Mary’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Mary’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
I have worked with Attention Deficit and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder elementary students in the Clear Creek Independent School District (League City, Texas) as a substitute teacher-of-the-day. I worked for a full Fall and Spring session substituting as the Teacher-of-Record in a group of 18 different elementaries serving Grades K-5 plus Specials. I consulted the school district via computer each weekday, deciding which grade level and class to assist. Sometimes, I had five choices, other times, two. I have worked with all levels of elementary pupils, including classes with 24 or 35 students, and Specials Rooms with 5-8 students and special assistants assigned to help one student in particular.
As a tutor, I will ask the students to write something, read something, and express their opinions about their favorite topics in order to get to know them as unique individuals with different assessment needs. Then, I will prepare a coaching plan to help them. If they are enrolled in public or parochial schools, I can help them with their learning tasks outside of class or explain their classroom work to them in different ways to see how they learn different subjects effectively. If they get frustrated easily, I am very patient and considerate. I will quietly ask them to take a time-out and think about what I can do to help them learn to get past their frustration, encouraging them to apply their excess energy to constructive learning patterns. I will encourage them to do their best, even if they cannot understand or reason the right answer yet. I will attempt to fathom which multiple intelligence tactics work best for them (Is their verbal ability stronger than their kinesthetic learning aptitude, for instance?).
As a librarian and tutor, I belong to organizations like NCTE, the National Council of Teachers of English; and I keep apprised of cutting-edge developments in the education industry (Education Week). I have timely articles on-hand to share with prospective college-essay applicants. As an English major and published essayist/poet, I am well-versed to help applicants "present themselves" positively to college admissions offices. Any extracurricular information the student shares will be presented in a unique manner in order to help that applicant "stand out from the crowd".
As a former public library Reference Librarian, I counseled different-aged patrons in pursuing college careers using traditional library reference works as well as Internet sources to ascertain what different colleges and universities were expecting of their students regarding personal career goals and aspirations.
Having been educated in Texas public schools, I have always helped other people learn better by explaining subjects to them in different ways. I usually begin working with dyslexic students by asking them what issues they have encountered in the classroom: Scheduling of assignments and completing them in a timely manner, spelling or handwriting issues which might require the teacher to focus their grades on content and not on grammar, problems with copying information displayed on the board (maybe the student needs a netbook, if they have keyboarding skills, in the classroom to enable them to responsibly copy whiteboard assignments in their word processing calendar form). I appreciate anything the parent or teacher can bring to the table to help me tutor the student effectively. I have worked directly with learning-difference individuals in elementary schools (special education and mainstreamed students), and I praise their strengths and address their weaknesses to embolden them and give them the power to achieve their goals on their own merits.
Recently, I have read "Dyslexia Definition Now Covers Wider Range of Reading Disorders" by Tom Corrigan 3/20/2012 (Issaquah Press): "Dyslexia really encompasses anyone who has difficulty reading," Atwater said. Kathy Gottlieb, a literacy TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment) at Issaquah School District said the district does not use the word "dyslexia" in describing student reading problems. It is a medical diagnosis. The Issaquah District does complete comprehensive testing for reading disabilities. Atwater sees dyslexia issues in terms of coding and decoding words or letters in which persons have issues with connecting the letters or words on a page with the sounds normally connected with those words or letters. It is a reading disability combined with auditory processing problems. A dyslexic, for instance, cannot properly visualize a letter or word. Gottlieb explains that a dylexic can read a paragraph on a page and have no idea what it means. The brain's decoding of what is seen on the page is slow or interrupted. Atwater has noticed that reading a paragraph or page of written materials is a lot of work for dyslexic readers who do not like to read as a result. Similar words like "pear" and "pair" add to the confusion. Discriminating between homonyms, synonyms, and antonyms must be frustrating (my opinion). Each dyslexic has different reading problems...Each teaching plan, therefore, is unique. Atwater believes that MRIs can help identify what parts of the brain are having difficulties. Identifying the type of cognitive skill impairment can help teachers give individual attention to that needed skill, using phonics, teaching roots of words, etc. Look online for the frequently-updated list of people who have had dyslexia issues and overcome them successfully (my interjection). Reading and writing issues can be overcome through giving gifted people individual instruction, retraining parts of the brain that do not make the right-on connections needed for academic understanding.
If you are having trouble understanding, pronouncing, or writing in subjects being studied in classes, I can work with you to find out what is confusing or frustrating you. We will start simply and build our team skills together to bridge what you know and what you need to know to succeed in the subjects, based on your school's grade-level expectations.
My strongest subjects are English, Reading, Writing, Social Studies, History, and Science. I like Math and I can usually explain it well, but it is not my strength. I love art and music, but I am not an artist or musician who has been formally schooled. I use my creativity in music and art by sight singing in a choir, recording on karaoke, or developing scrapbooks of my writings or lifelong friendships. I was a drummer in middle school (three years), but I was never interested in learning to read music. I was taught the art of drumming by using math principles when counting drum rolls, etc. Luckily, I have "an ear for music."
I am a creative and original thinker because of all the teachers who encouraged me to pursue my natural talents once I had mastered basic class subjects. I welcome the opportunity to help you become a successful student so that you can participate in extracurricular activities of your choice while you build basic life skills that will enable you to be successful in your future careers.
I minored in Spanish in college, and I have substituted for a whole day in a third grade Hispanic bilingual (1/2 day English, the other half, Spanish) class in the Clear Creek ISD. I would like to help increase your fluency in English so that you will be more inclined to attend college or a special trade school instead of dropping out or losing direction during your middle school years. I will work with you on literacy topics or other subjects with which you are having concerns. Bring books, magazines, or newspapers, and we will work in tandem to understand them literally and figuratively. I also have some materials which I can share with you, once we have mastered your prioritized ESL needs. I wish you to grow in your understanding of English so that you will be successful in school and in life.
As an English major and scrapbooking aficionado, I have employed the craft of cursive handwriting and lettering in many of my artistic exploits. In the last year, I have helped two students, a fourth-grader and a fifth-grader, learn the old-fashioned method of cursive handwriting. Of course, left-hand writers may deploy a different slant to their cursive handwriting, and I am happy to work with them, too. I oversee each person's technique, then we discuss and address any hard-to-read letters, on a client-by-client basis.
I ordered phonics materials during my 10-year-stint as a Children's Librarian in a public library. I served many home schoolers and their parents/caregivers directly. I welcome the opportunity to work with your child on a one-to-one basis, giving her/him the quality attention they will need to succeed as independent readers. Word families are also important to fluent readers. If your child has any materials with which they are having difficulty, they can bring them to a mutually-agreed-upon library (like Freeman Library in Clear Lake), and I will work with them to improve their fluency and understanding.
I took the Praxis EC-Grade 4 subject content and pedagogy tests in 2010 or so in order to qualify for the College of the Mainland's Galveston County Alternative Certification requirements. After that year, the Praxis was extended to EC-Grade 6. I never secured a full-time job in the Galveston County School District (Hurricane Ike hurt their schools significantly during this threshold-of-time). Instead, I read about Wyzant online, submitting my qualifications to tutor as a contractor. In the interim, I substituted daily for two full semesters at 18 Clear Creek ISD elementary schools, daily selecting from different job options available in the AESOP system (Grades 1 through Grade 5). After this, I worked at a private/parochial school as a substitute teacher in Spanish, Music, and Science grouped-classes or in individual classrooms, as needed, from Grades 1-5. I also have a Master's degree in Library Science and a B.A. in English, with a Spanish minor.
Recently, I proofed, assessed, and qualified the "best" essays and poems for NCTE's (National Council of Teachers of English) annual 2014 contest for eleventh grade students in the U.S. Also, I am an established poet and book review writer on the Writer's Network website. I have edited 5,000 other writings on this site since 2012. My own creations have been viewed almost 2,000 times. Since mid-2010, I have edited essays and speeches for Grades 4 through adult in the process of helping my various-aged WyzAnt customers.
I am an experienced public speaker who has presented story times in public libraries, introduced speakers and programmers to groups of families and their children, participated in Toastmasters meetings, and shared an original poem or two with upper elementary students. I am a good listener who can help you mature in your speaking ability when making small- or large- group presentations. You prepare the speech, deliver it, and I provide constructive feedback. Together, we will work to fine-tune your presentation so that you will be "putting your best foot, or feet, forward."
If you are younger, say elementary age, I will work with you to increase your confidence in speaking before your classmates, or in front of your teacher, or in the assembly room when you are introducing others.
I am a member of NCTE (the National Council of Teachers of English) as well as the IRA (the International Reading Association). Therefore, I keep apprised of current techniques and strategies in reading and comprehension. I work with all ages of readers to help them achieve their personal and academic goals (from pre-K through adults). I share reading strategies with different types of learners on a one-to-one basis, including making each person aware of internet sites which can help them locate information which appeals to their individual interests. I have been trained to interface well with all types of learners.
Some titles I have ready to discuss with new high school and college clients include: Cold Mountain (Charles Frazier), The Crucible (Arthur Miller), The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald), A Lesson Before Dying (Ernest J. Gaines), Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave Written by Himself, Lord of the Flies (William Golding), Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck), A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens), To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee), The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver), A Raisin in the Sun (Lorraine Hansberry), most of Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare), The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne), Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card), The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway), The Wide Sargasso Sea (Jean Rhys) (notes containing information about prequel to Jane Eyre), Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte), Sylvia Plath's Blackberrying Poem paraphrased, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Animal Farm by George Orwell, Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Chosen by Chaim Potok, Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl (Logo-therapist), and rereading Othello, Shakespeare's greatest tragedy.
I have substituted in Clear Creek ISD (18 elementary schools)for an entire fall and spring session, checking each substituting opportunity daily and working in a different elementary and/or grade level daily, based upon need. I have substituted in Pre-K, Kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth, and fifth grades. I have worked in Special Ed classrooms, Life Skills classes, even mainstreaming an individual student in a regular classroom situation or helping two or three students at-a-time in a mainstreamed classroom, as well as substituting in a classroom with students of mixed abilities many times.
I believe every child can learn and I can help a person learn better. Let me know your child's strengths and weaknesses and I will help them comprehend better. I truly believe, for instance, that keeping a child on-task during summer, winter, and spring breaks is very important for short-term and long-term memory potential and personal knowledge growth.
When I tutor adults, young adults, and children, I quietly correct their speech issues, especially with ESL/ELL and special needs learners. Some people realize that their conversational speaking troubles result from habitual repetition of words they never realized were mispronunciations (cultural mores are included). They wish to succeed in school and business and they do not mind my patient attempts to help them secure their personal, business, and academic goals. (I have corrected some of my own mispronounced words by helping others who are not afraid to return the favor in a thoughtful manner).
I have assisted five different-aged students with specific Texas-related STAAR testing needs since 2012: A 3rd-4th grader with reading needs and a little ADHD; a 7th grader with ELA (English Language Arts) writing needs who spells phonetically and has some dyslexic issues; two 9th-10th graders who requested help with STAAR and SAT writing, in general; and two 10th-11th graders, one of whom needed writing tips, the other, who failed to pass STAAR in the 9th grade and 11th grade, possibly due to dyslexia and other special needs when taking tests, such as being distracted by noise in room, etc.
I have worked one-to-one with other students who asked for help with AP (Accelerated Program) reading and writing, ELA queries, Pre-AP/ SAT/PSAT/ACT reading and writing concerns, and one person concerned with writing a group of 6-8 GED essays in order to attend a community college. I have always helped different types of learners who express a need to motivate themselves better. I carefully observe their interpretations of what is read or written, finding other ways to reach them so that they can proceed on their own as independent readers and writers. Most assuredly, the STAAR essay format of a single page seems to cause concern with all types of students, whether they are advanced, middle-of-the-road, or dealing with issues like dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, mild autism, or sight/hearing/handwriting deficits.
I have life-long experience in helping people around me focus on their best ways of learning. As an accredited public librarian, I qualified each person's individual needs and wants while finding the best materials to help them study, write, or speak effectively. I performed reference queries for children, tweens, teens, college students, and adults using reference materials, subject-interest books, and the Internet. As a substitute teacher (NCLB's No Child Left Behind Highly-Qualified-to-Teach program for Galveston County), I followed the teachers'-of-record procedures in their classrooms (PreK through Grade 5), while suggesting other ways for the students to achieve their individual and team goals. Presently, as a tutor, I find better ways to reach different populations of students and adults. I show them how to organize themselves based upon their own habits or proclivities, scaffolding what they already know, using concrete steps to enable them to achieve their individual and learning goals.
TEAS, the Test of Essential Academic Skills, offered by Assessment Technologies Institute, serves as an admission tool for post-secondary education programs like the Clinical Technical Studies courses for Nursing Programs. I have taken the Accuplacer Test as part of College of the Mainland coursework in 2007, and I made a superior score on English, Reading, & Writing using an in-house, computer-based test. I have been tutoring all ages of High School AP students in the subjects of reading, spelling, English, and writing. My reference materials include higher-level reading vocabulary and English basics. I worked 8a-5p for ten International Physicians at the Texas Medical Center's Baylor College of Medicine Neurosensory Center using a dictaphone and an IBM Selectric typewriter, learning medical terminology "on-the-fly".
I have published creative poems, essays, and lesson plans (different subjects and age levels) featured on the online NCTE/National Council of Teachers of English/National Gallery of Writing site,(a 21st Century temporary writers' venue which closed down on 9/30/2013) and Lesson Plans Page website (still open). I have written six multi-disciplinary lessons on the Lesson Plans Page site. I am a featured WyzAnt tutor on the K12 Academics website, for which I have also written a lesson plan entitled: Rebus Writing Using Nursery Rhymes and a Book. Recently, in September 2012, I joined Writer's-Network.com, an online Poetry and Writing Community, sharing my older/newer poems and free verse as well as reviewing the original creations of others. Most, if not all, of my original NCTE Gallery writings have since been updated on the writer's-network.com site. NCTE invited me to serve as a national judge in the 2014 NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing contest which ends on April 2nd, 2014. I read and recognized twenty high school juniors' "best" ten-page assorted essays and poems. Two judges' reviews and ratings are combined in order to determine the final winners.