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Tom F.

Retired Elementary Assistant Principal - Special Ed/Reading Specialist

Austin, TX (78750)

Travel radius
5 miles
Hourly fee
$40.00
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Hello, my name is Tom and I am a recently retired elementary assistant principal, third grade teacher and special educator. I have six children, four grandchildren and over 30 years experience working with elementary aged children in the Round Rock and Leander school districts.

I am especially interested in using technology in learning. I enjoy teaching Reading, Science, Math and Social Studies. I am currently tutoring my second grade grandchild in Clemson, SC. with her spelling using an iPad application. We use FaceTime every Thursday night to take a written pre-test before the big test on Friday morning. I am pleased to report she has made high marks on her report card in spelling and has made significant gains in reading this year.

Creating a wide variety of experiences helps children learn and develop their interests and provides them with a wealth of general knowledge. As parents and educators, we must challenge ourselves to make learning an enjoyable lifetime habit.

I enjoy gardening and I am an amateur photographer. I recently photographed a car race and endangered whooping cranes.

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Tom’s subjects

Aspergers

As an elementary administrator, I was charged with approving treatment plans for students identified as Aspergers syndrome. These students often have problems with social skills, difficulty interacting with others and often are awkward in social situations. They generally do not make friends easily. They have difficulty initiating and maintaining conversation. Children with Aspergers also often display eccentric or repetitive behaviors. Other characteristics include communication difficulties and coordination problems.

Many children with Asperger's syndrome are exceptionally talented or skilled in a particular areas such as music or math.

I took it upon myself to learn all I could to be knowledgeable to support my teachers and help develop Individual education plans for these students.

I was an approved in home trainer, offering parents suggestions to help reinforce school plans in the home setting.

Elementary (K-6th)

I currently hold the following valid Texas Teacher Certificates:

01/17/1981 Life Provisional Elementary Self-Contained (Grades 01-08)
01/17/1981 Life Emotionally Disturbed (Grades PK-12)
08/05/1994 Life ProfessionalMid-Management Administrator (Grades PK-12)

I have experience teaching self-contained classes in both elementary and middle school. I have also taught third grade regular education classes.

My extensive experience as an elementary school administrator has resulted in my familiarization of all elementary curriculum.

Elementary Math

As a young student, I had always considered math to be my weakness. It was difficult for me and I lacked confidence in my academic abilities. When I began teaching, I was determined to make sure my young students never felt as if math was too hard for them. I would provide unlimited examples and dialogue about mathematical processes until my students fully understood both the computational and problem solving strategies necessary to solve problems. As a result, math became one of my favorite subjects to teach.

Elementary Science

Having taught science in third grade for six years I was designated as the team leader in developing lesson plans for my team which consisted of six teachers. It was my responsibility to ensure supplies for each activity and experiment was available to them. If additional information or training was necessary, I was the "Go To" person.

In teaching science we used hands-on activities almost exclusively. At the elementary level, curriculum is geared around children's natural curiosity of how things work. I enjoy creating discovery projects where children learn they can be scientists and discover things.

Phonics

As a former third grade teacher I often encountered students that did not have the prerequisite phonetic skills necessary to succeed in reading. Working with then individually, I found great success with a systematic approach to phonic instruction. This is the sequence I used for these students while teaching third grade for six years.

Phonics instruction is only one part of a complete reading program. Effective reading programs should also emphasize reading fluency, vocabulary development, and text comprehension. I currently hold a valid Texas Teacher Certificate.

Reading

While working on my Master of Education degree, I minored in reading and have always enjoyed teaching students to read. It truly is the most important subject taught in elementary school.

As a third grade teacher, I loved reading to my students both as a model of a good reader and for teaching reading skills such as predicting outcomes.

Instilling a love of reading is one of the most rewarding things a teacher can do for students.

Special Needs

I currently hold the following valid Texas Teacher Certificates:

01/17/1981 Life Provisional Elementary Self-Contained (Grades 01-08)
01/17/1981 Life Emotionally Disturbed (Grades PK-12)
08/05/1994 Life Professional Mid-Management Administrator (Grades PK-12)

I have experience teaching self-contained classes in both elementary and middle school. I have also taught third grade regular education classes.

My extensive experience as an elementary school administrator has resulted in my familiarization of all elementary curriculum.

In addition, I have worked for MHMR at Denton State School, Arizona Children's Home, and The Brown School in San Marcos. My experience has primarily been working with emotionally disturbed children and autistic, and Down's Syndrome.

Spelling

I have a thorough knowledge of phonemic awareness and spelling patterns, two very important strategies, in learning to spell correctly. I also understand the relationship between spelling and reading. An avid reader is often good at spelling because of the frequency of seeing words spelled correctly. Visual memory plays a big part as students looks at words and they just don't look "Right" to them.

The test-study-test plan along with immediate self-correction are research based strategies that help students in mastering spelling. A multi-sensory approach is most effective. Spelling is primarily a sensory-motor habit. The correct spelling of a word is both learned and recalled by repeated motor reactions. Most successful spellers depend upon one of their senses to tell whether the word is right or not.

Finally, teaching spelling rules is a critical part of spelling instruction.

Vocabulary

I am a Texas certified grades 1-8 teacher with over 30 years total teaching experience. The importance of teaching vocabulary cannot be underestimated. Most academic tests today are largely vocabulary tests. In teaching third grade for six years, I found every student benefited from increasing their vocabulary. Methods like looking up words in a dictionary have little usefulness, while repeated exposure of new vocabulary words in various context have proven greatly beneficial for my students.

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Education

University of North Texas (Psychology)

University of Arizona (MEd)

Southwest Texas State University (Other)

Wonderful Tutor Tom has been great tutor for both of my nephews. They looked forward to working with him and was always excited about math after a session. He keeps an open line of communication and has been highly professional. Not only has he worked one on one but he also incorporated technology in our sessions. ...

— Tiffany from Austin, TX on 8/21/13);

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $40.00

Cancellation: 2 hours notice required

Travel policy

Tom will travel within 5 miles of Austin, TX 78750.

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