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Teaching, Poverty and Society By Ricardo Giraldo C, MA Education, MBA Business Economics                  Teaching and learning are an essential part of life; however not everyone is willing to teach sharing their knowledge. We can hear many excuses to avoid teaching to someone like "you have to love children to be a teacher, teachers are special people, to be a teacher you must have a lot of patience and motivation, too much work and low gratification, teaching someone is bringing competition into your workplace, threatens your job stability and more. The list of excuses go on and on, but at the end they are only dramatic excuses that accomplishes nothing because they do not help to reduce the gaps of poverty and the development of a society.                 Learning about life and basic education begins in the home, the schools and finished in the streets; all these... read more

Good morning! I am excited to get started in the field of tutoring. I'm a professional educator and I would not want to do anything else. It really is the joy of my life and I think it shows through my love of learning and helping others learn. I believe that education should be fun! If you're not having fun then you're not doing it right!

As a journeyman author of fiction, poetry, and general web content, it's getting harder and harder to not talk about the subject of writing. I feel as if all the writing I've done up until this point in my life was training, and the disappointment of sloppy wordsmithing over the years was just practice for even bigger disappointments. As a writer, it's important to remember you are one of many, many, many, many, many others out there trying to do the exact same thing; get published.   It's certainly hard to stay positive in world where getting a short story published is about as common as winning $100 on a scratch off. It happens, and you hear people talk about how it happened to them, but some of us just don't pick the lucky cards (or think of the lucky ideas). But every once in a while you come across an idea that is worth investing in. And you know it's probably not as original as you say it is, but the genre is unique (to you) and the plot is ripe for exploring... read more

Faced with a blank page does your brain feel just as bare?  Writing has two different processes that at times seem to be in conflict.  There is the creative side and there is the analytical side.  While both are necessary it is important to be mindful of allowing a certain separateness.  Yes, structure is important, but your voice and creativity give your writing life. Freewriting is a great tool for releasing the creative side.    Before you begin that essay or paper give yourself 10 to 15 minutes to start a flow of ideas.  I like the idea of using a pen and paper, but this works with a keyboard too.  Set a timer for 10 minutes and just start writing.  There is only one rule: keep writing until the time is up.  Any subject, any thought, no grammar check, no spelling correction, fragments allowed. You do not need to stay on topic or have any order.  Just write.  If you do have a topic that you need to explore... read more

I've actually listened to common jokes that exist in Chile regarding the two most common errors of Americans learning Spanish. What are they?   1) a really bad accent   2) inability to conjugate verbs   What can Americans do to overcome these two obstacles and not perpetuate the stereotype?!   Be humble and admit your accent is bad and needs to improve. Ask a native speaker how your accent is. Once you know the correct grammer or word, don't stop there. Even if you seem like a crazy person repeat the same word or phrase over and over again outloud trying to imitate the accent of a native speaker (maybe a recording). Let your tongue get acclimated to the new sounds.   You cannot cut corners. Memorize those conjugation patterns so you can form sentences and speak. Once you can do that, you won't have to memorize as much.

Students often ask, "How is your tutoring different and how can you guarantee I'll benefit by being tutored by you?"   My philosophy of tutoring involves making sure by the end of the session, the student not only understands the material, but also is able to explain the material back.    This is accomplished by incorporating mind maps into the tutoring session. Mind maps allow the student to visualize the whole picture as well as add as many details as required by their teachers. Since the student is actively involved in learning, recall of the material becomes much easier, especially for exam time.    Another benefit from using mind maps is that as the student progresses through their classes, the mind maps retain their relevance and can be used through out their academic career. 

I have noticed that a lot of students are bright, knowledgeable, prepared, and eager to succeed.     Yet, when it comes to test time, they might as well have not studied at all.  It's the nerves!!  I have no explanation for why nerves cause such problems, and I definitely don't have a fix-all.  Unfortunately, if you have anxiety, it's just something you'll have to deal with.     Here's a few tips:   No coffee before tests.  I know you think it relaxes you, but it doesn't.   no cigarettes.  Yes, believe it or not some high school kids smoke.  Wait until after the test to singe your lungs.   no cramming.  You either know it or you dont, so goto sleep and eat breakfast in peace.   try eating unsalted almonds or raw spinach, but defintely not salted almonds or cooked spinach.   if you're nervous, call your tutor. if you don't have a tutor and are nervous,... read more

War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells, is classic science fiction. Written in 1924, it depicts the catastrophic and totally unexpected near-extinction of humanity by aliens from Mars. One of the main themes running through War of the Worlds is the idea that mankind's assumptions about their world, the universe and the nature of life are constantly being challenged. The main reason the martians' landing is so catastrophic to humankind is because the humans, by and large, have been lulled into a false sense of security. They believe they are capable of overcoming anything, that they are the most powerful beings in the universe, and as such are completely unprepared for the martians' attack. Humans at the beginning of H.G. Wells's novel are portrayed as very self-satisfied. Even when confronted with the landing of the first martian cylinder, humanity is quick to dismiss the event as a mere curiosity. The story on the eve of the first day was “dead men from Mars,” (P. 14)... read more

Are you frustrated with homework nightly wars, confused about your smart child who can't spell, amazed by your child's brilliance despite his low reading ability?  View this newsletter and video seminar from Bright Solutions for some support.

The primary student baseline communication skills a student should learn from their tutor are the following: Precise use of vocabulary  Express complete thoughts Asking questions Interpreting and following instructions These baseline communication skills are common in academia, particularly Mathematics.  Any behaviors, thoughts, attitudes, philosophies, etc. that hinders these baseline communication skills presents learning hindrances for the students and tutors. Let me know your thoughts.

Tutors have a new role if they will help students reach their fullest potential.  Why?  Students spend considerable more time on and using technology that involves less practice with face to face communication.  With less practice, students have unseen, unspoken and unknown challenges with face to face interactions in class and tutoring sessions.  Give this challenge is in fact a real one, where will students get support to make up for this communication practice deficit?  Tutors are the answer.  For example, in class educators have their hands full with the delivery of content to large class sizes of diverse students.  Teachers do not have the time necessary to adequately facilitate effective face to face communication with their students.  Parents are in a similar situation with working longer hours.  During one on one tutor sessions, they have multiple opportunities to model and facilitate effective communication with... read more

Purpose:  This series shares tips on how to identify, manage, and overcome Mathematics Negative Self Talk (NST).  We cannot avoid NST totally because the NST about Math skills in general is a widely accepted habit. So what is Mathematics NST anyway?  Mathematics NST is when we speak in our minds or to others about an inability to learn, do, and/or understand Mathematics in general.  Focus here is what we cannot do or have never done in Mathematics.  For example, "I hate Math."  "I  can't do Math!"  "This is too complicated!"  " I could never do Math!" "My parents aren't good at Math either." "What can we use Algebra for anyway?"  "The teacher is confusing me."  The NST phrases list is endless, but also popular in today’s culture. Downside of NST: NST in Math is simply a bad habit of thinking and attitude.  This habit limits learning... read more

  Reading Formulas can make or break how a student comprehends the formula when alone - outside the presence of the teacher, instructor, tutor, or parent. Formula For Perimeter of Rectangle:  P = 2l + 2w How To Read:  The Perimeter of a Rectangle is equal to two (2) times the Length of the longer side of the rectangle (L) plus two (2) times the Width of the shorter side of the rectangle (W). When is reading formulas like this necessary?  At three particular moments, reading this formula in this manner can be effective.  When students are initially learning what the formula means When student are learning what it means when they should already know (remediation).  When students want to remind themselves (basics learning study skill habit) Remember, Formulas at their introduction are complete statements or thoughts.  Students cannot and will not recall complete thoughts or statements... read more

Reading Formulas can make or break how a student comprehends their formula when alone - outside the presence of the teacher, instructor, tutor, or parent. Formula for Area of Circle:  A = π * r^2 Ineffective ways to read the area of a circle formula are as follows: Area is π times the radius squared. Area is π times the radius of the circle squared. Area of a circle is π times the radius squared. A equals π times r squared. >>>> Why are these ways NOT effective ways to read this formula? <<<<< 1.       Students will recall and repeat what they hear their educators say. 2.       If students recall letters (A) versus words (Area of a Circle) they will not realize the connection with word problems. 3.       Half way reading the formula (radius versus radius of a circle) creates empty pockets or disconnects in... read more

1. Every class should be different, create an environment where the target is the student interest. 2. Meaningful, that has to do with the student motivation to learn  3. The student learns through songs and participate being part of a Spanish family 4. Classes are designed to be through games and activities that help the student to learn (TPR, Natural Approach, Communicative Approach) 5. The student is threated as a good friend that is willing to learn a second language

People say everything takes work work work...   The only thing I can see that takes that kind of work is trying really, really hard to NOT have fun! When we are engaging with our own brilliance, when we are opening up to learn more about ourselves and our world, that's the doorway to the most fun EVER! It's just that the conventional systems don't teach that way.    When you know you're on the right track, how does that FEEL? Doesn't your body feel awesome? Doesn't the anxiety just melt away? Isn't there just this open sense that all you want to do is keep moving forward? When you are educating yourself for the purpose of knowing your own brilliance and capacity, rather than educating yourself to perform a task, rather than to be the "best" or satisfy what someone else thinks you "should" have it made.  When your own brilliance is your number one priority, magic happens. All of your tasks... read more

It is a cliche, however first impressions DO set the tone for the tutoring relationship.   1.  I arrive 15 minutes early to the tutoring location.  I prefer a neutral setting (bookstore, coffee shop, library) away from distractions.  ALWAYS in a public place.  The student is more relaxed knowing I'm eager to work with them.   2.  Print out information on the test (GRE, SAT, etc) or the subject matter that you are to be studying.  Put this in a folder for them to take away.  It shows you are on your game and there for THEM.   3.  Spend some time asking about their most successful academic experience and their least successful academic experience.  You can glean what does and does not work for the student as well as find their best learning style.   4.  Review past work in the subject.  See what they easily achieved and find out why.  Discover why they did not succeed on previous... read more

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