I have taught English in a juvenile facility for 14 years. I have also taught a variety of other, academic subjects, including social studies. Furthermore, I have taught vocational subjects, such as plumbing. The juvenile population included approximately 50% ESE students, or students with various learning deficits. My approach required individualized instructions, creativity, flexibility, dedication, visual aids, numerous reference sources (various books and internet searches, etc.), and an ability to relate to various academic needs of my students.
Furthermore, my individualized instructions (tutoring techniques) required an ability to connect with student needs by asking related questions to connect with each student's experiences. After all, students and teachers, or tutors, must be able to 'see eye-to-eye' to understand each other to have an effective teacher-student relationship. I also used anecdotes, such as past experiences, to make those connections in humorous ways. I loved and used figurative language, which is a necessary part of communication. For example, prior to commencing a session, I might say,"You're as smart as a whip." Imaginative language can be motivating.Furthermore, my creative tendencies, including my short stories and poetic tendencies, helped to fill the gap (make connections) with each student's interests to help to maintain the interests and attention of students during otherwise routine, technical explanations, such as lessons dealing with parts of speech and sentence structure.
Perhaps more importantly, I used some form of baseline evaluation, such as a reading test, to measure fluency and correct pronunciation of letters and letter blends prior to developing a lesson-tutoring plan for future sessions. A careful record was kept on file for each of my students to determine his or her learning progress. Creativity, such as related songs, were occasionally used to maintain motivation. Last but not least, I love teaching and people in general.
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