After 35 years in business in 2009, I began working in literacy at the library, working one-on-one with learners who wanted to improve their reading comprehension skills. Gradually as need was evidenced, I added math, algebra, geometry, grammar, essay writing and GED preparation. When I lost my job in 2010, I decided to go back to school and earn my MBA, but by the time I had received it from University of Phoenix in 2011, tutoring had become my profession of choice. I no longer had a desire to work in the business world. Instead I retired and became a full time volunteer with the Lake County and then the Citrus County Library Literacy programs.
The approach I use combines patient explanation and reiteration with immediate practice of the principles studied, individual work for the learner between sessions with immediate feedback. Homework is marked and feedback is delivered at the session it is turned in. Encouragement is a key ingredient in my teaching style. Emphasis is on what was done correctly rather than errors. For learners preparing to take standardized tests, frequent timed tests help reduce test anxiety and develop confidence.
Former learners have been young men preparing to retake the military ASVAB, young men and women who graduated from high school without the required skills to get a diploma, working adults who needed to improve basic math, reading and grammar skills to progress at work, and people of all ages who want to improve skills in order to find work.
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