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What happens when the challenge becomes more than you thought it was?

I have a wonderful student and the parents are fantastic.   They are very patient with me and understanding, which I appreciate. However the progress of the student is evolving. Certain disabilities have been uncovered that the parents didn't really know she had. This causing me to re-evaluate my teaching on a weekly basis.    This poses an interesting question. What do you do when you hit a block in the road?   I think the most important thing you can do is to communicate with the parents of said child. Often times, we think of tutors and parents as different entities. We don't do that at school though. That's why there are conferences. Parents and teachers work together to give the child the best educational support possible. So why would tutoring be any different?   I constantly work with the parents of my student. When the student is tested, they have a meeting with me. When there are things going on with the school,... read more

Is Online (Internet) tutoring the right solution for you?

First, let me agree that online tutoring can be much more difficult to do well than in-person tutoring. To tutor online a tutor must have much more skill in evaluating students, and more skill in presenting the material. In addition, in comparison with in-person tutoring, online tutoring takes considerably more time.  I will deal with these factors in the discussion below. There are several factors to consider in deciding to use an online tutoring solution. 1. Does the tutor's communication solution work for you? Does the tutor offer you a free session so that you can evaluate the tutor's skill over the internet? Even if your prospective tutor is very experienced in the internet medium, his/her solution may not be appropriate for you and you need to know before you make a commitment. Perhaps you don't have the right equipment or you are behind an internet firewall that prevents the tutor from communicating effectively with you. 2. How well... read more

The Tutor/ School Connection

Tuesday, December 10, 2013   The Tutor/ School Connection Teachers in training learn the importance of cultivating meaningful connections with their students and their parents in teaching methods classes. Teachers know that maintaining regular contact with parents is essential to nurturing a positive home/ school relationship. The benefits of such a relationship are too numerous to mention. Tutors, along with students and their families, can benefit from a similar relationship. This article describes several benefits of a positive tutor/ school relationship and lists steps for initiating contact. Why a Tutor/ School Relationship? As a Behavioral Management Counselor at a local juvenile facility for adjudicated youth, my responsibilities included maintaining regular contact with all teachers of the residents on my client list. This included phone contact and attending parent/ teacher conferences. My unit housed young men ages 13 – 17... read more

Effective Interpersonal Skills

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to present the tutor training module "Effective Interpersonal Skills" to my fellow HCC tutors. The module is part of the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) training curriculum for tutors. Here, I'll share what we discussed at this training.   Training Module Objectives: define interpersonal skills identify essential behaviors for effective communication practice using effective interpersonal skills discuss how to modify behaviors if communication is ineffective   Formal Definition: interpersonal skills n. - the abilities which enable effective communication and social interaction between people (Oxford English Dictionary)   As we begin to talk about effective interpersonal skills, think about those behaviors that have helped you successfully convey your message to others before. What behaviors seemed to work well when communicating with friends, parents,... read more

From a Teacher...

Students preparing to go back to school should work on creative problem solving skills.  This would include being able to appropriately interact with other peers.  In-depth dialogue about various topics can lead to great writing.  With only a few minutes each day, a student can read a blog, or magazine/newspaper (print or online).  Communication problems can sometimes be at the heart of an issue, working on creative problem solving things will help ease this process. All of these things can lead to students using critical thinking skills.  These are just a few things students can do with just a few minutes to spare.

Public speaking for courage and career

"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears" is the first line of a famous and often-quoted speech by Mark Antony in the play Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare. From my view as a college instructor and sales and marketing rep...some students would rather glue themselves and their chair to the floor before they would come up to the front of the class to speak about an assignment, let alone try public speaking. Well, they're not alone (I felt that way MANY times in high school). However, this is an important part of college--and life: SOMEONE wants to hear what you think and know--and speaking in public about it can be one of the most empowering things you can do (without the chair glued to you). I know: I used to have raging stage fright--I was just terrified of speaking in front of a crowd, let alone the classroom. Naturally, this doesn't go over well with anyone who has plans to be a teacher! The good news (yes, that's right) is that many colleges... read more

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