My passion has always been teaching, and that must have been noticeable, since my teachers had me tutoring younger students by the time I was in the third grade. I began by helping students with phonics. My students became independent so quickly, I was soon tutoring children my own age in spelling, reading, and writing.
In high school, my counselor discovered the core of my talent: my capability of helping others discover themselves, their capabilities and weaknesses, and in that providing the necessary motivation for further success. I then tutored students in all subjects, not due to the subject itself, but due to their negative attitudes toward learning. This led to better grades in all subjects and more motivated students.
Later I tutored at a European school in Germany, helping first and second graders from other countries to learn the English language more quickly. During that time we discovered one of my daughters had dyslexia... and so did I. I participated in two seminars about dyslexia and began to understand my success in tutoring; I not only motivate the students, I also analyze their learning techniques and creatively help them find solutions, their strengths that complement their weaknesses. I simply pass on that which my teachers were for me.
During my 25 years of living on the German economy, I not only taught German children English, I learned the German language. I am fluent in reading and writing and my accent is not that strong. Since my husband and some of my closest friends are German, I have good reason to believe this will remain this way.
Being that I was a freelancer in Germany, I also taught ballet and creative dance for ages three to twelve. I myself took four years of ballet as a child, stopping after my first six months of toe dance. In 2010 I took and successfully resolved the first half of an education toward dance pedagogic.
Certainly I still have things to learn, and that I will do. At the moment, I tutor at the Family Learning Institute in Ann Arbor and am attending an online university, working toward a BA in Education Studies.
When tutoring, my approach is quite simple. I begin by working on the subject at hand, observing the child's techniques and capabilities and increasing their awareness of the same. Then I analyze with 'tests,' the order of their learning methods (audial, visual, kinesthetic). From here, remaining on track with the given schoolwork, I offer a variety of learning methods possible within their strengths. Together we not only find how they can learn most effectively at home, but also what can be implemented into their classroom environment. We practice and enjoy these solutions, making them a part of their everyday lives.
Remember! Agatha Christie was dyslexic. I believe it's not so much what life gives to us, but what we make of it. And everyone was given some sort of valuable tools!
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