There is no denying that COVID-19 has hit our classrooms hard. Over the last two years, students have lost valuable time in the classroom. On top of that, some will argue Zoom classes do not allow students to retain information or learn in an engaging way. In order to bridge this learning gap, Samford University’s Orlean Beeson School of Education is partnering with Birmingham City Schools and United Way of Central Alabama to launch tutoring programs that will benefit students who may be behind in their studies due to COVID-19.
Orlean Beeson School of Education Dean Anna McEwan shared some insight on this program.
“Samford students are generous with their time and talents in meeting the needs of others both near and far,” McEwan said. “The tutoring program provides an opportunity for Samford to be a ‘good neighbor’ to the surrounding school community by helping meet an immediate need for tutors.”
This program will be influential now and in the future when educators can see the lasting impact that COVID-19 has had on a wide range of students.
“From the lack of prowess among educators to teach remotely, to lack of student access to distance technology tools, to lack of face-to-face support for struggling learners, and lack of appropriate supervision when caregivers must return to work, the situation was ripe for potential learning losses,” McEwan said.
Samford’s involvement with this tutoring program will not only help local schools but also Samford students as well. All majors are encouraged to join the program, not just Education majors. Still, this is an opportunity for Education majors to utilize their skills outside their own classroom and cultivate local connections.
McEwan said she does not believe that all is lost when it comes to making up the learning losses from the last few years.
“I don’t believe the losses are insurmountable, but I feel that students will need targeted support for the next one or two years to address the learning losses,” McEwan said. “For students who may have already struggled to keep pace with learning expectations, we have a moral obligation to do everything possible to facilitate their opportunities to be successful.”
Students who are interested in being a part of this tutoring program, can email TutoringPartnership@uwca.org.