When I began applying to graduate schools three years ago as part of my plan to make a major shift from corporate America into the world of education I quickly realized that developing and articulating a “teaching statement” or a “teaching philosophy” was going to be an integral part of the academic application process. According to the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning (Writing Teaching Statements and Philosophies, 2011), a teaching statement serves as a summary of the methods and approaches that an educator plans to take in helping students achieve their academic goals. There are scores of websites and articles on the subject of writing effective teaching statements. Many of these sources also provided examples of so-called “model” teaching statements. While all were undoubtedly carefully considered and masterfully crafted, there was one aspect of all the examples I read that struck me as odd: almost without exception, the teaching statements focused on the teacher’s... read more
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When working with a students’ reading levels and progress towards their comprehension, I am learning that you can’t do the same type of activities over and over again with them. They get bored and even though they may be struggling, they still want a challenge. You need to have them involved in engaging activities all the time. One of the second graders I work with on reading doesn’t mind reading different books as the main activity of her tutoring sessions – in fact, I think her parents prefer it. Well, that’s just not good enough; she needs more of a challenge with her reading so that she can grow and develop with her class. After each reading, or sometimes even after a chapter, we go through the events of what happened, then discuss the setting, the characters, the conflict, and so on. We now incorporate a vocabulary lesson. I pull out vocabulary words that she struggled with and clearly didn’t know as we were reading and make a list. She then defines the word and uses... read more
Hello everyone! Or should I say kazoozampola! That is Dzongkha (the national language of Bhutan) for HELLO! After a few months away in the Land of the Thunder Dragon, the Kingdom of Bhutan, teaching at the Royal University of Bhutan, I am back and ready to see you. I am ready to apply some of the insights into teaching that I gained on this last adventure. Every year or so I try to freshen my approach to teaching. Subjects don't change that much. Let's face it - spelling stays pretty much the same, as does the pronunciation of words, and the structure of a sentence. But HOW to teach these topics -whether to a high school student struggling with essay writing or a business executive getting prepared for a presentation, or a non-native speaker hoping to improve his job prospects - refreshing teaching methods keeps me fresh, and keeps you interested (and helps towards better results). A few years ago I took some ASL (American Sign Language) courses to help inform my... read more
Give positive feedback, use encouraging vocabulary Find success, and reinforce effort, in even minor accomplishment ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ A tutor provides expertise, experience, and encouragement. They do not provide "answers," but rather assist in problem solving, in getting answers. The challenge is to focus on assignments within the context they are assigned. Tutors should not be expected to diagnose learning disabilities. Diagnosis should take place outside of the tutoring process by a professional academic counselor. If a larger problem becomes apparent, referral is the best strategy. Tutoring strategies: Seek out training to be a more effective tutor: This includes subject matter as well as the tutoring procedures Clearly establish expectations for your learner What are the expectations of the learner? of the teacher? and of those close to the learner (classmates,... read more
Salvete Omnes! (Greetings all!) This post is to inform all potential students that I am currently about 35 weeks pregnant and will not be accepting new students until April 1st. Current students should be advised that my schedule may become severely limited in the next two months. During this time, I may be available for short sessions or for one-time-only students. I will not be able to make any long-term commitments until April 1st.
According to Grigg, Daane, Jin, and Campbell (2003), more than 8 million middle and high school students are struggling readers, and among those, many are at a high risk of dropping out of school. A longitudinal study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics (2009) revealed schools with a higher percentage of minority students had a higher dropout rate, which increased as the school poverty level increased. Hispanic students and Black students had the highest dropout rates (11% and 10%, respectively) of all racial groups. According to a local public high school’s AYP report (Florida Department of Education, 2010b), 320 of 743 Hispanic students were on track to graduate. The 2010 AYP results revealed that 38 of 107 Black students were on track for graduation. In accordance with the Florida Legislature (2010), students aged 3-21 who have a disability and gifted students in grades K-12 are eligible for exceptional student services... read more
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Hello and welcome to my Blog page. As I jump into tutoring, I hope to fill this page with helpful tips and techniques that I pick up along the way. For example, a great way to study English is to read. The more a person reads, the more vocabulary, grammar, structure, etc. is picked up and translated into their own writing. Even if it is a small article each day, reading motivates the mind. This daily routine is especially important to English learners (ESL). Academic writings, such as articles, should be considered as a first choice in English aid. History and historical perspectives are also great teachers. To get inspired, watch a documentary online, write your own historical interpretation of a recent event, or be a news reporter for a day. For information on my endorsements and work experiences, please feel free to contact me. Thank you for your consideration!
If you ever have any doubt about how to format something in an essay, just check the Owl: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ This website will answer any and all MLA/APA questions you may have.
What method of inquiry do we tend to rely on to communicate with others? We often rely on questions to do so. While this can provide answers to us that suffice, we tend to only ask simple clarifying questions rather than open- ended inquiries. For example, if you were to ask your son or daughter if they understood your instructions to clean their room, chances are you will receive merely a "yes" or "no" answer. In an open-ended inquiry, your would ask instead, "What did I request of you to do...?" Asking open-ended questions evoke deeper thought from others and lead to better understanding and communication. Practicing this simple form of communicating can help you and others you interact with become successful conversationalist. So the next time you need to know something, ask the questions that will ensure that both you and the other party you are communicating with understand one another on a deeper, clearer level. Happy Thinking!
What a way to start off the New Year! First I met with a student for US History and Living Environment. She is taking the Regents exams in three weeks. When I first met with her, Cee had a fear of taking exams, and was very nervous. She struggled with understanding both subjects; the Historical Events and dates, as well as the vocabulary words for Biology. Her next struggles were understanding and answering the document based questions for US History and the short responses for LE. Now she answers them much more confidently and accurately, and has even improved in writing her document based and thematic essays for US History. I am so proud of her and is certain that she will pass both Regents exams. Then I met with my grade 4 student for Math, English Language Art and Science. He has gone from scoring 31% to 83% on his practice science exam. He is much more confident with doing Math and ELA assignments. I am so proud of him. Then it was on to my grade 6 Math student. When... read more
I've been living here in Lisle for almost a year. I had such a great time in teaching the kids in Langlang Education Center as well as at home. I would like to share something here with all of you: teachers, students and parents. I hope that you can enjoy my post and also Wish whomever reads this post a Happy and Healthy New Year. Chinese or American, kids all behave very similarly in their curiosity and enthusiasm to learn something that they are interested in. So as a teacher, when I helped the kids in languages or other subjects, all I need is just smile and encouragement all the time. Smile can help the kids to have a very comfortable atmosphere to learn with you and encouragement is very essential to help kids build up their confidence in learning anything. Once you handle these two pieces of treasure in teaching very well, you will gain a magnetic connection with the kids and make them like you and enjoy learning with you. Of course, at the same time you can... read more
Hi Everyone! I am excited to to say that I met my first student. He was awesome! One thing I will do to help improve the lessons is to use the ideas in "Comprehension Going Forward: Where We Are and What's Next" which has one of my favorite authors in it. I hope that her ideas improve my ability to be effect. Also, I want to say that my student's family is so nice. I was honored to be accepted into their presence.
There is plenty of research about the “summer brain drain” – a reference to the amount of learning that children lose during their summer breaks. Some researchers believe students can lose as much as three months worth of last year’s learning over the summer. Several reasons are cited for this; one of them is the absence of regular reviews of material to reinforce what’s been learned. This article summarizes the “brain drain” phenomenon and how educators, parents, and families can help prevent this from happening. “Summer Brain Drain” Educational researchers have studied the “summer brain drain” phenomenon for years. Most of this research is related to the psychology of memory, forgetting, and biopsychology. There are many causes of “forgetting”, including something as simple as walking through a (virtual or real) doorway. (For an article on the “doorway forgetting effect”, see Dr. Ira E. Hyman Jr’s. article titled “Doorways Cause Forgetting: What did I come here for... read more
I'm sure you've noticed this--For some reason teenagers in general, especially young men, tend to "resist" when their mothers ask them to do something. Even when they do obey, they seem to have an attitude of "dragging their feet" sometimes....It might be a subconscious part of growing up. I'm not sure why, but I do remember feeling that way when I was a teenager too. So sometimes it really helps to have a coach or tutor or someone else do the "pushing" that is needed. (And it can give moms a break, so they don't have to be the only ones doing all the pushing...Moms, you deserve a break once in a while too.) :) I encourage--push--my students to put in more effort before our sessions, doing as much as they can on their own, which saves time & money and also lets the students build confidence that they can do more "self-starting" in the future. Comments are welcome--I'd like to hear your thoughts and feedback on this. Thanks, and have a great day. PC
Nearly all high school and college students have a research paper requirement. Many college students are likely facing imminent research paper deadlines as the semester ends. Writing research papers can cause a lot of anxiety. This article will teach you how to narrow your research topic, clarify your thesis statement, and sort and organize your research to help you simplify your final editing process. Editing for Both Quality and Quantity. One common issue is having a research paper that is either too long or too short. Narrowing and clarifying your topic will help you write a better thesis statement and help you use only your most important or interesting facts and information. A properly focused topic will help save time by helping you use more specific keywords and phrases for your Internet search. You’ll be able to collect the facts you need in no time. Narrowing Your Topic. Many teachers or professors give students a broad research paper topic. For example, your... read more
Most online classes require a minimum of one proctored examination. With the increased risk of academic dishonesty, some instructors and professors require multiple proctored exams. I recently completed a 100% online Introduction to Oceanography course. The professor (of Florida Institute of Technology and BCC) required three proctored exams for the course. These tests included two mid-terms and one final exam, all three requiring an essay worth 30-50% of the exam. Unknown topics always cause anxiety, especially when it is a timed, closed book, no notes--proctored online exam. As I took my final exam yesterday, I was confident until I looked at the list of essay topics I had the opportunity to choose from. Out of the five, one topic seemed to be most familiar to me--Hydrothermal Vent Communities. I was grateful that I might know enough to actually write a complete essay on the topic. I was sure I would not do well enough with any of the other four topics to have passed this... read more
Not to get paid, again? There are no benefits re this set up, if I miss I don't get paid. I already spend well over double time working for each client (including travel time) and get paid only for the hours I am present with the student. I also purchase supplies at cost to me. I cannot afford to work for free. It baffles me that teachers are one of a few who are already underpaid while expected to work for nothing. I hope teachers don't buy in to and help perpetuate this problem. I am not disgruntled, I love the work I do; but I am a justice advocate.
'Miss Gil, my teacher did fractions today in School, and I really understood them, and I even helped my best friend with her work.
This is what my student, Alysa, told me on Monday, December 3rd. She has been struggling with fractions, and so I would give her several practice exercises, and show her some new ways to do them. I had her convert mix numbers to improper fractions and vice versa. I had Alysa add, subtract, multiply and divide a variety of fractions. Just when she seems to understand them a bit, I had her cross divide. At first she was a bit confused and resistant because her teacher was not teaching her to cross divide/cancel. As she began realizing how much easier it makes arriving at the final answer, she began to gravitate towards this method. Now her teacher is teaching this method in class, and she is so excited. Not only did she understand and pass her quiz, she was able to assist her best friend. She came to the tutoring session beaming with pride. I am so proud of her. Now we are on to decimals and percentage. So far so good :).
Many people that excel in math and science do not do as well in writing and vice versa. My experience is that following a specific formula, typical to mathematical formulas and equations, can assist students in creating a great essay for standardized testing purposes. Just as a chef would utilize a specific recipe for a delectable dessert, writers must have a writing recipe, or formula, to create a satisfying essay. In the classroom setting, I begin my lesson by showing my students an actual recipe that I use, including measurements and directions. Next, I show them the writing recipe/formula. It looks as follows: Essay Writing Recipe 1 catchy starter sentence to get your audience’s attention 1 excellent thesis statement identifying specific supporting details 3 strong body paragraphs with elaborate information regarding thesis (above) 1 summarizing conclusion paragraph outlining supporting details 1 re-statement of thesis *season with transitional... read more