//A blog by YDA tutor Sergio Centeno
With California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) testing having finally arrived, this week at Avalon was an important one for the seniors, and it had all of us cheering them on with support. The underclassmen held the fort down, so to speak, studying hard and continuing on in tutoring as they have been doing these past few weeks. While they did not have to take the CAHSEE this time around, watching the seniors and knowing their turn would eventually come had them amped up and motivated for the tutoring sessions. They seemed keenly aware that preparation is part of the journey to success.
The English section of tutoring kicked off strong this week. Students brought in the essays they have been working on for review with the tutors. Personally, I was very impressed with their work. The immense improvement over the past few weeks is crystal clear. It seems like a light has been turned on inside of these students. When it comes to these essays, all they need now is someone to double check their work and give them an occasional high five.
The positive atmosphere of hard work lingered through the week; the only thing that changed was the subjects we covered each session. The week started with focusing on the structure of a five paragraph essay and moved seamlessly to mathematical formulas for finding percentages. During the Math section it became clear that this week was different from previous weeks; the students were finally getting comfortable and feeling more open to ask us questions. From my perspective, this represents a major breakthrough!!! The increasing level of trust between us makes it easier for us tutors to identify the trouble areas for our students and help them overcome the academic challenges they face.
By the end of the week, we were able to gather information on what these students are struggling with the most. By doing so, we came to the conclusion that the basic essentials of math are not as strong as they should be at this point. Now we know what we have to work on moving forward. Having watched the seniors meet the CAHSEE head on, the younger students are more than ready to follow suit and keep working hard to do a remarkable job on the CAHSEE.