2004-07-08 / Other News

Answers From The Teacher

Darra Wheeler Happ
Answers From The Teacher Darra Wheeler Happ

How do I find my son a mentor? He doesn’t need a tutor because he’s an excellent student, but he could use someone who is knowledgeable about and shares his interests to spend time with during the summer. He’s interested in science and in the law.

Start at your son’s school to see if there are mentoring programs set up already. If the school doesn’t have a mentoring program, speak to the guidance counselor, who may be able to help you locate a mentoring program within the community.

Another idea to keep your son intellectually challenged this summer is to have him participate in an internship. An internship allows the participant to work in an environment of keen interest to the student. Internships are available, but not often extensively advertised. Once again the guidance counselor may be the person to help you with finding an appropriate placement for your son. You can also look into internships that may be offered at the local hospital or university. These aren’t uncommon, but are often not advertised publicly.

Internships are not paid positions, although some may offer a token sal-ary. If your son chooses to get an in-ternship instead of a job this summer, he could be acquiring new skills while spending time in an environment be it a law office, a hospital, or a school, that is of interest and value to him. And since he’s a good student, he probably has some skills that he could put to use in some program.

Where’s the best place to find a tutor? My daughter needs a little help in math.

Your local school district probably has a list of teachers who will tutor students during the summer. Call the principal of the school to get a list of teachers and subject areas that they tutor. If your daughter is entering middle school or high school, it may be beneficial for you to have her work with a tutor who may be her teacher in the coming years. That way, she will already have a working relationship with someone, and the teacher will know her strengths and weaknesses as a student. And a friendly face in the hallways come September may be just enough to cheer up a reluctant student.

You can also inquire at local colleges or universities as to the availability of tutors. Professors, teaching assistants and even college students, especially if they are studying education, can be excellent tutors. Ask for references and negotiate a price. The tutor will want to know ahead of time about how many sessions you will want your daughter to have and how long each session should last. You are wise to get extra help for your daughter before the next school year begins. If she’s up to speed and confident in all her subjects, it will make the opening of the next school year a much more rewarding and less stressful experience.

Send questions to: Answers from the Teacher, P.O. Box 54, South Egremont, MA 01258. Questions may also be emailed to answersfromthe- teacher@adelphia.net.

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