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Thanks to my training in Special Education and Elementary school instruction, fluency in French from studying at a French "lycée", and career as a copywriter, I tutor writing, reading, reading comprehension, French, and Spanish at WyzAnt in a supportive and systematic manner. This means frequently assessing students to identify strengths and gaps in their understanding and filling in those gaps through varied instructional approaches. I tailor teaching, assignments, and activities to students' abilities, academic levels, goals, interests, personalities, and learning styles, while helping them to connect the subject matter to what is meaningful in their lives. Above all, I vary the pace and style of instruction, and praise students abundantly for their efforts and successes, no matter how incremental.
Possessing a Special Ed credential with an authorization in Moderate-Severe, I have had opportunities to work with students with autism from the lower portion of the Spectrum (as middle school paraeducator, student teacher, regular instructor) and those with high-functioning autism, including Aspergers.
These experiences allowed me to work with pupils who were able to verbally analyze their own autism and those with a lesser ability to communicate information or needs, play with others, keep oneself occupied, cope with changes in routine, point to objects, or show attentiveness to a task or desire to vary activities.
It was important for me not only to be fully informed on a student's IEP and background but to create a curriculum appropriate to his or her abilities and learning style. It was also imperative to teach routines and schedules to give the students a feeling of empowerment, purpose, and predictability. I wanted pupils to understand what was asked of them and often created pictorial Task Analyses to which they could refer to accomplish or demonstrate a task. My job, as I saw it, was to keep students on track to progressing with their IEP goals and the curriculua demanded by the school and the California Alternative Standards.
Hi.....I am CA-credentialed in K-6 (Multiple Subject) and have taught grades 1-3 in General Ed and Grade 4, Special Ed. My training in Special Ed (I have this credential as well) has given me the tools to be an effective teacher of "typical" students and those with disabilities. I teach to the "whole student", which means I am sensitive to learning styles, interests, strengths, and areas on which both of us need to focus.
My strong interest in teaching began as a child in London when I was studying the French curriculum at a French "lycée" (elementary and middle school). As an adult, I remembered making friends with French classmates in my youth and deciding to teach this beautiful language to Americans in a way that would engage and excite them. My French accent had remained, and French was my college "major" and authorization of my first teaching credential.
When I teach French, I focus on the interests and goals of the student and let those elements drive the instruction, i.e., I teach what the student wants to know. Though, of course, there is grammar to learn and some note taking to do, the emphasis in my lessons is on conversation. It is important the learner "stretch" him/herself by talking, regardless of errors in the language. It is my goal for my students to feel uninhibited when they speak and to know my role is not to judge or criticize, but to teach and correct whenever necessary.
I look forward to working with individuals who have a strong interest in this lovely language and a motivation to speak, read, and write it well.
Teaching phonics as an activity and an important part of the Alternative/Adapted Curriculum has been stimulating, educational, and entertaining for me and for my students of all diagnoses and grades. Regardless of level of cognition or attentiveness, students in my classes have found learning about syllables and the connection between letters/groups of letters and their corresponding sounds absorbing, in spite of any difficulties in comprehension or retention.
As a student teacher and regular instructor, I have stressed phonics by having students sit in centers and work stations to read with me and my aides. We have worked on, for example, decoding multisyllabic words, exploring initial consonants and blends, practicing rhyming sounds, or studying Upper and Lower Case using worksheets such as the Alphabet Tree. We have also spent much time online to hear programs like Sesame Street or Clifford so kids can learn, for example, to fill in blanks within words or listen to fun stories about letters and sounds.
Phonics is an essential component of any basic curriculum and one that lends itself to enjoyable activities that teach without students being aware they are being taught.
As a teacher, I have always had a strong focus on proper grammar, spelling, syntax, capitalization, and punctuation. New expressions and uses in the language interest me very much and, periodically, I go through ELEMENTS OF STYLE to refresh my knowledge of good writing. I have also tutored many of my own high school students who had trouble learning or remembering rules of grammar.
I have taught phonics and phonemic awareness as staple components of a Standards-based Curriculum to "typical" students and those with disabilities. Regardless of level of cognition or attentiveness, my students have found learning about syllables and the connection between letters/groups of letters and their corresponding sounds absorbing, in spite of any difficulties in comprehension or retention.
As a student teacher and regular instructor, I have taught reading skills by having students sit in centers and work stations to read with me and my aides. We have worked on decoding multisyllabic words, exploring initial consonants and blends, practicing rhyming sounds, or studying Upper and Lower Case using worksheets such as the Alphabet Tree. We have also spent much time online to hear programs like Sesame Street or Clifford so kids can learn, for example, to fill in blanks within words or listen to fun stories about letters and sounds.
Since 9th grade, I have enjoyed learning and speaking Spanish, which I continued in college and speak to this day. I am certified as Bilingual by LAUSD and Ventura Unified and speak Spanish with my own children. To enhance my language skills, I watch programs on TV in Spanish and try to learn as much as possible about Latino and Spanish culture.
As a Special Ed teacher, I have taught Standards-based District and Alternative/Adapted Curricula for grades 3 & 4, and 9-12, i.e., academic, social, functional, and transition skills to students with mild-moderate and moderate-severe disabilities. I wrote IEPs, hosted IEP meetings, and met with parents whenever necessary.
As a General Ed and Special Ed teacher, I have made Study Skills a part of the school curriculum at all grade levels. For General Ed classrooms, I have students apply these skills to in-class assignments, projects, tests, and homework. For pupils with cognitive deficits or difficulties in learning or attending to work, study skills aide them in achieving functional, occupational, and life-related tasks.
Below are examples of study skills I teach:
. choose appropriate work areas
. establish a work routine and work schedule and keep to them (this includes estimating length of time for work)
. set priorities (e.g., work comes before seeing friends)
. refer to a notebook of assignments due (or Task Analysis of a task for students with disabilities)
. review class notes before doing work or studying for a test
. verify and organize materials
. create space
. minimize distractions when working
. ask questions if assignment is not clear
. make maps/outlines of work and reading
As the son of a publicist, I was taught at an early age the importance of articulation and succinctness in writing. I have always excelled in producing well-constructed essays, whether for school or pleasure. In addition, I enjoy proofreading and have an solid command of grammar, spelling, syntax, capitalization, punctuation, idioms, and expressions. Now and again, I even review the ELEMENTS OF STYLE for recent changes in current usage. I have spent years as a marketing copywriter and have helped my own children with their school papers since they were first assigned them. I have also tutored many of my own middle and high school students who have had difficulties in writing, reading, learning and retention.
Effective First Steps in French — 'Monsieur Richard' is teaching my children - aged 8 & 13 - French, focusing on courteous conversational language, relevant to real-life situations. The tutor effectively works with the two very different ages and personalities, finding ways to engage and interest both despite their age and temperament differences. Worksheets, puzzles, maps, poker chips, kitchen utensils, French website print-outs, ...
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