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Many online searches for lesson ideas and learning tools yield online activities, impossible to implement for in-home teaching. Nonetheless, I have found a few ideas. But some of the more fun ideas have been from innovation and adaptation of regular childhood games. Since I know other tutors might find it difficult to find things, I thought I'd share a few of the more fun ideas I've had as I've worked with a couple of young sisters learning French. One of the most recent fun activities was a fashion show. I had thought it would be a lot of fun if they could do a fashion show with their own clothes with themselves as models, but with only two girls, this would have taken a long time and therefore been less effective. Another thought I've toyed with has been using paper dolls since I loved them as a child, but they are not as easy to find these days. It also turned out to be good that I didn't because the 10-year-old groaned when I first started to explain the activity... read more

As a substitute teacher, I've been in positions that have allowed me both to visit with and to observe teachers from a unique perspective. For example, as a resource substitute, I have followed students around the building, or sat and helped a small number of students in a classroom. Because I'm a sub, something of a lower class citizen perhaps, it has seemed to me that many teachers have not been intimidated by my presence and therefore felt free to be themselves. I've heard complaints about the school board, complaints about different children, and complaints about policies. And I've seen both good and bad teaching. Mostly, though, from these experiences, I have found a definite justification for but also a stronger perspective on my work as a tutor. I've learned, for example, why so many students aren't getting the attention they need and deserve to enable them to fully understand lessons in the classroom. In spite of knowledgeable and caring teachers, with budget... read more

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