What I remember about being tutored back in the 6th grade was a guy with a briefcase full of multiplication tables and flash cards. He showed up, I memorized them, he left,
I took the test and then it was all, inevitably, forgotten. That makes John Kirkland and Katie Scott laugh as we talk over coffee. They are bright, energetic public school teachers in Westchester that have launched a local tutoring agency, JKS Education, a loop sponsor.
"Most of the time the issue is a skill that’s missing, not a disability" says Scott, when kids fall behind in school. And most of the time it’s a skill called "executive functioning." In Junior High School and High School? Turns out these necessary skills to get the job done are not fully developed in we homo sapiens until age 25.
That is why many of the kids they work with are good students who simply lack the ability to organize their time and their assignments. "When we see a smart kid that’s not turning in his assignments," says Kirkland, "and the parents are frustrated, that’s when we get to work." And their methodology seems to work whether the issue is in science, math, social studies or vocabulary.
Scott and Kirkland will interview the family, find the right tutor for the job and set up a plan to meet with the student once or twice a week. The tutor works with the student on prioritizing, time management, and becomes completely aware of what the student is doing homework-wise, and when. In some cases, the student gets a text or phone call at a specified time for a check-in to see if the assignments are done. At the end of the month, JKS sends parents a progress report.
"We are in continuous contact," says Kirkland.
Says one parent in the area, "John and Katie helped understand this executive skills piece, and put a specific strategy in place to help our son. So far, it seems like he is making strides." You may contact JKS Education at firstname.lastname@example.org and 914.787.8526
Would you like a free consultation with JKS Education? Ace the following trivia quiz, and it’s our treat. Leave your answer in the comments below. We will contact you if your answers are correct. Ten prizes available!
1. In a recent town election, 1,860 people voted for either candidate A or candidate B for the position of supervisor. If candidate A received 55% of the votes, how many votes did candidate B receive?
2. Who is considered to be the "Father" of both the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights?
3. Executive skills are the cognitive processes required for goal-directed and problem solving behaviors (task initiation, prioritizing/planning, time management, organization). By which year of age do individuals fully acquire executive skills?
Please leave your answers in the comments below. (We will take up to 10 winners.)