The Impact of One-on-One Tutoring

Educator Stephen Barnhart working one-on-one with scholars at Ascension Catholic School. 

As the school year progresses for our Teach for Christ Educators, we are beginning to see one of the program’s goals come to fruition. One-on-one tutoring and small group instruction provide a time for our educators to connect with students on a deeper level. These profound encounters have a lasting impact on educator and student alike, as both enter into a learning experience, built upon a relationship of trust and understanding.

“Working one-on-one with a child is a precious opportunity,” expressed Angelyn Von Rueden, a Teach for Christ Educator assigned to Ascension Catholic School in North Minneapolis.

“It allows me to provide students with individual attention, which in turn makes them feel more loved and supported. These interactions allow me to see and praise a child’s strengths, while also providing the environment to address that child’s needs.”

TfC Educator Colby Cantillon works with high school students at Chesterton Academy in Edina, MN. Working with these students requires a more advanced, but equally caring approach.

“I often tutor during free periods. In this capacity, I help students find answers by providing them with leading questions. For more complex subjects, this involves analyzing student responses, and restating these responses back to the students in order to guide them to sound answers.”

Much research has been undertaken in the pursuit of knowing just how much of an impact these settings can have on students. For instance, one U.S. Department of Education study summarizing research on almost 100 volunteer tutoring programs concluded: “Students with below-average reading skills who are tutored by volunteers show significant gains in reading skills,” as well as more positive attitudes toward school.  Other studies on the part of private institutions back the U.S. Department of Education’s findings, like the Read 2 Me program’s comprehensive study into the effectiveness of one-on-one tutoring, which concludes that volunteer efforts like Teach for Christ not only improve student achievement for elementary school children, but also help to foster more positive attitudes toward learning.

 Further proof of the success of our one-on-one tutoring initiatives can be found from feedback provided by the teachers we serve.   

“[TfC Educators] Betsy Peloquin and Luke Brunsvold work with students one-on-one as well as a small group of third graders on a daily basis” says Shannon Ward, 3rd & 4th Grade Teacher at St. John Paul II Catholic Preparatory School.

“I have heard and seen first hand, the progress that students have already made thanks to their efforts. There is a measurable difference in student progress as a result of their help.”  

We are excited to witness the results of what the TfC Educators have been able to do, thanks to one-on-one teaching! Our Educators help their school communities differentiate instruction for learners with varying abilities. Their efforts are especially important in ensuring that students at risk of falling behind have an equal opportunity to learn and grow with their classmates. Let us ask the intercession of Blessed John Henry Newman, as this lay apostolate inspires a new generation of young scholars.    


Kendra Posch