“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” — John Dewey

A profile of the student

Before we begin tutoring a student, we do an academic evaluation. We come to the home and interview the student, getting input from parents as well. The evaluation enables us to identify the student’s academic strengths and areas for growth so that we can propose a constructive and actionable plan for tutoring the student.

The purpose of the evaluation is to develop a detailed profile of the student, including their most challenging classes, study habits, classroom experiences, and personal interests. We come to understand the student’s life at school but also the passions that inform their experience of the world. 

Photograph of David Wolf meeting to do an academic evaluation in Portland, Oregon
Photograph of David Wolf meeting to do an academic evaluation in Portland, Oregon

The 2-page written report

The comprehensive interview typically lasts for two hours. We look for patterns or trends that can help us understand where the student may need additional support and guidance. We also learn the student’s “story” and connect with them on their own terms. 

The experience quickly fosters a spirit of collaboration that that goes on to characterize the tutoring relationship. After the meeting, we write a two-to-three-page report that celebrates the student’s strengths and passions while outlining areas for growth and setting specific tutoring goals.

Our students come to tutoring with different priorities and we adapt our evaluation questions to suit their particular objectives. We approach the evaluation of a student seeking academic support in Math very differently from an evaluation of a student seeking college application coaching.

An effective plan for success

Whether a student is seeking support with executive functioning skills or with writing literary analysis papers, we have a targeted evaluation process that yields the needed background information and produces an effective plan for success. 

It is important that the academic evaluation take place at the beginning of the tutoring process so that our tutors, along with the students and their families, start off with a clear understanding of the student’s academic needs and a strong plan for meeting their goals.

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