The Reading Assessment and Instruction course in the Department of Teacher Education has recently started Zoom tutoring with elementary students.
Dr. Andrew Huddleston, associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education, said in this upper-level course students would have normally gone out and tutored a small group of students in an elementary school. Due to COVID-19, the school districts are not allowing students to do in-person tutoring.
Students tutors have found one child each to tutor through Zoom for the spring semester. They will conduct eight, 45-minute tutoring sessions with the child.
Huddleston said the student tutors have been very grateful for the opportunity to still be able to get some kind of experience in working with children.
“It’s kind of a way that things have changed during COVID, but we’ve still been able to meet most of our course objectives,” Huddleston said. “The ACU students really like it because it gives them a way to still interact with children, which is something that they’re kind of missing out on.”
There have been a few challenges that have come with Zoom tutoring. Huddleston said technology issues along with managing and keeping the child on task are things the student tutors have had to learn how to handle.
“It is very different trying to find books that are e-books that you can put up on the screen,” Grace Frank, junior elementary education major from Allen, said. “Also, not being able to physically hand them books or see them in person.”
Frank said trying to establish a personal connection with the child over a screen has been a challenge.
Despite the challenges, the Zoom tutoring has been a good experience for the student tutors.
“It’s so applicable these days with so many classrooms having to be online so it’s really good practice,” Frank said.