Help Your Child’s Education Thrive With Tutor Doctor
Help Your Child’s Education Thrive With Tutor Doctor
The state of a child’s education is always a concern for parents, whether it’s helping them to keep up or to forge further ahead. The pressure to compete is ever more intense and now, in the age of COVID-19, it’s all the more difficult.
Tutor Doctor is here to augment the education your child is getting in school (and from you) with a 1:1 setting that gets results.
[00:46] What is Tutor Doctor?
[01:29] Tutor Doctor’s services
[04:51] Helping virtual learning shortcomings
[06:10] STAAR, ACT, & SAT testing and prep
[09:01] Catch-up and enrichment tutoring
[12:29] How to reach Tutor Doctor
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Welcome to the Frisco Podcast. I’m your host, Scott Ellis. And in this episode, we are chatting with Sandy Tutwiler from Tutor Doctor. Sandy, welcome to the show. Thank you. Thanks for having us. You bet. It’s good to have you here. And I think this is a very timely opportunity to chat with you about tutoring, the needs of students and all those things that are kind of happening in the age of COVID that have parents concerned, worked up, uh, trying to figure out what the best answer for their, their child, maybe. So before we get into all of that, um, tell us a little bit about Tutor Doctor and how you got started in doing this business.
Tutor Doctor’s been around globally for about 20 years. Um, we tutor all over the world. Um, there are about 350 franchises all over the world and we are here in the United States and actually here Frisco-McKinney. Um, we’ve been in the area for about 10 years. And so we’ve been partnering with the Frisco and McKinney schools, primarily, for the last 10 years, um, offering one-on-one private tutoring solutions for kids primarily, um, K-12.
Okay. So K-12, you covered the pretty much the whole gauntlet of school there. So you say you’ve been in the Frisco-McKinney area for about 10 years. And is it all one-on-one tutoring or do you have any group tutoring? How does, what kind of, what, tell us about the services you offer and what parents can expect if they come to work with you guys?
We started out one-on-one tutoring and that’s been the bread and butter for the last book of, of the tutoring years, um, or the- while we’ve been in business. Um, we started group tutoring and group tutoring really came about in the year of COVID and pandemic where we would offer families who wanted to do social learning, or they wanted to take the virtual learning options that were offered in school and really condense them to smaller groups and, and offer the option of reteaching lessons that were offered in the school virtually or even doing homeschooling options for some children, but with the social aspect tied in. So we do do some group tutoring, but we asked families to form their own groups because we don’t want to be responsible for bringing people together that may not mesh well or may not, you know, be in the same circle of especially now, um, they’re kind of their pandemic circles, their quarantine circles. Um, and that’s worked out really well for us. So we do offer group tutoring had in the past more so now than ever before.
Okay. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. Is, is everything purely online right now or are you doing some in-person tutoring as well?
We are actually doing about 85% of the tutoring that we’re doing is actually in person. Only about 15% is online, which is remarkable considering where we’ve come. In March, we went 100% online. And at the end of July, we started offering in-person solutions again, taking into consideration families that needed to stay. We, we wear masks. We, uh, don’t sit right next to each other anymore. We sit more across the table from each other. We’re still social-distancing, but we’re do- we’re tutoring one-on-one in home in a very safe way. There were a few families as this summer that asked us to tutor outside. Um, and so we would tutor on a patio, a covered patio with the fan, but once it became a little safer and as things have progressed, we have moved into the home.
Okay. So I guess that’s an interesting question, too. Does all the tutoring that is in person happened at the home or do people come to you?
We actually don’t have any brick and mortar. Um, why we took off is that we’re a very boutique solution that comes to you. It’s one less errand that the parent has to run in running their children to and from tutoring. So we wanted to make it as convenient as possible for parents. Um, and also, you know, students learn better where they’re most comfortable and they’re most comfortable in their home.
Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And I’m sure parents would be happy to have one less errand to run or to take their kids. Uh, well speaking of the kids. I know one of the things we’ve heard a lot about is kids falling behind, or at least parents being concerned about their kids falling behind where we’ve had, when we’ve had so much virtual learning.; it’s just not quite the same as in-person. Uh, what are you guys seeing on that front and has that been a boost for you guys to try to help keep kids aligned with where they should be?
We are seeing some kids falling behind, not everyone. Um, but some. And what we’re seeing is that, um, the kids that have fallen behind are a little bit further in math than they are in reading. So, you know, um, the news has come on to say that they’re seeing kids falling about 30% behind in their math and 20% in their reading. Um, I would say that’s par for the course. Um, what we’re doing is we’re spending an hour with a student, either two 30-minute online sessions or an hour in person with the student to try to help them focus on either or reading or both and just keep up with the class, keep up with the learning, make sure they’re not falling behind and then make sure they’re getting those, um, fundamentals stable.
Okay. And then along those lines, uh, testing is always a part of the whole educational process and evaluating where a child is. Are you in addition to the regular tutoring, are we doing specific test prep for them, or is this just kind of the normal sort of lesson tutoring, I guess if you will?
We do both. We do offer a couple of, of test prep. Um, we have- about this time of year, we see parents very concerned about the STAAR test that is, is given in Texas. And so we see a lot of parents, um, worried about “Is my child going to do well? Um, how do I get my child’s anxiety, you know, lessened to, to really prepare for that test?” This year, as I understand, they’re not going to be, they are going to be administering that test, but they’re not going to be using the results in the same way. Certainly able to prepare them, but preparing them just means really focused on the fundamentals of reading and math, um, writing, where they’re giving a writing sample. We also do test prep for SAT and ACT, and that world has changed dramatically with COVID. Um, colleges are in some cases dropping the testing requirement and using that only for scholarship purposes. So we’re trying to develop a test plan based on the individual’s high school student and what they’re looking for, where they’re going to school, what their hopes and dreams are, so that we can try to figure out where they need to be. We offer a couple of diagnostic tests as, as a service. So upon enrollment, we’re happy to give some learning assessments to elementary school students to see if their parents are really concerned about whether they’ve fallen behind. Then we’re happy to assess them, um, with, uh, reading, uh, math or both to see where they are. We also offer free practice SAT and ACT tests to help students as a starting point, if they don’t have a PSAT or if they don’t have another SAT or ACT that they’ve taken in the past to use as a baseline. So we can prep students, but we can also assess students with a lot of various, uh, tools that we have available.
Yeah. So it sounds like there’s a lot of good options with you for parents. If they are concerned that their child might be falling behind or they’re just unsure and want to find out, you can help them determine where they are and what would be the most appropriate course of action moving forward.
Absolutely. And we can use those test results to really pinpoint if they are behind what they’re behind in and develop a plan specific for that.
How difficult is it? If it, if, if a child has fallen behind, how difficult is it for them to catch up? Does it just become a monumental amount of additional work for them, or is there a, a fairly streamlined way for them to go about doing it without overloading the student with so much work, you know, that they’re going to have to do to try to catch up?
Depends on- you know, there’s really not a straightforward answer for that. It really depends on how far they’re behind. If they are behind just a few months to their grade level, then we can, we can work with them. You would be surprised how much an hour a week can do for a student. One-on-one tutoring, one hour a week, just focused on what they need, can really move a child forward. And we have parents who- I have a parent who started in a summer program just to see if her child could advance a little bit. She renewed for the fall and she’s renewing again because she’s realized is her, her daughter has come so far in just a few months and it’s one hour of tutoring a week. Um, and we have seen her, she will catch up to her grade level and her peers this spring. And it’s really exciting to see. If they are a couple of years behind, we may need a couple of hours a week. But that is something that we can develop a plan and we can make it in a way where it’s not so overwhelming to the student.
Good. And I guess at the same time, the opposite side of that coin is if a student is looking to get ahead, even if they’re not behind, does tutoring have the same effect? Is spending an hour a week with you really help them sort of leap forward, you know, if they were particularly ambitious or wanting to get into a certain school, that’s going to require them to be top of their class in math or something like that? Same, same thing a lot?
It depends on, on what they want to get ahead on. We have a lot of students who do enrichment tutoring for that very reason. This is a, um, extreme- this is a time where students are very competitive and getting into that school and getting that scholarship and getting that money and staying ahead – it takes a lot of work. And sometimes they just need that little extra nudge and that little extra edge. And so we can work with them in an English & Composition where the, the writing structure is such that they’re delivering college-like essays or research, um, while they’re in high school and we can advance them. Same way with math, happy to work with them on advancing their math studies, um, as they can. And it can be as little- you know, once you start getting into the more, uh, complex subjects, it might be an hour-and-a-half a week versus an hour because it takes a little longer to teach.
Yeah. To say that students are more competitive now, I think, is that, it feels like an understatement to me. A few years back, I was interviewing some students for a summer internship. And I just remember thinking how grateful I was that I did not have to compete with these kids when I was that age.
No kidding. No kidding. The students right now are so advanced it’s scary.
It really is. It really is. But, uh, it’s also reassuring in some ways, too, to know that there’s a lot of kids out there that are getting a great education putting, uh, putting in the work. So I want to make sure that people know how to get in touch with you, how to find you online, um, if they want to reach out, if they’re interested in getting help for their child, what’s the best way for them to track you down?
A couple of different ways. So they can always, uh, call us, um, (972) 703-9344 or tutordoctor.com/frisco-mckinney. Um, and there’s a simple form they can fill out or they can go in and they can set up their own consultation. Um, I, you know, I’m the one that receives all of those forms. And so I get back to people pretty, gosh darn quick. Been taking a couple of days over the holidays to refresh and relax and spend with my family, but then we’ll be right back at it. Um, helping families achieve their goals.
Very good. Well, thank you. We’ll make sure we link all of that up. We’ll include the phone number. All of that information will be in the post that accompanies this podcast so that people can just easily find it and find you. And thank you guys for everything you’re doing to help, help our Frisco students out. We appreciate it. We know that those families do as well. Thanks for having us on. You bet. Sandy, thanks again for joining us and thank you to all of you for tuning into the Frisco Podcast. We’ll talk to you next time.