Learning together

Please enjoy this excerpt from the FY22 Impact Report.

“I gained a lot of knowledge by observing how teachers teach their students. I saw third, fourth, and fifth graders, each with their own unique personalities and ways to learn. Every student is passionate to learn. The whole experience was also a lot of fun.”

Sandra Gonzalez

Dallas College student who tutored at Nancy Cochran Elementary

Responding to the need to combat pandemic learning loss, United to Learn saw a two-fold issue: students were behind and there were not enough teachers to go around.

One of the most effective strategies for accelerated learning in the classroom is high-impact tutoring. With a goal to get more tutors paired with students, United to Learn piloted the Aspiring Teachers Program with two chapters: One, W.T. White High School students enrolled in the P-Tech Education Track; and two, Dallas College students enrolled in the Education School. Both groups began tutoring at U2L Schools in the fall of 2021.

The dual goals of the program addressed the needs: 1) Provide impactful supplemental in-class support and high impact tutoring, and 2) Prepare a ready workforce of future teachers.

The “aspiring teachers” were each assigned to a K-5 classroom where they worked with small groups on early literacy skills throughout the school year. They work closely with these groups of students, tutoring them in early dual language literacy skills, and also becoming mentors. This program has made a measurable difference in the campus culture and achievement among our students and their teacher tutors.

On the last day of tutoring before the winter break, one of our tutors returned her student to the classroom. The entire class of students rose to give her a round of applause in gratitude. Afterward, she shared that the experience was both moving and transformative. She remembered being a young Latina girl their age. She knew that by seeing her as a teacher and role model, they were inspired to envision themselves on a path to college and career success.

Throughout this program, tutors and students have formed powerful bonds that are meaningful for both the young learners and the high school students.