When I was growing up I told my father that I wanted to be multilingual. I studied French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian and Arabic. In addition to Portuguese and English, I now speak, read and write (native fluency), translate and interpret three of the six languages listed above.
I also told my parents that I wanted to be a world traveler and learn about other cultures. I did so and lived, worked and traveled in and to around 37 countries. My linguistic skills helped me break the ice and fit into those cultures, while my interest in history, geography and world religions (acquired through conversations with my grandfather) coupled by international relations and international business (derived from my studies and foreign service experience) further helped developing and maintaining interpersonal interests aroused.
I basically taught all my life: piano and dance, foreign languages, history and geography, linguistics, ESOL, wherever I lived and wherever I worked. I like the interaction with people. And I like teaching them and opening their horizons. My father and grandfather taught me the importance of reading and studying and be prepared at all times. They also taught me the importance of listening, yet, being interactive by asking and answering questions.
This is how I teach my students and this is what I bring in my bag: preparation in my subject, patience, persistence, willingness to do whatever it takes to help someone achieve the best of his/her potential. I do not believe in memorization, but rather the understanding of what the matter is about, the development of that understanding and the ability to recall the information when that is needed. I believe that teaching is a two-way street: it requires a teacher to teach and a student to study. The teacher teaches, the student reviews the information in class and after class. Reviewing what was studied helps the brain retain the information. And the learning process is completed.
I require my students to be serious and responsible before, during and after my classes. Tutoring is an expensive extra-service being given and both the transmitter (teacher) and the receiver (students) should be accountable for it. I like my students to express their doubts, ask questions, be inquisitive, show interest in what they are doing. That is the reason I am there for. I also require my students to be patient, persistent and know that learning and retaining is an on-going process requiring constant refreshing during and after class. I believe in taking one step at a time and repeat that step as many times as necessary until results are seen. I enjoy teaching and I enjoy seeing my students learn and making that time of teaching/learning the most enjoyable and fruitful for both participants.
This is my teaching-learning philosophy. It has helped a countless number of students through a couple of generations. (And it is still helping me on a daily basis, as one never stops learning). I hope I be able to help and assist you as I assisted and helped others.
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