Education students make a difference through virtual tutoring

For K-12 students that needed one-on-one help with school work, the pandemic has proved particularly challenging. Thankfully, students from the School of Education stepped up last semester to provide virtual tutoring to area students.

About 250 future teachers from the School of Education participated in virtual tutoring either as a service learning and field experience or as volunteers, helping around 200 students. The overall reaction to the program was positive, according to Tyna Hunnicutt, Director of Early Field Experiences.

“The benefit to our students getting the experience and the kids needing tutoring was a win-win for sure,” she said. “We hope to continue it into the future as it has been a wonderful way to connect our students with kids that need tutoring.”

Helping both future teachers and students is just one way the School of Education found a positive out of virtual learning, says Interim Dean Anastasia Morrone.

The benefit to our students getting the experience and the kids needing tutoring was a win-win.

Tyna Hunnicutt

“The positive response to this program speaks for itself,” Dean Morrone remarked. “There is nothing more important than education, and I’m so thankful to our students and staff for organizing and volunteering to be a part of this program. It’s just one more example of how our school came together during such a challenging time.”

Plans are already underway to continue virtual tutoring in the spring, with a signup link to be posted soon on the School of Education’s Twitter and Facebook pages. Hunnicutt said the school is also coordinating with other tutoring programs, including Homework Help and IU Student Success Corps.

And though the semester didn’t afford the same opportunities for education students, participating in virtual tutoring has helped them recoup some of those experiences.

“Tutoring affords you the opportunity to learn more about building relationships with students and facilitating their learning. The program was most readily beneficial to those early in their program – those getting ready to student teach are feeling the pressure of putting it all together, and some are understandably disappointed that the pandemic has changed so much about their preparation. We got feedback that many did find the tutoring a beneficial way to learn more about online teaching and tutoring strategies,” Hunnicutt said.