not able to do this previously when she was taking face-to-face lessons.
I feel more involved in her learning.
Would you recommend TeacherOnline to other parents?
Absolutely, I already have!
Is the TeacherOnline a good way to help students who have fallen behind, missed important information in the classroom or have specific learning needs?
Yes, individual tutoring can help correct frequent errors and improve upon knowledge and skills that may have been missed at school. The teacher gets to know their student well and adapts their teaching strategies to meet each child’s individual needs.
Amelia, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. We are pleased that our tutoring services have had a positive impact on your learning. This is our goal.