In sixteen years of being a private tutor (more like an “accidental educator”), I have enjoyed business growth (including growing pains), at least up until Covid had its way with us.
After receiving an email this summer from the Office of Academic Affairs and Integrity, asking for an interview in response to a student’s request for an investigation into a cheating allegation, I got to thinking about my answer to a frequently asked question.
“Why aren’t you a millionaire, with all of this online school?” my friends have inquired over the past year.
Good question. Three reasons, I tell them (as I see it):
If the material is easier, you can use your notes, and cheating opportunities abound…who needs a tutor?
Unfortunately, the chickens are eventually going to come home to roost. For example, students who were forced largely to self-teach Chemistry 1 at the college level will be entering Chemistry 2 as we sloooowly return to the classroom, and there are unavoidable hunks and gaps missing in their knowledge base.
My fear is that instructors will do one of two things, neither of which are ideal:
It’s going to be a heavy lift, and it’s going to last for a few semesters. Who knows when “normal” will ever happen again, or what the new educational frontier will look like?
What we have learned is that opportunities abound for students to get the help they need. However, it’s not going to fall into their laps, and some effort will need to be put forth. Not fun, not easy, but oh so very worth it.
Personally, one thing the pandemic has taught me is that time is a finite resource, and I have choices for how to spend it. So do students. So do you.
Believe thou me, I have fallen into the Netflix-and-Candy-Crush trap, looking up only when my stomach growls loudly enough to make me realize it’s three p.m. and I’m still couch-locked in my jammies.
I think back to a section of study in my coaching training, when we focused on the Have-Do-Be model.
I realize that the answers to the first two questions depend on my deep, hard look at the third — I’ll have and do nothing (of real quality) if I’m not actively developing whom I want to be.
And that’s where it’s time for the students – all of us, students of school and students of life – to take some initiative and personal resolve and accountability for how we spend our time, and on what.
Sure, Netflix is fine…but, like everything…used in moderation.