Alfred’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Alfred’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
I have used InDesign DAILY in my consulting business since it was first offered as a stand-alone product replacing Pagemaker (year 2000). I am professionally competent using it to create and transmit documents for printing and presentations.
On one level, it is a very complex product with many features through which the novice user often has difficulty navigating. Though my background in printing and production for publishing gives me edge in going deep into using its features, I am able to distill the basics for use by beginners.
On the next level, with minimum devotion to learning to use it, it can quickly become the "program of choice," relegating use of Microsoft WORD to the sidelines. With my knowledge of the program, and my skill as a teacher, I can take you to this level.
I can help you to understand the origin of the menu language which will increase your agility in using it. As well, I can direct you through the keyboard shortcuts and demonstrate efficiency in organizing the order of your "live content" input for maximum results.
Finally, because it is not a stand-alone product, learning to use the other products in the CS suite will enhance the ultimate value to you on whatever level you use it. I can familiarize you, or teach you in more depth, how to use all these programs.
I am not your usual parent-turned-teacher. A lot of parents and teachers look forward to jumping off the merry-go-round when it slows down enough to allow a safe exit. I’m looking forward to a new ride. I just love a challenge.
After a full career as a self-employed graphic artist, I returned to graduate school, and received a Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Antioch University, Seattle, in 2011. I actually started preparing for this career in earnest when my later-in-life son was entering the 4th grade. Previously, I was involved as a parent volunteer in his school for his early education years, but found myself (at his urging) developing and conducting a unique “writing club” project. The success of the program soon resulted in the support and urging of many parents to not only continue for three years (after my own son had moved on) but to consider formalizing what looked like a natural set of credentials. I answered their call.
While attending graduate school, I had multiple opportunities to experience teaching children of different ages and backgrounds, inside and outside the classroom. I logged separate stints of six weeks, two months, and four months in different age-group classrooms, followed by a 3-month full-time internship in a 5th-grade classroom. I preferred the atmosphere of the “alternative” schools, though I also spent productive time in a “challenged” school. I was honored to provide a “boost” for these children through reading and writing instruction I designed specially for them.
My quest is not over, though my preferred teaching emphasis has changed. Largely as a result of my graduate school experience, as well as my most recent experience within an after-school tutoring program, I have refined my talents in working with individual children in a variety of subjects, and consider myself adept at meeting specific tutoring needs. I have learned how to take the childrens’ thinking beyond the immediate homework assignment to prepare them for broader challenges in problem solving.
I want to help children become successful now. I know this will make becoming a successful adult more likely.
My preferred grade levels to teach are 3-6. I have the most relevant teaching experience with these ages, and communicate well with them in all subjects. It is a time when they are beginning to compile enough skills and knowledge to combine for discovering answers to emerging questions.
There are many emergent questions: Who am I? How does that work? What does that mean? Personalities and preferences are being understood and are now utilizable in a way that will have lifelong impact. Teachers particularly at this time have a crucial role— to help children build the confidence and curiosity they will need to become lifetime learners.
I am a lifetime learner. I know that children in this age group see me as approachable and interesting— I demonstrate interest in life to them. I have had the most profound and successful teaching experiences with individuals in these grades because I have an innate compassion for them. I believe that this is because though I am an elder adult, I am still a child at heart.
I still like to play.
I received formal training in Elementary Math teaching methods during my recent graduate school training. These methods included both theory and practice.
I have recently been employed in Seattle Public schools as a tutor to provide support for curriculum teaching, both for advanced and remedial students. This support included individual, small group and classroom assistance.
I also am currently offering my time as a homework counselor at a drop-in tutoring center.
I believe in the importance of mastering fundamentals, and can employ a variety of currently available tools to achieve this goal.
I received GLAD process instruction during graduate school training at Antioch U., Seattle, in 2010.
I co-authored an Independent Study Project publication during graduate school teacher training at Antioch U., Seattle, in 2010.
I have tutored multiple ELL students at 826 Seattle during writing workshops and at after school homework sessions from 2011-14.
I have been a Mac user from its first appearance on the market. I am a self-taught user, as its inventors intended it to be learned. I have used a Mac for 25 years in my Graphic Design business. I have hired myself out as a MacTemp employee. I have created successful commercial marketing materials, as well as a multitude of personal use documents, for myself and others.
The Mac system was designed as a user-friendly system, and remains so today, though its uses have expanded far beyond its "graphic interface" word processor origins. Through my skill as a teacher, I can successfully introduce you to this product and help you wonder why you ever used another system. I am fully competent with the use of the standard system features, as well as many of the apps now included "in the box."
The Mac system was designed to break down the barriers between thinking and creating. Part of my training for you will include "exploring with purpose"— thinking of where you want to go and using the Mac to help you get there. I can teach you what you need to know to use this tool successfully— whether it is marketing and accounting for your lemonade stand business, or publishing your memoirs. I've done both.
I received specific phonics training instruction during my coursework at Antioch University in Seattle. That training included both the theoretical background and current diagnostic testing and teaching application methods using the "BADER Reading and Language Inventory."
Guided reading, self-selected reading, and writing instruction are the main methods and components of phonics instruction I use. In order to use these effectively it is necessary for learners to be “engaged” with what they are learning. Selecting engaging reading materials is a key feature of my approach. I let the child lead me in this selection.
Understanding the child’s primary learning style (kinetic, visual, or auditory) helps me to design a program. This brings relevance to the learning time and helps build confidence and proficiency.
Phonics instruction should help learners decode words and construct meaning. I use tailored phonics instruction— sound development based— but believe this should be just one piece of a “wholistic” program which includes whole word recognition.
Children develop phonemic awareness and sequential decoding through regular practice opportunities in which they apply phonics skills. In order to sustain practice, a variety of activities that build memory banks and recall are used. Practice that is interesting and tailored to the child’s “hard-wired” (as well as developing) preferences, will produce the best results.
I received professional study skills training instruction during my graduate degree coursework at Antioch University in Seattle. That training included theoretical background in cognitive fundamentals, as well as practical applications designed to meet the needs of elementary student. I am, as well, a lifelong learner and practitioner of study skills and possess a deep reservoir of personal strategies that match the theoretical basis of the learning essentials.
It is my belief that teachers (and tutors) need to work together with parents to help children learn good study skills. Parents of elementary students help their children the most through examples they demonstrate in their lives. How do you approach solving problems? How do you react to difficulties? Are you organized or erratic? Do you make appointments as initially set? Pay all your bills on time?
To “develop” good study skills, the child needs to have the proper motivation. Usually, positive reinforcement is the prime consideration. Eventually, children (and adults) need to do things for the right reason— for themselves— through which they develop self-confidence, proficiency, and the love of doing things.
My practical approach is to initially help children discover how they learn best. When this is revealed to the child, we can develop a study system that fits their learning style, and use that system regularly. Preferred learning styles are like personalities— they vary from child to child. Some traits are innate, and those that must be learned need to access these.
Study skills are the means to an end. They are a process that involves knowing where you want to go and why, and developing a system to help you get there. Study skills are also a habit that is constantly evolving yet has essential components:
1) is appropriate to the task/goal
2) eliminates or reduces tedium
3) enhances understanding
Finally, there are two important concepts involved with developing study skills: divide up the tasks and conquer individually
I received formal training in Elementary Education at Antioch University, Seattle. My master’s thesis subject was “teaching memoir writing to children.” I earned my degree in 2010. Prior to that, I had been many things, including a lifelong writer. I wrote for myself and my teachers in grade school, high school, and college. I wrote for employers and clients through most of my adult years. I wrote and self-published my own book in 2007. I wrote an homage book to the life of a long-dead great uncle in 2011. None of these experiences qualifies me specifically to teach or tutor writing to children. That skill was made known to me through the following experience.
In 2006, at the urging of my then 9-year-old son, I conducted a voluntary writing workshop for K-5 children at his school. The only time available for this activity was during noon recess, not the best period to teach anything other than tag and kickball. I plunged into this anyway, and succeeded in attracting 12 students to attend the first week with the promise of publishing something they would write on the school website. The next week, 24 children attended; the third week, nearly 40. I had become a word-of-mouth attraction. My only demand was that they come to have fun— a hard to resist requirement.
I did not know that I had a natural gift for teaching children, but apparently I do. The children kept coming back every week— for 3 years— and so did I. I was urged by parents and teachers to formalize my credentials, i.e. get a teaching degree, which I did. I turned the reigns of my workshop over to another parent, and returned often during my advanced school training. The students always reacted positively to my presence, which charged my batteries. They wrote because it was fun.
I enjoy helping children formalize their thoughts through writing. I currently tutor private students as well as volunteer at a local non-profit writing workshop. I participate in school-time writing classes in elementary and middle schools, supporting on-going instruction as well as providing individual tutoring for K-8 children in workshops and after-school sessions.
It is odd that 'Riting is currently the odd-man-out when it comes to funding the long-favored 3Rs triumvirate in schools, giving way to the more easily measurable (though no less important) skills of Reading and ’Rithmatic (spelling fell out of favor long ago). There ought to be a law, because there is certainly no substitute for being able to express oneself adequately, and no better time to begin, for children, than today.