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This is the question we are asked since childhood. When I finally figured out I wanted to learn about music, the answer was simple- everything! However, I soon learned that music is a deep and multifaceted subject, and had to focus on a few things in order to reach any level of mastery. So before you go into a lesson, ask yourself: What genres of music do you enjoy the most? Which would you like to learn to play? What are your weak points, things you'd like to work on? Who do you admire as a musician, composer, performer? Do you want to learn music theory? Songwriting? How to sing jazz? Or maybe you're looking to explore the piano as an instrument. The answers may come easily, or if they don't, ask your new tutor for advice. If you have a clear picture of what you'd like to learn, or a performance or goal you are preparing for, the lesson will have a much more productive direction. Sometimes having no answers is just fine- it gives you a broader palette of topics to... read more

Hi prospective student! It's important to be well-prepared for your first session.   First, let's talk on the phone to address your needs and then:   Make sure you bring your writing with you! I know that may sound silly, but sometimes we walk out of the house and forget the keys. Make sure your writing is printed on a clean copy with 1 - 1.5 inch margins, double-spaced so I can make annotations. (If it's not, don't worry, but that's ideal.) Use a serif font (i.e. Times New Roman, Georgia). If you don't know what this means, no worries; I'll explain it to you during the first lesson. If you don't have any writing yet prepared and want me to help you get started, then bring a notebook. We can brainstorm. If you do have a writing sample, bring a notebook anyway, so we can take notes. Depending on your needs, I may give you a little assignment that you can do on your own. Be prepared to turn off your phone or at the very least put it... read more

This being my first post, let me assure you that I will not reveal any personal information about my students nor discuss them with anyone else.   I had a great first week with Wyzant. My first session was Tuesday at 4pm! It is now Wednesday just after 10pm and I have already completed 5 tutoring sessions. I have worked with friends and colleagues for years, but the range of questions I received from Algebra to Calculus to Visual Basic and Digital Logic have kept me on my toes. I am doing my best to keep up and be prepared for each lesson.   Note to fellow tutors: Request as much information about the exact topics your student wants to review so you can bone up and be ready for at least 20% of the material you teach.

We all must start at some point.  We may have been born teachers, but we weren't born teaching.  Our first day teaching or tutoring is sure to stick in our minds.   My very first tutoring session was two weeks ago.  As you can imagine, I was nervous and apprehensive.  (To tell the truth, writing this blog for teachers is nerve-wracking....what if I use poor grammar??)  However, I was up front with the student and told her it was my first tutoring session.  She was very gracious.    We had a good rapor, and the lesson went well.  I saw the "light come on" as she picked up more of the material.  I was lucky to get a highly intelligent first student.    SO, I can do this.  i can enjoy myself and be useful.        

The following is a sample of my introductory lesson format, which is a modified Direct Instruction method custom-tailored to the needs of each student: 1) Inventory the student's interests, extracurricular activities, and previous positive experiences in education to establish a set of "what works" for motivating and reassuring the student. 2) Assess what has worked best in the past in terms of study skills and meta cognition, while utilizing my background in Educational Psychology to offer alternate perspectives (as opposed to direct advice) to the student. 3) Allow the student to verbalize their current understanding and tangential questions while I record their ideas and cross-reference their developing knowledge with their course syllabus and Core Content Standards. 4) Utilize Socratic discussion and scaffolding questions, I help the student reinforce their ideas and expand their working knowledge to the next conceptual level of... read more

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