Published: March 10, 2021
Due to the pandemic and the shift from in-person to online teaching methods, teachers now in Calgary lack the proper resources and time to properly educate students in reading and writing. Budget cuts to the Calgary Board of Education, combined with the pandemic, have delivered a double blow to teachers and students.
Classroom resources have decreased, while the average class size has increased by two or more students across the system. Meanwhile, school fee support and per-capita funding based on annual enrolment has gone up.
The ramifications of the double blow are worrying. Schools have less money, many classes have moved online, and parents and teachers alike are struggling to provide kids with the right resources and means for them to keep up and not fall behind.
The Crisis of Pandemic Learning
It makes sense that kids in Calgary, even the most studious and disciplined, are falling behind. At home, sitting in front of their computer, distractions are everywhere. And without the support of their peers, and cut off from shared daily routines, it can be hard to stay focused.
Imagine being thirteen years old and having to study for an English exam online, at home, with the internet at your fingertips! If American adults on average can’t help but check their phones over 90 times per day, how are kids in Calgary supposed to avoid distractions?
Although the long-term effects of the pandemic on students at all levels in Calgary are difficult to quantify, it appears that the pandemic has decreased students’ performance rates and lowered their interest in learning. They feel alienated from their teachers and their peers, from their assignments and the very purpose of an education. Without the personable attention a classroom provides, and without anyone to monitor their progress and look over their shoulders, students are left at sea.
Research done by the University of Alberta has shown that standardized reading assessment scores in Edmonton have gone down among students in grades one and two. Across the country, test scores as well as participation rates have decreased, while dropout rates have gone up.
Arithmetic rates, along with attendance rates, have gone down in Alberta, as well as the rest of Canada. In some cases, students have fallen behind as much as a full year. In Edmonton, students in grades 1 and 2 are now on average one year behind on reading tests. In Alberta, the reading ability of students in grades one through three are lower than before (the learning losses amount to six to eight months). Students all over the country now require more instruction, particularly in literacy.
Academic Success Means More than Just Graduating on Time
Given these decreases, schools have had to adjust their expectations for student performance. The bar is lower than before. In Calgary and in other many schools across Canada, students are expected to do less work than they were before the pandemic struck. What matters, at bottom, is that they get through the semester and graduate on time.
But to get into a good post-secondary institution, of course, students must do more than graduate on time: they must meet certain baselines in academic achievement. The pandemic’s impact on schooling is particularly damaging to students in grades 11 and 12, whose grades determine which schools they can get into.
In the United States, universities including Cornell and Harvard have responded to the problem by making SAT scores no longer mandatory for admission. It’s yet to be seen how Canadian universities will adapt their admission requirements.
Fortunately, however, the situation in Calgary isn’t all doom and gloom: tutors in Calgary can step into the breach where the education system hasn’t been able to deliver.
English Tutors in Calgary
Literacy is key for excelling in school and in the workforce. It’s virtually impossible to get by without a strong ability to read and write, and the better your child is at reading and writing, the more opportunities they will have to succeed.
Without in-person attention from a teacher in a classroom, how are students supposed to improve their ability to read and write?
For better or worse, online learning is the new normal. So, it’s imperative that parents and children adjust as best they can. This is where our private online tutors in Calgary come in.
Tutors, especially nowadays, are invaluable resources. By working with students one-on-one, Prep Academy Tutors certified instructors provide the kind of English help in Calgary that the Calgary Board of Education is having an understandably hard time delivering.
At Prep Academy Tutors, our certified and experienced tutors work with students to ensure they receive an enriching education and learning experience that’s tailored to their unique needs and learning types, so that they can achieve success with online learning rather than falling behind.
The prospect of setting up your child with the right tutor can seem daunting. We work to pair your child with the tutor best suited to your child’s needs and learning type. Our certified English tutors are specialists in literacy who have the pedagogical knowledge to help kids overcome learning obstacles.
The right tutor will create a comfortable, low-pressure, one-on-one environment with your child that build’s your child’s literacy abilities and empowers your child to build confidence and accomplish academic goals.
Another option for your child is enrolling in a learning pod.
A learning pod is a small group of students, typically between three to five, who meet with a certified tutor anywhere from two to four hours, three to five times per week.
A learning pod is more social than working with one-on-one tutors, so auditory learners, who tend to learn best in groups small and large, might benefit more with learning pods than with one-on-one tutors.
Our learning pods are safe, controlled, and consistent environments. Prep Academy English tutors in Calgary offer online literacy learning pods that, like our one-on-one tutors, match your child’s needs as well as your educational preferences.
If you’re interested in enrolling your child in a literacy learning pod, the first step is to create your own pod (groups of three to five students). The next step is for students to opt into the “online learning” option through their current school boards. Our certified teachers will then work to supplement the local curriculum materials with further explanations and reviews, in addition to what’s being delivered by the online teacher.
If you want to ensure your children get the education they deserve during this difficult time, get in touch with Prep Academy Tutors today!