From elementary school to college and graduate programs, we at AJ Tutoring have a reputation for being able to teach a wide variety of subjects without sacrificing top levels of quality. How? One important ingredient is our academic departments.
Each subject area AJ Tutoring teaches has a department structure to help maintain consistency across our tutors and offices, as well as to keep up to date with curriculum changes and produce top quality materials for our academic and test prep students. Members of a specific department meet regularly to share best practices, seek and give advice on how to teach particular topics or skills, and sharpen their own content knowledge. Each department is led by a department head, who organizes the department, develops new materials, and works with the Academic Dean to set priorities and goals to keep improving. Most departments also include several Mentors, senior tutors who are experts at both the content they teach and the skills needed to connect with students and teach effectively. These mentors meet regularly with new tutors and continue to support them throughout their first year at AJ. Mentors are assigned geographically, so they are also in a good position to share tips and institutional knowledge about particular schools, courses, or even teachers, based on their experience.
AJ Tutoring has invested time and effort into creating robust academic departments because we believe it is critical to our tutoring. Why does this system add so much to the strength of our academic programs? At least three major reasons:
1. Greater Consistency
While each tutor develops their own unique style and brings their personality in to each session, it is important that our students be able to rely on a consistent standard for quality and content knowledge. Moreover, in many cases AJ Tutoring has a decade or more experience working with students from a given school or in a particular course―experience that is invaluable in helping our students. By ensuring that every tutor, regardless of experience, is sharing their best practices at department meetings and through mentoring, we can ensure that all of our tutors are prepared to offer top quality instruction, and that our years of company experience in academic tutoring can benefit every tutor.
2. More Complete, Up-to-Date, and Effective Educational Materials
In addition to helping tutors improve their skills, the departments find the best educational materials available to add to our physical and digital libraries and organize the creation of our own premium materials. These worksheets, practice tests, tip sheets, and other materials are constantly being reviewed, edited and updated to match what we observe is happening our students’ classes and on standardized tests, like the APs or SAT Subject tests. This means that the materials that support our tutoring are second to none, giving an effective tool in helping their students succeed. When it comes to preparation for standardized tests, we have even created whole syllabi and curricula to ensure our students have the best possible chance of getting the scores they are looking for. These efforts have also formed the basis of our for-credit coursework, allowing our tutors to guide students through entire courses, and for our students to get high school credit for those courses in many cases.
3. Tutor Engagement
AJ Tutoring is successful because our tutors love their jobs. Not only are we as tutors dedicated to education, but we have a deep passion for the content we are teaching. Many of our tutors chose this profession because it allows us to engage with a wider variety of content than is possible in most other careers in our fields―while a professional historian may end up writing books a book about one subject for many years, a history tutor can engage in many different courses all in one academic year, which is a big part of the appeal for our tutors! It’s only natural then that our tutors often cite the camaraderie that develops from working with like-minded tutors as one of the top features of working at AJ Tutoring, and by bringing together tutors with similar interests, the academic departments serve to further this goal, helping produce more satisfied and intellectually engaged tutors who can then go out to do a better job with students.
So, when students come to work at AJ Tutoring, they not only get to work with a knowledgeable and talented professional tutor, but they also get to benefit from years of accumulated experience of an entire academic department dedicated to helping that tutor do their absolute best work with every student.