High-Impact Tutoring coaches ensure that students receive support and resources after their tutoring sessions end.
Is it really over?
Here at Thurgood Marshall Academy (TMA) in Washington, DC, it seems the time between returning from the winter break and the end of the semester flew by in the blink of an eye! Although High-Impact Tutoring (HIT) participants knew the program was only for the length of one semester, they don’t want the sessions to end. They have pointed out that the HIT program is the only program offered at TMA with a time limit. They compare this restraint to other available tutoring and college prep programs. My response continues to be that, as their HIT academic coach, I am always available to current and past HIT participants as a resource. Therefore, their focus should be on taking full advantage of all the support and resources available to them at TMA. They are in charge of maximizing their own academic potential and personal growth.
Even as we begin to prepare for the third HIT@TMA program cohort, I find myself thinking about the anxiety vocalized by my current students. A resounding, “We really don’t have these sessions anymore next semester!” rings throughout the classroom. Why is this more pronounced as compared to the first HIT cohort of students I worked with last fall? Why do they seem worried about the programming ending?
And then I realized it’s all about the timing. With the first cohort of 9th grade students last semester, they already had a full semester of the TMA experience before joining HIT. The second half of the school year was underway when school staff selected them for the program. Furthermore, some of them continued sessions with me over the summer, taking online college courses. Those students have a sense of the extensive and ongoing academic support and enrichment programs TMA makes available to all students throughout their high school career.
But these students in the second HIT@TMA program cohort do not have this perspective yet. This was their first semester at TMA. I have observed, along with their teachers, their challenges adjusting to – well, the 9th grade! The only aspect of their first year at TMA that isn’t year-long is the HIT coaching sessions. Furthermore, most of them seem to enjoy HIT very much! Of course, they are anxious and worried about losing access to their academic coach and coaching sessions. Therefore, it is critical that Mr. Saba and I communicate next steps effectively. Mr. Saba is TMA’s Director of College Counseling & Alumni Programs, and we have been working together closely throughout the duration of the HIT program.
So yes, even as we prepare for the third HIT@TMA cohort and a new set of 9th graders, there is still work to be done with closing out the second cohort properly. Every HIT participant should come away from the programming confident of a couple pieces of information.
- I will continue to be their academic coach and act as an available resource until they graduate.
- TMA provides an abundance of academic resources and support structures. Part of their academic and personal growth is knowing how to best take advantage of these resources.
I look forward to the upcoming transition. I will be meeting a new set of motivated and engaged students, each with their individual strengths and challenges.
But at the end of the day (or cohort), they all remain my students. I always hope they take advantage of Mr. Toju as a resource even when they finish their official coaching sessions.