People who know me say I am brave.
I am currently tutoring part-time in the Seattle School district. I provide individual child tutoring, as well as classroom support for 3-4th grade students in multiple subjects. I am also tutoring K-6th grade students at a nationally affiliated learning center. Tutoring there consists of homework support in a variety of subjects, as well as daily creative writing/thinking exercises. I also participate in 2-6th grade writing development programs, providing individual tutoring support for scripted and open-end writing exercises.
I like to make learning interesting, to the point that it may not always be obvious to the child that learning is happening. Even rote memorization can be interesting with the right motivation.
Tutoring should be a process of identifying what the child is interested in and using that to help them expand their knowledge and proficiency with multiple subjects into new and uncharted areas.
I received a Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Antioch University, Seattle in May 2011. Prior to that, in the 2010 – 2011 school year, I was a teacher’s assistant in a 5th grade public school classroom, providing individualized learning support as well as developing and conducting lessons in reading, writing, math, and science during a subsequent internship period.
My interest in tutoring comes primarily through working with children during my development of a “writing club” workshop for K-5th graders at a public school. Children were invited (under their own initiative) to receive tutoring support in self-selected writing projects. They chose their own topics to explore, as well as participated in assigned writing activities.
My tutoring style centers on building a rapport, getting to know the child to find out what kind of learner they are, what interests and excites them, and how their minds work. I am skilled at doing this quickly, though it is an ongoing process as our relationship develops. I am constantly on the lookout for ways to help them appreciate the usefulness of their learning— "what can I do with this in my life right now"— as well as invigorating them to push their boundaries.
At a drop-in tutoring program, I was assigned a child with multiple special needs. We worked together on homework for an hour and a half our first evening. After our session, he was tired, but proud to reveal to his grateful, and pleasantly astonished mother, that he had finished all of his homework (reading, mathematics, writing) AND had 10 minutes left over to play a game. I was grateful as she thanked me; I was proud of his achievement. He selected me preferentially on future tutoring occasions.
My style is simple: listen deeply and respond openly. I like to be viewed as a trusted source. My motivational techniques are equally simply— “engage in a partnership effort with me, and receive honest, meaningful encouragement.” I appreciate creative problem solving, and will seek alternate approaches to understanding when a standard path is not sufficient.
I like to take subjects that the child considers difficult and boring, and present the learning in a way that is challenging and fun. There are a variety of ways and means to do this, from directed learning exercises to reality-based activities. If I can take a child who says to me "I'm no good at this and I hate doing it," and turn them toward "I really like this, it's interesting," then our time together was successful.
I am an expansive teacher. My approach to teaching is both academic and experiential. Level 1 of learning in all subjects is memory of abstract facts. The ability to quickly correctly recall pertinent information is essential to performing at the next level— comparison and contrasting. Children who are struggling are usually struggling with facts. They may also be struggling at the next level: interest.
Essential components in developing interest for children are relevancy and tedium reduction. Mixing up the ways in which the learning is delivered (through games and creative activities) enhances the interest level. It is also necessary to provide multiple entry points (physical, auditory, and verbal), develop all areas of the brain, so that individual learning styles (as well as those not preferred by the child) are incorporated and accessed.
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