Updated: Aug 6, 2020
Beginning in 2008, my professional entrance to teaching had just begun with what my university - and many other professional training courses, would call, "practicum hours." In these mentoring opportunities, I was able to glimpse: public and charter, Title 1 and gifted, and traditional and private schools over the next couple of years before engaging in independent pedagogy. Yet, the same things I could immediately see were foreign and, in some cases, a complete blind spot to other veteran teachers. Students need one-on-one challenging and engaging problems. They call it scaffolding, but no actually does it. Instead, they are given packets and checked-in on every few days.
You see, back then and still today, the American pinnacle of challenging education is project-based learning (PBLs); however, the main difference from classical, European education is the emphasis on solving the PROBLEM to mastery - not building a PROJECT to a rubric. The assessment is built on mastery of a concept, not cram-for-test "Finals Review." If students have to study review guides, then they never really grasped the material in the first place. Which is why students always say, "Mr. So-and-So, when do you teach us that?" Already admitting, that they never learned it.
Our schools, teachers, and administrations force students to cram because that's how they were taught - in a long, drawn-out lecture with no real engagement and challenge to find out why just for the fun of learning, and this is further encouraged with "standardized testing."
Yes. That monster is real, and, if appeased, it spits out dollar bills in minute quantities to those schools that rubbed its belly.
So, after teaching professionally for almost a decade and watching students, parents, and teachers struggle with the very thing I've been training my students on for almost a decade - independent learning for the joy of learning, the coronavirus (aka COVID-19) forced everyone to see the deficiency of our schools' education system for themselves in an up-close and very raw perspective. Now, instead of meeting that challenge with the fresh eyes of a first-year, boundless idea teacher, students and parents get to repeat what has been happening for themselves, at home, with distance-learning over computers.
Therefore, with the availability of time and the opportunity to start afresh, I have decided to help parents and students on a one-on-one basis, bringing the classical and life-building joy of learning to individuals who see the need and are willing to begin this new year of education with a different and life-changing approach.
It is with great hope and honor that I present to you the birth of Ducal Tutoring Services: Where Your Student is Educated like Royalty.
With warmest regards to our future partnership,
Duke Ryan Gallifant of Allegheny