After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in Sociology, I continued my education and earned a Master of Arts degree, also in Sociology. I worked for over 25 years in a position that included training new employees to correctly and efficiently manage a large workload. These employees were recognized for their work quality and their attitude after they completed their training and were given a permanent position. During my work career, I also earned a Master of Arts degree with a major in Sociology. Shortly after I retired from that position, my son began having pretty serious school-related problems. As a result, I started working with the Learning Disabilities Association, an agency that provides resources for children with learning disabilities, and I led their parents' group for awhile. I understand what it's like from a parent's perspective and from a student's perspective, too. Recently, I returned to college and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sign Language Interpreting. This was one of the hardest things I've done. Unlike the other students in the program, I had no previous experience with deaf people or sign language and watched lower-lever students master things that I struggled with and really wasn't able to master. This was very humbling since I had earned my earlier degrees with honors and with relatively little effort.
When I tutored in the No Child Left Behind program, I focused on working with younger students who were struggling with basic math and reading concepts. It was gratifying to see them improve so much when they received help specifically targeted to their needs that weren't being met with one-size-fits-all teaching. I look for ways to present the information so it makes sense to the person I'm working with. My approach is to offer encouragement and be non-judgmental while giving students the things they need so they can help themselves. I've gathered a lot of my own resources to use in helping students, and I do continuous research to find more effective teaching and learning aids.
Not being a certified teacher may have drawbacks, but my education and career experiences and many associations with training people and working with struggling students are my assets. Students I've worked with have improved in academics and in self-confidence with my approach and philosophy, and with the materials and resources I use.
back to top