What to Do When Your Student Is Not Making The Grades You Expect?

I am working with some parents who were receiving disturbing information from their son's school psychologist. They were basically being led to believe that their son not only had issues focusing but that he literally was zoning out at regular intervals--and thereby missing key classroom instruction. As a result, he was failing three of his high school classes, and my conversations with his teacher revealed that the school psychologist supported a "dumbing down" process for this student so that he could pass by the skin of his teeth. This would involve taking oral tests instead of written tests, and giving him leeway (accommodations) that would get him through . Otherwise, they were sure that he would clearly fail the class that I am tutoring him in.

Meanwhile, based on this information, these parents have begun to prepare themselves for the grueling IEP process. At the same time, however, they decided to engage a couple WyzAnt tutors--starting with me! I encouraged them to consider a second WyzAnt tutor for the other two subjects, and they hired him. While I cannot speak for the experience of the other WyzAnt tutor, I can share what the student's parents and I are discovering:

Their son has begun raising his grades on tests and quizzes by a minimum of 35 percentage points--with the last grade being 90% (a new phenomenon for this student in the course in which I am tutoring him). Can a student who cannot focus and/or "zones out" regularly actually be achieving such results? No way!?!? Well, it is the absolute truth!! So, what is one to believe:

  • Does this student need an IEP (Individualized Education Plan)?
  • Or does he need some one-on-one time with a skilled tutor to help him:

To learn how study for assessments?

To build his self confidence?

Well, based on the fact that both his parents and the teacher and psychologist are now scratching their heads, it seems clear that they were jumping to false conclusions based on the student's performance. Aahh haaaa!!! The take-away from this story is quite clear!!

All parents should give their student/s a chance to prove themselves with the help of a tutor before falling for the feedback from school professionals. A tutor can bring about amazing results merely because one-on-one instruction is highly superior to the classroom experience!!! Doing otherwise is putting the cart before the horse and putting limitations on your students true potential!!




Licensed Spanish Teacher

700+ hours
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