Students learn best when they are challenged in an environment that allows them to falter without the stigma of failure. They must be taught that not only are mistakes natural, they are absolutely necessary in the learning process. No one does anything perfectly the first time and the less energy spent on the moment of error, the more energy can be devoted to learning from that error. Unfortunately, with the current class sizes and the emphasis on test scores, this isn't always possible. There isn't always time in the regular class day to find one's stride... This is where (effective) tutoring comes in.
My favorite teachers are always the ones who never stopped learning; their enthusiasm for the subject they teach is infectious. They are never put off the pursuit of wisdom because the subject is too vast or too difficult—those aspects only spur them on. They are models for how I want to travel through life: wide-eyed, open to the possibilities, and eager for the chance to add to my repertoire of skills and information. If I can impress upon even one student that this journey is every bit as important as the destination, then it is not too far a stretch to believe that that student can come to understand his/her place in the global community. It may not seem like much, but it is a start in the direction of preparing all of our students for the world of today, a global existence.
While I am technically new to the world of teaching--this will be my 3rd year of credentialed teaching in California--I have been in a classroom for far longer. I tutored fellow students all through high school. Once I finished my undergrad at UCSB, I moved to Japan for three years and team-taught English as a second language at a Japanese high school. After returning to the States, I was an after-school program tutor while pursuing my teaching credential. I currently teach at a technology-minded K-8 school in a low-income neighborhood. I am always looking to learn more... and for ways to share my love of learning.
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