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My experience as a tutor and a person has taught me to focus on teaching the student, rather than the subject, because that is the best way for the student to learn the subject. In order to learn, however, students must first accept my instruction by believing they can learn and making the effort to learn. I can help you reach your goal, but you must pay the price of painstaking effort. You also must believe that you can learn! Even though I have an M.A. in educational psychology and have given I.Q. tests, I do not believe in them. It will help you right now to stop believing in them. Intelligence is something you can improve by learning how to think. I focus on helping you to learn how to think, so you get smart enough to master the subject you dread, or any subject. Some students are not ready to make the prerequisite effort for lack of drive. This problem is due to disorganized thinking. So, I focus on helping you to organize your thoughts. Both learning how to think and to organize your thoughts is made much easier by breaking the big tasks into many smaller and easier steps. This is how I help students break down their lessons, so they have success and to not get frustrated and confused. This empowers you to make resolutions about your goal, and gets you motivated to work toward it.
Dear prospective students: The ACT English test measures your skill in building good sentences. I highly encourage you to refine your English skills, not just to score well on the ACT, but to improve your thinking, expressive, and living skills. Yes, your command of language does strongly affect your success in every aspect of life! Self-help guides for the ACT are sometimes good, but often ineffective. That is the main benefit of working with a tutor. The books give strategies on how to answer correctly, but during the test many people get nervous and forget the rules! Even if they painstakingly use them and get right answers, they end up badly for leaving many questions unanswered. It takes time to follow memorized rules, but the ACT also is quite a timed test. The best preparation is writing your own sentences and reviewing them with a competent tutor. Correct English then becomes second nature for you, so that you don't need to think that long to find the right answers. Also, this way you practice for the ACT writing at the same time.
Algebra 1 becomes a fascinating doorway for you, once you get over needless anxieties. Picture yourself as a detective investigating the mysterious Ms. X and Mr. Y! You might be asked to find out who they are: could it be 2? 3? 3.1415 - just call him pi! You might be asked to describe their behaviors, the ways they go in terms of graphs. Compared to arithmetic, math gets a lot more exciting with algebra! Don't get nervous about the big words, such as "function". Think of it like building a house. To build one, what must workers do with the material? Lay the foundations, erect the walls, and raise the roof. Math teachers like to talk fancy, so they say, "Building a house is a FUNCTION of laying the foundations, erecting the walls, and raising the roof." But this is just a fancy way of saying what we already know. So, when you read, "y=f(x), that is, y is a function of x," relax and put it in your own words as, to get y,what must you do with the variable x? The book or the teacher tells you: maybe square the x, that is, x^2, maybe then also add 6, that is, x^+6? Enjoy the mystery, plus the magic! Learn to like math! Math is your friend, helping you in science, business, and just learning how to think better.
You may not believe this now, but my aim as your tutor would be to convince you that this is true: compared to arithmetic, math gets a lot more exciting with algebra! Doing math is like building a house. If the house falls, chances are the foundations were weak. If you are failing Algebra 2, chances are you did not get strongly into Algebra 1. I would evaluate where you are first, but there is a good chance I might need to start you as the detective trainee, learning to investigate the mysterious Ms. X and Mr. Y. How exciting, to become the detective! That is how you need to think of math in order to learn it well. Besides the mystery, I would help you appreciate the MAGIC of math! Have you read "The Invisible Man" by Wells? He was quite a character! In algebra, 0 and 1 are the invisible characters, and you learn the magic of making them visible and invisible again. I would help you work this magic much of the time, because this is how you solve many algebraic problems. May you think of algebra as your friend; may you master the mystery and the magic of mathematics! Best wishes!
Dear prospective students: So you want to learn Czech! Hopefully you love challenges! I was raised in a Czech-speaking household, so I am fluent and literate in Czech. I can tutor in speaking, reading, and writing it. You will need to know English grammar first. If you have trouble with that, you definitely will have trouble with Czech! All languages have grammar, but, in Slavic languages, knowing the difference between a word as subject and as adverb is crucial for good communication. Unless you are quite a genius, you will not learn even passing Czech without a tutor. Best wishes!
I took a number of English courses as part of my studies at The University of Toledo, from which I was awarded my B.A. degree. I had excellent grades in them. I have published nearly 500 poems and several essays on the web, one of which had 68000 readers.
To teach for the GED, the good tutor addresses the possible reasons why the student did not finish High School. Among other factors, three can be lessened by the tutor: discouragement, distraction, and boredom.
Discouragement can be reduced by taking one task at a time, as much as possible, and breaking it down into smaller steps until they are mastered readily, with plenty of reinforcement from the tutor.
Boredom can be addressed by emphasizing the emotional and the imaginative components of the lesson to be learned. I cannot expect to arouse the enthusiasm which makes learning so much easier without including feelings, because enthusiasm itself is largely an affective response. Allowing the student to exercise imagination in experiencing a lesson is a way of engaging the student as a whole person to interact with its material. How incompatible with being bored!
The good GED tutor gets to know the student as a person, so that the student can be made to feel at home with the material being taught. When students find themselves in an environment discordant with their nature, they do not function well, like fish out of water! Many students dropped out because they felt like this in school.
More students than we realize have dropped out because they have ADHD to some degree, not necessarily apparent enough to get diagnosed. Here are strategies I would use, based on recommendations from experts. These could help any student needing GED preparation:
1) Reduce distractions in the study area.
2) Keep directions short and clear.
3) Make eye contact when giving directions.
4) Have the student repeat directions before starting.
5) Encourage the student to ask questions and seek help.
6) Use an assignment notebook signed by both the student and the tutor.
7) Monitor frequently.
8) Modify assignments as needed.
9) Shorten assignments.
10) Give extra time.
11) Establish a study routine.
12) Use multisensory presentation, including visual aids.
13) Read assignments and do them aloud.
14) Draw pictures relating concepts in reading material, called mind mapping.
15) Teach skimming for key words and main ideas.
16) Use the Multi-Pass Strategy: passing through a reading lesson a number of times to gather major points.
17) Work with the student to develop a self-monitoring prescription, by discussing what improvements could empower the student to succeed more.
I love teaching geometry because it reminds me that our eyes are not absolutely trustworthy in telling us how something really is. We sometimes miss important things in making visual perceptions out of what our eyes take in. We end up making misjudgments, such as seeing visual illusions.
It is very helpful to start teaching geometry with a game. I would blindfold you and ask you to identify some objects by feeling. I give you a treat for every hit. Wouldn't that be fun! Geometry can be that kind of fun too, once you learn how to play the game better. All it takes is some practice for the fun to start!
My nickname for geometry is, "blindfold math". Yes, geometry is like doing math with your eyes blindfolded! Why? Because the name of the game is to identify some fact about an object without looking at it. In the introductory game, you would use feeling to substitute for looking. In the geometry game, you use thinking to substitute for looking. A fancy, magical you might say, name for thinking that math whizzes use is, "logic".
Remember when I started, how I said that sometimes we miss important things in making visual perceptions out of what our eyes take in? In a similar way when doing geometry, we want to take utmost care not to miss important steps in making logical conclusions out of what our minds reason. Our minds tend to get lazy and sloppy just as our eyes do; we end up making misjudgments in our geometric proofs just as we do in visual perceptions. As a geometry student, your goal is to make your mind sharper than your eye, sort of as, "the hand is quicker than the eye", or even as, "the pencil is sharper than the sword"!
Therefore, get your pencil sharp, close your eyes, focus your mind, go! Let the geometry games begin!
My approach to tutoring science is to move the student to wonder at the poetic magic of how the world really is. Children are fascinated by the fictional magic in fairy tales and stories. Yet there is a magic to reality which is neither supernatural nor a trick, but instead is awesome because it is real, and we can actually understand it! We feel it when we look out at the vastness of an ocean, or the universe, and appreciate them through knowing about how natural laws intricately interact to make them possible. Approaching science as the thrilling discovery of this real magic is the only right way to learn science, and this is my approach.
One of the most famous psychiatrists, Carl Jung, wrote, "The world exists not merely in itself, but also as it appears to me." That holds true for you too! In my judgment as someone with an Master of Arts in psychology, this is the best reason for studying psychology, and it makes psychology very valuable. Congratulations on your wise choice of subjects! An implication of the quote is that you don't know that much about anything unless you also know about your own mind. Your mind is, after all, what is doing the work of knowing. Socrates, who was among the wisest people of all times, advised, "Know yourself." Psychology has many uses in helping you to relate better with people, but one of its best uses is helping you to know your true self. We all must set goals for ourselves. If you don't know your true self, you might pick goals inappropriate for you in the long run. Psychology, by helping you to know yourself, may help you get on the right track for the rest of your life. You never can get enough of psychology. The more you get, the better off you probably will be.
My experiences with teaching reading have taught me it works best when it is fun, especially for the young child. Among the best ways to get started is enthusiastically reading to the child using material the child loves. This should be for no more than 20 minutes, never so long that it becomes taxing. You also start by familiarizing the child with letters, uppercase first, both with practice writing them and reading them. A very effective way of teaching the letters to young children is having them make them as a part of play and games. You need to get down to the level of the child to teach reading effectively.
In the undergraduate and graduate programs I have completed in psychology, I had courses giving an understanding of the challenges of special needs to the student. I have helped people with special needs as a trainer at state and private facilities. I was a QMRP, Qualified Mental Retardation Professional, at Ruston State School, Ruston Louisiana. I also have worked with children with special needs through a private practice group in Toledo Ohio.
I love teaching study skills because I myself have learned just how valuable they are! I would not have earned an M.A. degree without them, not even a B.A.!
The first thing students must learn for good study skills is to minimize activities other than, even incompatible with, studying! Prioritizing is succeeding! Any day only has so much time; therefore, committing yourself to effective studying may well mean leaving some activities out of most days.
Studying starts with: right scene! right routine! This means, as much as possible, same place, same time, every day. The student should be advised to study at a scene free from distractions, well lit, with supplies handy. The public library usually is the best, far from unexpected friends! One of the best supplies is a computer, and among the best investments of my tutorial time is making sure the student knows how to use it for learning purposes.
I encourage the student to HAVE A GOOD NOTEBOOK AND SOME PENS, and to plan, plan, PLAN! What is worth planning is worth writing down, or else things won't go according to plan!
Students need to follow the 80-20 Rule, based on the Pareto Principle: 20% of your planned activities probably will produce at least 80% of the desired results. Efficacy is focusing on that one fifth. Identify the magical 20%!
I also want to make sure students obey Parkinson's Law: If you fail to schedule an hour for a project which should take an hour, you might well manage to take at least two! I plan to add yet another book to the series: Einstein for Dummies! The point for students to remember is, time flies when you are having fun, and often also when you are not, namely, when studying! Time keeps beating them to the finishing line! They expected to finish before the hour, but time runs out first. I encourage students to set an alarm clock for disciplining themselves.
As a tutor in study skills, I always want to remember the Henry Ford Aphorism: "Nothing is particularly hard, if you divide it into small jobs," and small enough learning steps for students. Also, I never want to forget to go over the "crucial fifteen minutes" step in getting organized. They need to take 15 at the end of the day for evaluating progress that day, and for refreshing their written resolutions for the coming day.
Have I got a surprise for you! Trigonometry can get be exciting, as soon as you get into it! I bet that no teacher ever told you the story of trig, but knowing its history and thereby appreciating its value is half the battle of mastering it! Among the main reasons for first inventing trig was to aid navigation. It went from helping to guide ships to enabling us to use GPS satellite systems in cars! Keeping this in mind, you can see why I say: trig may enable you to stay in the driver's seat and ON TRACK toward a better future. Think of it this way. Can you imagine having a key to magically unlock many different doors? Trig is exactly like that! Its use is so common that it is well described as a UNIVERSAL tool! One of the first uses of trig was a tool in astronomy, the science of the stars. So, to sum this all up, knowing trig can guide you in the direction to become the STAR of the show of your life. I hope you do decide to master trigonometry, and bon voyage! Best wishes on your quest to master life!
I have nearly forty years of experience in writing essays and poetry. I have been published on the Internet at various websites, as you may check out through a Google search. I love to help students with writing, because this is among the best ways of helping students, not only to express themselves, but also to organize and refine their thoughts. Writing with me is the golden road, not only to reading, but also to better thinking! The learning carries over to every aspect of our scholastic, personal, and later occupational lives.
Mr. Radko is a very nice person — As a international student, I can say that I never met a teacher as patient as he is. I really enjoy the time to study with him. An awesome teacher. ...
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