“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”  — William Butler Yeats

student and educator learning together smiling

As many educators and psychologists know, the optimal way for a child to learn is through individual, one-on-one instruction. In this setting, the educator can observe exactly what the child can do, where the child struggles, and adapt the teaching precisely to the child’s needs. In addition, the educator can pace the type of instruction and give immediate feedback, such as correction and positive reinforcement.


 One-on-One is Best for Struggling Readers

As world-renowned literacy educator and author, Marie M. Clay, points out in her Reading Recovery, Guidebook for Teachers in Training, individual instruction allows the teacher to observe the child’s strengths and current abilities, and revise the lessons accordingly.

 “When two or three children are taught in a group, the teacher cannot make this change,” Clay says. “One teacher per pupil is the only practical way of working with children who have extreme difficulty in learning to read.”

Ms. Clay’s conclusions about the proven effectiveness of individual instruction are echoed in the experiences of our Open Door tutors, as they share their thoughts on the joys of tutoring one-on-one.


The Joys of Tutoring

 “An understanding heart is everything in a teacher.” Carl Gustav Jung

One of the most remarkable—and often overlooked—benefits of one-on-one instruction is the development of the student and teacher rapport and learning bond of success. As the child acquires more confidence in their own learning abilities, the tutor is emboldened by their student’s progress and achievements. We see it frequently at The Open Door. We like to call it, The Joy Factor of Tutoring!

The Open Door’s Education and Family Support Specialist, Leigha Brigham, sums it beautifully,

Have a safe and happy summer holiday. Enjoy!


In the meantime, check out these previous Open Door blog posts over the summer:

Marion May is the Blog Curator and Content Writer for The Open Door blog as well as a reading and spelling tutor for The Open Door, tutoring children between the ages of seven and 10. Her blog content is “local, organic and specific” and is relevant for parents of children with dyslexia.


If you have comments about this blog or would like to contribute, please contact us at blog@theopendoor.ca

We welcome your blog topic suggestions!

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