Tutoring children is a process of identifying what the child is interested in and using that to help them expand their knowledge and proficiency into new and uncharted areas. I received a Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Antioch University, Seattle in May 2011. I have tutored in multiple public school classrooms and a nationally-affiliated Learning Center, providing in-classroom, workshop, and individual support. I have developed and conducted instruction in reading, writing, math, and science.
My initial 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 continuing interest in tutoring is a "life calling" experience. 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.
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 might consider 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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