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What Tutoring Isn't

It's not a replacement for the teacher / school. In fact, I prefer to keep communication open between my students' teachers and myself for subject-specific tutoring, so our methods are consistent. For test prep, we'll work on specific test strategies that build on what has been learned in school. It's not "one size fits all". Tutoring is about meeting the needs of the individual. I've had students in the same grade, taking the same class, getting the same scores, but having different learning styles and preferences. It's this one-on-one interaction and individual lesson plans that make tutoring so useful and effective. It's not drudgery. Who wants drudgery? Not me, certainly. My goal in tutoring is to foster a love of learning and to gain freedom from anxiety for my students. Good grades / test scores are natural by-products. Drudgery won't accomplish that. If my students feel like it's drudgery, I need to change things. It's not a life line. Please don't... read more

Some Reasons Why I Love Being a Tutor

We must view young people not as empty bottles to be filled, but as candles to be lit. Robert H. Shaffer I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that they are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit. John Steinbeck Tell me and I will forget, Show me and I will learn, Involve me and I will understand Teton Lakota (Indian saying) The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it. Michelangelo And finally... The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer everybody else up Mark Twain

Beyond Flashcards

As both a parent and a tutor, I believe that learning begins at home. We watch and foster our children’s learning when they are babies and toddlers, and this really should continue as they progress through their school years. That doesn’t mean that we drill our kids with flashcards as they eat their breakfast or otherwise instruct our children at every waking hour. But I encourage parents to consider how their children learn and to think about opportunities to extend what happens at school. Here are just a few tips: 1. Have a clean, uncluttered work area in your home that is away from various distractions. Keep certain supplies on hand, such as colored markers, pencils, a dictionary, paper (lined, graph,blank), highlighters, index cards, rulers, maps, etc. 2. If your child asks for homework help, and you don’t know the answer to something, say so. Encourage her to come up with solutions to find the information she needs. Her first resource should be her teacher. 3... read more

Ten things your tutor would like you to know

I know that for some, starting to work with a tutor seems a little foreign. I thought I would post some expectations: 10. Don't be paranoid. When I first start working with a student, I ask questions to get a better idea of how to individualize the lessons. That is part of the beauty of working one-on-one with a tutor. It's not "one size fits all". I will usually ask what the student's goals are for the particular subject. I also like to know more of my students' personalities - what are their hobbies and interests and values. This all goes into preparing unique lessons. 9. I will challenge you. I want you to do most of the work in a tutor session, with only as much guidance as necessary and helpful. I will ask questions that may not have an easy answer. I will quiz you. If you get 100% correct, I'll quiz you a little tougher. 8. Knowing where you've come from is helpful to me. When I ask you about your previous tutoring experience, or your experience in school... read more

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