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I've been through a long journey with music, and have changed my style and genre focus according to what is fun for me. Music is my profession and my passion, so if I'm not absolutely loving it, why bother?   Here are my tips that make my tutoring fun!   1. ASK QUESTIONS! What does my student want to learn? What musicians do they admire? Who do they want to sound like? What songs do they want to cover? Why do they love music so much? This lesson isn't about me, it's about the student. I'm here to help them along on their journey, and give them the skills and reinforcement they need to get there!   2. BE SILLY! Music is personal, and I have experienced musician's shyness myself from time to time. By letting my students know that lesson time is the time to learn, be silly, be yourself, and make mistakes, they can let go of needing to feel "perfect" and just focus on improving! Music isn't about perfection, it's about expression.   3... read more

         After 30 years of tutoring special education children, I have decided that all academic problems are mine, not the students. Thus, I analyzed what has already been provided in detail to determine what does and does not work. For example, children have different learning styles that are not rigid, but flexible. Each of us may be good at a tactile sport but not efficient at a sport requiring gross motor skills. Or a student may read silently better than aloud, yet prefer to read aloud to younger siblings. Another child may draw a concept better than listening to a teacher's lecture. Learning by both visual and auditory processing may be best for others, who do not prefer writing. Tactile learners can use both visual and auditory means for success.          I was talking with a student about his needs who listened attentively, yet was not making progress. I switched to a visual approach, placing my directions on 3... read more

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." This quote, attributed to Albert Einstein (Dodd, n.d.), expresses the idea that is embodied by the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. This theory, developed by psychologist and neuroscientist Howard Gardner, states that intelligence is not a single, fixed attribute--but, rather, multi-faceted in both capacity and degree (Koch, 2012). Far more than what can be measured by an IQ test, the multiple intelligences in Gardner's theory allows for many areas where people can be gifted in varying degrees. There are eight areas of intelligence that are widely accepted, plus three more that Gardner has proposed, but remain tentative. These areas include (Koch, 2012): Linguistic Intelligence, verbal or "word smart"-- the ability to manipulate words and languages; strength in reading, writing and other related applications... read more

It is very popular the adagio “styles make difference …” and that is true when we talk about teaching styles and learning styles. Teachers around the world use different teaching styles to delivering lessons, and it methods are attached to their cultural environment learning experience. As a consequence their students developed a cultural learning style that melts cultural background and individual learning styles to impact the motivation to learn. United States is receiving immigrants from every corner of the world: Asia, Europe, South America, Center America ... people of all ages that at any giving moment could make the decision to continuing their education. and teaching them could become a serious challenge for any teacher. Teachers that not research about this cultural issue before trying to teach something to these students, soon teachers will be experimenting difficulties to reach students learning Knowledge, as well as behavior problems for misunderstood... read more

  "I can't do this.  Why do I need to know this anyway?  Can't we just use the computer to do this?"   We have all heard this from someone; ourselves, our spouses, friends and all too often we hear this from our children. We have seen math as a difficult subject for our generation and now we are seeing math become even more "frustrating", "boring", and "intimidating" for many of our children.  We have tried collaboration, individual tutoring and even extra home work as a means toward improvement.  But many of our efforts are met with failure, anger and even tears.  What is the key to overcoming the math "Mount Everest"?  While there is no band aid for healing math confusion, there are tips and strategies that are fundamental in changing your child's view of math and developing "number sense".   Math Must Make Sense The most important thing is to remember... read more

When students think of text in a classroom, they tend to think of pages of paper filled with words that intertwine together to make a story. Many teachers stick to the traditional way of providing students with novels to teach a unit on a particular topic and then use a film as a complimentary piece to add visualization to the text that the students already read. Instead of using it as complimentary pieces, teachers should begin using film as a non-traditional base text in the classroom. Film not only helps students focus on the writing of text, but it allows teachers to instruct students on cultural representations, visual aspects that play into a textual analysis of a film, and it allows complimentary texts that relate to the film connect to real world events.             Film portrays cultural representations in many ways. It uses sounds, acting, and visual settings to show the audience time period, social... read more

  I have spent nearly two years working entirely with students that struggled with mild to severe ADD. First, both students with ADD and those who teach them need to be knowledgeable of WHAT ADD is.     A few basics: 1). ADD is NOT simply being easily distracted, or lack of focus. For the student suffering with it, it feels as if there is a mental fog around everything they do. Tasks requiring long and acute attention are draining for the average joe, but can feel nearly impossible or even painful to an ADD/ADHD student.    2). ADD is caused by by under-stimulation to the areas in the brain responsible for thinking, solving, and task management. I often hear older students (17-18 yrs) say they are not allowed to drink coffee. Coffee couldn't be more appropriate, actually (if you are on medication, talk to a doctor before adding coffee to your routine). In fact the drugs used for ADD are heavy-duty stimulants that are chemical cousins... read more

I wanted to share my teaching philosophy for any individuals who are considering selecting me as their tutor. My teaching philosophy highlights my beliefs about learning as well as my teaching strategy (a strategy that focuses on active student engagement, applied exercises, and the use of analogies and examples to help learners grasp complex topics).   My Teaching Philosophy Beliefs about human learning.  I believe that, as a teacher, I am responsible for increasing subject matter knowledge and, more importantly, assisting students in connecting this knowledge to the real world and laterally across fields.  Learning should not, and cannot, exist in the absence of this integration.  A sole focus on surface level content (ex. facts and definitions) fails to meet the needs of students who wish to advance in the learning process.  Specifically, students need to progress to deeper levels of processing and understanding.  This will... read more

Through my years of tutoring I have found that there are an indefinite number of ways to teach someone about something. One topic that keeps popping up is that, when there are 3 different ways to complete a problem, do you explain all of them or just one? I have often found that students I tutor are frustrated that either educators gives them so much information they do not know what road to take, or they are shown one way to complete a problem and that way does not jive with their learning style or personality (yes, personality can have a lot to do with learning). I have differentiated these types of teaching, at least in my own head. Here's what I've come up with:   A teacher in front of 30 students is probably best off showing students all 3 ways to complete a problem, however, they might be careful to do so slowly. Students, especially those seeing a topic for the first time, can get very overwhelmed if 3 processes are thrown at them all at once. HOWEVER,... read more

A lot lately about how to make learning interesting. What is the "je ne sais quoi" that grabs a student's attention and gives them passion about a favorite subject? Recently, I started a new position with a local plantation as a tour guide. It has caused me to reflect not only the information presented as, say, a teacher, tutor, or tour guide, but on how the material is presented. Excitement in delivery is half the battle. I have also come to another valuable conclusion during the course of my training: to engage one's audience, one should put themselves in the audience's shoes. In other words, I have begun considering such questions as: "what interested me the first time I took a tour?" "what sorts of things would I want to know if this were my first introduction to the subject?" "are these people familiar with the local culture, or should I give them background information first?" It occurred to me just recently that these... read more

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