NYC tutoring is everywhere. The city seems to have a cram school / tutoring center on every block, each urging parents to give their children a head start on school. Many New York parents, eager for their kids to achieve admission to the NYC specialized public high schools, better grades, entry into honors classes and more, easily succumb to the tutoring centers’ pitches.
Often NYC tutoring and cram schools are joyless offices, staffed by private tutors who have a financial incentive to scare parents and keep their children enrolled for as many paid hours as possible. While New York is a competitive place and prepping is often necessary thanks to there being too few seats at too few good schools, I always try to help my clients find the most efficient and savvy success strategies. Childhood is short, and children deserve better than to spend unnecessary hours in tutoring centers.
The trend in New York City is for children to work harder and harder. Se-woong Koo’s superb article An Assault Upon Our Children:South Korea’s Education System Hurts Students illustrates the terrible cost when the tutoring culture runs amok. Koo’s point–that single-minded parental focus on test scores can lead to horrific outcomes at worst and child unhappiness at best–is a good lesson for 21st Century New Yorkers. Let’s tutor and enrich judiciously, and always keep our whole child in mind.