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From tutoring classmates in elementary school to being a Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center teacher for SAT/PSAT, LSAT, and MCAT, and on to teaching nurses and patients through my role as physician and surgeon, I have been called a natural teacher by many. My training is strong in the sciences, reading and writing. I am redeveloping skills in Spanish, for which I "tested out" in college, 35 years ago. My own life's experiences have allowed me to frame and share knowledge in a way students can understand, appreciate, and remember.
To date, over half the students I've tutored through WyzAnt have been on medication for ADD or ADHD. Most are boys. All do well. The one to one teacher-student ratio, in the quiet setting of our public library, helps with concentration, while school homework questions provide a point of focus. Add my long time interest in neuroscience, even longer interest in childhood development, and the overlapping area of brain development, and you get a natural teacher who naturally works well with ADD/ADHD students. Still not sure? Read the testimonials and see if you can tell which were from parents of ADD/ADHD students.
Algebra is taught at the age when maturing brains start developing sufficient capacity for abstract thought. Often, kids who made it through lower levels by working problems according to a concrete series of steps, find it difficult to logically understand when to apply which step when they get to algebra. It helps to look at its challenges as puzzles, video games without the video, conquering higher and higher levels of challenge with each round. It also helps to work problems with the student, find holes in the student's understanding, and fill them in, so abstract functions become puzzles with logical gaming rules.
My general knowledge is paired with education based in Piaget's theory of childhood development. This has allowed me to entice the intellect of even the youngest children and show them how exciting education can be. Having absorbed the essence of that theory in junior high, I became a babysitting favorite among children and parents. Decades later, as a practicing physician, parents were astounded with how well their injured children took to me, when brought to the ER. Children are natural learners, and I'm a natural teacher. What makes us even better as a team is understanding stages of brain development, as Piaget so clearly did.
In college, I got the highest grade in my genetics class. That solid foundation was further amplified and put to use in medical school. It's hard to have a better foundation than that, without being a Ph.D geneticist.
Script handwriting has become a lost art in our public schools, while print has been accepted in relatively poor, hard to read forms. Ten-finger typing, once a secretary's special skill, is now a computer skill. I chose to learn all three, early on, and learn them well, just to enhance my dexterity in preparation for a career in surgery. There are other benefits, as well, which you can read about in my blog post on the subject. I encourage all students to learn these three and welcome any who wish to learn them from me.
The Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) is a series of standardized tests given to students applying for private school entrance anywhere between the 2nd and 12th grade levels. It can only be taken and grades transmitted once every 6 months, so doing well the first time is important.
The Educational Records Bureau (ERB), which produces and grades the ISEE, provides sample test questions for each educational level. These introduce a student to the style of the exam and cover a bit of each test section, i.e., what the student has already learned in math and reading, how well the student can be expected to learn even more math and reading, and the writing of a short essay.
Tutoring can help. Each student is unique, so needs must be tailored, realistically, to the individual. For example, a short course of tutoring might be plenty for some students who only need an introduction for familiarity and comfort with the exam. On the other hand, while it cannot replace years of education, a longer course of tutoring can identify weak spots to focus on and improve.
For my students, I recommend starting with the ERB materials for the appropriate grade level, available free online, and then progressing to a good ISEE prep book with multiple practice tests (i.e., Kaplan) as needed.
As for me, I've been qualified to teach all the levels of the subjects covered since taking them, myself, because that's what I did in school, when I got bored: help the teacher by tutoring classmates. Nothing helps with learning like teaching!
Logic is part of the LSAT, and the very part I had the most fun teaching, decades ago. I'm teaching, again, and the logic hasn't changed. It's still fun! If you have trouble solving logic questions on exams, let me help you turn them into the intellectually stimulating puzzle games they truly are. Then, you can enjoy them, too.
I first took the MCAT in 1977, landing above the 90th percentile but hitting a glass ceiling at the medical school. In 1990, I tried, again, raising my score by several percentile points (and getting accepted "early decision" -- amazing what nearly a generation in time can do). Both times, I used Stanley H. Kaplan to prepare, and that second time, my SHK classmates were so impressed with my ability to answer questions clearly when the SHK teacher couldn't, they went to the administrator, who turned around, approached me, and hired me as replacement! I was able to teach one full MCAT course at two different colleges/universities while my application was going in. In effect, I was helping my own competition for a seat in medical school. So, I told my students we were not competing against each other. Instead, we were a team, competing against the third university, and it worked. Many students, over the subsequent few years, approached to tell me I was why they did so well and got into medical school. Now, of course, they earned their seats, but hearing such kudos really felt good, as it vindicated my approach to education in general.
My background training as a physician allowed me to pass the WyzAnt nursing certification test with a score of 100%. Add background as a teacher for the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center and current experience tutoring for standardized exams, and I'm quite ready to prepare others for the NCLEX.
If this is your first year of Spanish, or you have been trying to learn it for several years, you might just need enough help to get on your feet. There are useful tricks to learning a second language. Add library and online resources, and one could practically teach oneself, so that classes simply add structure and grades.
In my senior year of high school, I declined Spanish Level 5, studying, instead, on my own in study hall. By the end of the year, I was far more fluent than my graduating peers. The next fall, I tested out of the two-year language requirement at my university. That was long ago, before computers and the internet, when all I had was a Spanish/English dictionary. If I could do that, then, how much more could you do now?
The nice thing about tutoring is that study skills can be tailored and taught to each single student. The more varied the tutor's skill set, the better the student's final fit. For example, I taught a recent student not only how to pack more learning into less study time, but how to block the exam stress that felt like all knowledge was lost when sitting down to face the test. It took strong study skills to earn my degrees, and those skills were enhanced with tips shared between classmates along the way. Now, I can share them with my students.
I started tutoring math, science, and English before I was ten. My teacher needed to help those who were falling behind while keeping me intellectually challenged, so she set me to work. I began teaching exam prep classes for Kaplan, some 25 years ago, because classmates had (secretly) recommended me. The administrator used their recommendations to talk me into it, and the range of exams I prepared students for grew from MCAT to PSAT/SAT, LSAT, and more. Of course, I had to stop when medical school started, but by then, I'd garnered quite a lot of experience.
My knowledge, skills, experience, and motivation are there to be shared. TEAS is a basic exam, for which I am well qualified to help, whether one-on-one or in groups.
TEAS is the pre-nursing school Test of Essential Academic Skills, i.e., math, science, reading, and verbal skills (English and language usage). A nurse needs good observational skills, quick logic, and sharp critical reasoning. Observational skills begin developing in the first year of life, while abstract reasoning, which is the basis of logic and critical thinking skills, grow strong in adolescence. These skills are incorporated into standard K-12 education, and the TEAS helps to bring them out and measure them.
Those English class verbal skills, like spelling and English grammar, are like learning pharmacology. Rules exist, especially for naming, and the exceptions are both numerous and sometimes hard to remember. Nurses double check orders and prescriptions for errors just like students check English reading passages, with observational and critical reading skills. Patients' lives depend on it.
Algebra and geometry are taught in middle and high school, when students' brains begin handling abstract thought. Soon, students find themselves having to know, understand, and logically apply math rules in the order they see fit, rather than merely memorizing a string of steps. Likewise, everything from proper delivery of IV medications to organizing the nursing workday for maximum efficiency requires independently judging what to do when and why.
Science basics incorporate more such thinking skills, while providing the foundation for learning physiology, pharmacology, and pathology. Once out of nursing school, this knowledge base must be continued through journal reading and CEU courses, in order to maintain a nursing license.
Writing is a multifaceted skill. It starts with legible handwriting, both printing and script (which is also known as cursive). Think of handwritten letters as building blocks. Sentence structure, vocabulary, grammar and syntax are next. Think of them as the machinery made with building blocks to carry your message. They provide the necessary form and function. Next, add personal style, the artistic element which adds character, enticing the reader to start and continue through to the very end. When you're ready to write nearly as fast as you can speak, I'll teach you to ten-finger type, too. None of this is difficult. It just takes a little guidance and some practice. Are you ready to write? Then, let's get started!
Wonderful tutor! — Lesley is excellent at breaking things down and explaining problems in a way that make sense. Her patience and flexibility with scheduling has been a huge help with my GRE preparation. Highly recommended! ...
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