Debbie Sadowski’s experience as an educator runs the gamut.
In her 45 years at Westside Community Schools, she’s been an elementary classroom teacher, a talented and gifted program specialist, and an English language learner interventionalist. She’s worked with students of all ages and levels, and she knows how to guide them in their studies.
“I can pretty easily see what that skill gap is and what they need to close that gap,” Sadowski says.
For the past decade, she has spent her after-school time working one-on-one with students at Huntington Learning Center, helping struggling readers improve their skills and preparing high school students to ace the ACT and SAT. She enjoys being able to focus on making a direct difference in the academic success of her students.
Huntington’s structured curriculum is designed to build skills by first determining precisely what level they have already reached and taking them step-by-step through mastering where they want to be. For many younger students, that’s building math and reading comprehension. But it can also include test preparation or working on higher-level academic skills.
“The children who do get to come here are fortunate, whether they are the ones who are struggling and need to develop skills because they’re behind or whether they’re at the higher end of the spectrum and they just want to become even better,” Sadowski says.
Regardless of the client, their age or experience level, Sadowski starts by forming a connection, which allows her to make sure the experience isn’t stressful.
“They are a person, first of all,” she says. “You find that way to relate to them, person-to-person, and alleviate any anxiety that they might have.”
Huntington’s reading texts are designed to be at a student’s specific instructional level, not their frustration level, so they’re able to apply reading strategies without becoming discouraged.
“It’s a matter of breaking skills down,” Sadowski says. “The strategies that you use to comprehend are strategies that you use no matter what level of text you’re tackling.”
Vocabulary is taught through students seeing new words in contexts where students aren’t getting overwhelmed by too much happening at once.
“When you’re reading, you’re absorbing what those words mean,” Sadowski says.
Similarly, math skills can be improved by focusing on fundamentals, like arithmetic facts and fractions, and using those to solve new problems, like algebra or geometry.
“We’re about helping the kids develop the skills they’re going to need,” Sadowski says. “You’ve got to have that solid foundation.”
Students receive personalized attention at Huntington. They can zero in on the skills they need to master, with a plan that’s been tailored to their individual needs.
Sadowski says students also don’t have the pressure of performing in front of their peers. They can see their teachers as people in a welcoming, supportive learning environment.
“They get one-on-one help here,” Sadowski says. “I don’t know whether that takes place anywhere else.”
Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, algebra through calculus, chemistry and other sciences. Huntington offers prep for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams. Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible. Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.