Donald’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Donald’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
Though kids diagnosed with Asperger’s can vary widely in academic abilities, my eight years of teaching them points to several strategies that are consistent with academic success. There is a lot of anxiety, distraction and difficulty staying organized and focused. Because of these factors, a lot of potential can go unrealized. I use a lot of structuring techniques including organizational planners to get predictable routines established. These can be simple or complex checklists that have successful task completion as the goal. For some kids on the higher cognitive end of things, explicit ongoing conversations about Asperger’s that encourage self awareness can be really helpful. They help clear away a lot of the anxiety that gets in the way of learning. Systematically learning the meaning of various social queues (reading facial expressions, body language, etc.) is important. Along with rules for social interaction that emphasize politeness and cooperation it’s all helpful not just for functioning in the world, but by reducing anxiousness increases the ability to accomplish things academically. This all complements the teaching approach I have posted in the special needs section.
I am a certified teacher for all subjects in elementary school with 8 years of teaching experience. My goal is always to instill a love of learning and discovery while building foundational skills in math, reading and comprehension.
I adapt lessons as needed, depending on what areas need remediation or in depth practice. We work on building learning strategies to help a student succeed and enjoy learning. Some students benefit from learning experiences that are more visual or tactile while others love to explore ideas more abstractly. Lessons are geared to a student's learning style as well as his or her age and capabilities.
After introducing a new skill, I guide students with questions and dialogue to help them become independent masters of a growing set of skills that make learning fun while building confidence and self esteem.
I can use my own materials, including internet resources and / or use the materials and texts provided in school.
I can certainly communicate and coordinate with the classroom teacher.
In addition, I'm happy to work with younger children preparing to enter school, especially on basic reading and literacy skills.
I tutor students in all aspects of English, understanding and communicating in the English language.
Understanding involves being able to properly pronounce words (decoding), understand their meaning (vocabulary), fluency (read smoothly and naturally), as well as comprehension (understanding the meaning of sentences, paragraphs, stories, articles, etc.- both literally as well as what is implied).
Communicating, either written or spoken, involves proper word selection and usage, correct phrase, sentence and paragraph construction. Whether you are writing to communicate information or tell a story, their are proper structures to use in order to be effective. Proper spelling and proofreading to increase accuracy and effectiveness also come into play.
Or, to put it in plainer English, there are many important parts to the subject called "English". As a published writer, teacher and lifelong student of the language, I can help you in whatever parts you need help. I can help on whatever level you need help from the basics of learning to read through writing successful essays or stories or poems on the high school or college level.
Grammar is the toolbox for effective writing and speaking. It can seem a bit boring, but when taught in context, knowing how to use words properly and correctly build increasingly complex sentences and paragraphs can make you a powerful communicator in school and life.
Proofreading ensures proper use of the English language such as checking for correct spelling, punctuation, sentence construction, and paragraph structure. Additional work can be done by improving vocabulary, sentence complexity,etc. I can help you with proofreading in general or go through a specific paper with you that needs to be proofread. As a published writer, I have many years of experience and a keen eye for important details that others may miss.
I have 8 years of experience teaching and tutoring students with special needs. I have worked successfully with students on the autism spectrum, Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD-NOS), ADHD as well as students with other behavioral challenges. I have a master’s degree and certification in special education.
It’s important to be aware of a student’s cognitive strengths and needs as well as their functional needs and how these areas relate. I have used ABA practices over the years to help kids reach their potential.
Each special needs student is quite unique and I adapt learning for each student while carrying out instruction, formally and informally, in a patient and nurturing way. Many students benefit from making learning more visual and / or hands on, some learn better with the aid of various graphic organizers and learning and practicing on the internet. I help special needs students comprehensively in math, reading, understanding, and writing, including homework help. Additionally, we can work on communication and social skills if you desire.
With eight years of teaching experience, I have helped many students, including those with special needs develop their ability to learn, including specific study skill strategies. We work on staying engaged and focused, how to stay organized and manage time. Additionally it is important to recognize when frustration may require a break to relax the body, mind and feelings, a new learning strategy or backing up for some remedial work on underlying ideas.
The goal is to increase concentration, reduce external and internal distractions, find an effective but realistic pace, and select problem solving strategies from an increasingly large 'tool box'.
This can take place in the context of homework help and / or general tutoring sessions.
In terms of test preparation, the focus is on mastering the knowledge that is being tested. However, we also work on specific strategies for test taking, reasoning out a best answer, process of elimination, self pacing, etc.
As a published poet with many years of teaching writing at all levels, I can help you achieve your goals. From the building blocks of phrases, proper sentences, to organized paragraphs I can help you communicate effectively. Depending on level, we can work on basic expository writing, persuasive writing, essays, story telling and other narratives or creative writing.
Knowing how to better organize your writing is a vehicle for making you better at organizing your thinking. I believe this is true whether you are just beginning to write complete-thought sentences, building a master's thesis, or anything in between.