Do you look forward to each session of tutoring? Have you ever considered tutoring to be an adventure? I was telling my husband last night that one aspect of teaching that really excites me is that each and every lesson has at least one positive surprise. It may be a comment that the student makes relative to a lesson from two months ago. Ah, yes! She did listen to me! It may be a small gesture like a cup of "chai," or a peek at some family photos. Sometimes it is helpful to spend just a few minutes outside of the lesson chatting about a special weekend either you or the student had, or to take a walk around the block. Do this over and above lesson time. It need not be long. Naturally, this time will not be counted; it is a "gift." I have found that a comfortable and happy student is more productive. When the student knows the tutor, just a little, as a real person better interaction is possible within the lesson. Each will understand better how to communicate... read more
When study time is limited, students need to be extra prepared. Here are some ways in which a parent can help. Provide index cards for various subjects. If these are color-coded, the student can just grab the color of the subject that needs the most review as she, or he walks out the door each morning. Make sure the student writes her/his own notes, but check them when they are finished. The parent can check for misspellings or obvious deletions in phraseology. Check to see if each card makes sense. Focus on the subjects that need the most review that particular day. Have your daughter or son read the notes aloud to you if you are doing the transporting. Notes are good for any subject, use the travel time to study the ones most needed per that day's quiz or test. Put a small folded note of encouragement in the lunch bag.
Is your teaching getting boring, even to you? Here are a couple of tips that work for me: Instead of teaching only the subjects in which you are "degreed" or certified, try adding two or three other subjects to your repertoire. Begin by adding a subject in which you did well at school but may not have studied for a few years. Practice online using free academic sites. If necessary, buy a teacher or parent copy of the textbook that includes the answer sheets. You may have to pay full price for this, but it is worth the investment. It is stimulating to you to have to be assessed for your achievements. It will automatically make the class more profitable for your student because you, as a teacher, have gained a new confidence in your own skills. Secondly, try teaching a small group - perhaps just two or three individuals at the same time. The students can bounce ideas off of one another. Also, the "class" can play a few games when competition... read more
What makes tutoring worthwhile? I have been tutoring two young ladies this summer. One thoroughly enjoys learning - just for the fun of it. The other is obedient and faithfully completes her work. Naturally, not all students find schoolwork exciting. Fortunately, obedience and respect go far to make efforts at learning more productive. What pleases me about these girls and their mom is that the study sheets I give them are completed, edited and then kept in an organized binder for later review. The mom reads each note I send home and responds to it. I know that Mrs. H. and I are working as a team for the betterment of these girls. I do not have enough words to express my appreciation for young people who come to their tutoring sessions prepared and ready to listen and learn. These young ladies are bound for success!
I'll admit it. My favorite subject to teach is French. Nevertheless, the subject under scrutiny does not matter to me nearly as much as the attitude of the learner. I can teach any subject (for which I am qualified) with an absolute joie de vivre if only the student is listening to my words, actively striving for improvement, and respectful. This summer I worked with three teens from Croatia. The fact that the host family had already procured my services for ESL lessons was an unwelcome surprise for the teens. Not only were the young people surprised to learn that lessons were in store for them, but these lessons were scheduled for three hours five days a week. Needless to say, that degree of diligence overwhelmed both the teens and me. We did, however, manage to conduct two hour lessons four times a week. We even had a couple of activities outside of the "classroom." The students grew to appreciate the value of language-learning. They found that learning does not... read more
What a joy to work with a self-starter! Don't get me wrong. I've thoroughly enjoyed working with children and teens for the last thirty years. But... when I'm tired and have put in a long day with young people who exclaim aloud, "But, this is boring," or who, halfway through the intense lecture yell out, "Can I get a drink of water," it is an honor and a privilege to sit next to an adult who wants to learn enough to pay for the opportunity. Perhaps I drive to the lesson fatigued and ready to just sit down and slowly sip coffee. I leave refreshed and excited that my adult student is stretching herself to meet high expectations. I love tutoring!