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State University of New York at Oswego (Elementary Education)
State University of New York at Geneseo (Enrolled)
State University of New York at Oswego (Enrolled)
As a retired Special Education teacher, I have worked with students of all ages and abilities. I am an expert at breaking tasks down into small, attainable steps, instructing the student on how to master each step, and then practicing the entire task. My students achieved a high level of success with this approach.
I have had experience using the Wilson Reading Program, which is a phonics-based way of learning to read and spell. First the students learn to distinguish the sounds contained in one-syllable words; then they learn the sounds and the corresponding alphabet letter. Learning to spell by sounds at the same time they are learning to read produces great ability to sound out new words and to spell words heard orally. Best of all, the program is designed to be used for students of all ages!
In teaching mathematics, I have worked closely with the second-grade math curriculum and also the ninth-grade one. I use fun, creative methods whenever necessary to get the concept across. My students have especially enjoyed using a game-show format to learn the necessary material.
I have tutored many students who were not diagnosed as needing Special Education. With one boy who had difficulty learning his weekly spelling words, I practiced the words in several ways. His favorite was reversing roles so that he was the teacher and I took the spelling test, making numerous mistakes. He corrected the test and got to write comments like, "Have parent sign," which he took great delight in. Boosting self-esteem is something I've always been concerned with. As a retired Special Education teacher, I have worked with students of all ages and abilities. I am an expert at breaking tasks down into small, attainable steps, instructing the student on how to master each step, and then practicing the entire task. My students achieved a high level of success with this approach.
I have had experience
Hilary knows exactly what to do for a young reader who needs to master word attack skills. She paces instruction according to my child's needs and is clear about what areas are best to target.
We hired Hilary to help our 8th grade daughter with English comprehension and have seen a dramatic improvement in all areas: writing skills, essay organization, vocabulary and reading comprehension. Hilary began by testing our daughter to identify strengths and weaknesses so she could focus on the areas in need of improvement. She also spent time getting to know about our daughter's interests and has a calm, patient and pleasant demeanor, which helped get our daughter focused on the tasks at hand. Hilary came prepared each time with new materials to help our daughter learn new skills, and clearly invested time and thought into choosing reading topics that she knew our daughter would find interesting. Importantly, Hilary breaks everything down in to smaller steps and then practices with your child so it's clear to them how to apply each lesson to schoolwork. Hilary also emails you a detailed summary after each session, so it's easy to keep up with what your child is learning, what they're struggling with, and where they're making progress. We highly recommend Hilary to anyone looking for an English tutor.
I am so thankful that I found a tutor that understands my son and is able to help him learn. My son has come such a long way in a short period of time. Hillary is so patient and my son thoroughly enjoys every lesson. Her progress reports are amazing she covers his difficulties, successes, and helps with solutions and feedback. Her reports have helped me to articulate My sons learning obstacles to school and her suggestions help me in his IEP meetings. She is a ray of sunshine that has helped me truly understand my sons struggles and what he needs to learn how to read. I am so grateful that I found her.
We couldn't have asked for a better tutor than Hilary! She is so patient with our daughter, and it shows. Our daughter seems happier already in school this year. Hilary is wonderful.
In his first hour with Hilary my son accomplished more on this writing project then he did on his own in the past 2 weeks. I know Hilary wanted to get more done in the lesson, but she got a lot more done then she realized. My son was able to go home and actually start writing his draft with what they did in the lesson. Thank you!!!
Hilary is knowledgeable in the Wilson program, but is very rigid in her teaching style. Her inability to adapt her teaching style to the needs of the student is a major disadvantage and hinders the learning process. She is a skilled tutor, however her teaching style is better suited for older children and adults.
I disagree that my teaching style is rigid. Other clients say that I'm creative, and I try everything I can to motivate and make progress with the student. In this case, this child's complete lack of motivation (even when offered rewards and praise) was detrimental to his progress. I tried using colored markers, used plastic stick-on letters, got him a special "grown up" fat pencil (for writing), alternated tasks to avoid boredom, read stories by my reading every other word, and more.
Hilary have been working with my ADHD daughter for some time now and she knows how to get her to engage in the subject. She is patient, caring and very responsible. My daughter has come a long way.
After years of struggling with dyslexia and dysgraphia, I finally took the action to get some professional help and I am so glad that I did. Although I am 34 years old and have managed to navigate fairly well through life and work, my lack of reading and writing skills have created fears in me that I am now realizing are not real at all. Thanks to finding a great tutor and coach in Hillary, I am embracing my disabilities and learning to work with them rather than against them... I highly recommend Hillary as a tutor, whether you are an adult looking for personal help or a parent looking to help your child, she is an excellent choice!
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As a Special Education teacher with over 20 years of experience, I have learned and utilized techniques which are successful in teaching ADD/ADHD. I use behavior modification techniques to encourage staying on task. After breaking up the task into small segments, I reward the student for completing each one. Then I gradually withdraw the rewards as the student is able to focus on his or her work for longer periods.
I have had seven years' experience at teaching children to read using the Wilson Reading Program. The Wilson Program was created specifically for dyslexic students, and is very effective in overcoming their reading difficulties. My students have been very successful in learning to read using this program. Students who do not have dyslexia also benefit greatly when I teach them to read using the Wilson approach.
I first learned about a phonetic approach to reading over thirty years ago when I received training in using the "Distar" program. Unlike the sight reading programs that were popular at the time, Distar taught the students the sound that each letter makes as opposed to the letter name, and how to blend sounds into words. Using the Distar program in my classroom of developmentally-delayed teenagers, I found that the program was very effective at helping me to teach word attack skills. I became a firm believer in phonics training, and utilized other methods to teach phonics in addition to the Distar Reading Program.
In the beginning of this decade, I encountered a newer program called The Wilson Reading Program while teaching at a high school. The program had been developed to teach dyslexic students to read, and I found it effective with my developmentally-delayed students as well. Similar to Distar, the Wilson program has the same type of phonetic approach as detailed above. However, it goes beyond the primary-school focus of Distar in that it is age-appropriate for secondary school learners. There is also a newer version that is ideal for primary and elementary school students. First the students master sounding out one-syllable words, then two- and three-syllable words. They not only read sentences, but stories that have no illustrations. Using the Wilson program, I was able to increase some of my students' reading levels by two grade levels or more. I am so familiar with the Wilson approach that I can simulate it with my own tutoring students.
In my enthusiasm about the Wilson program I read a very well-researched book about the process of learning to read. It stressed the importance of training students to hear the sounds in words, and to dissect the words into sounds and put them back together again. The book mentioned the Wilson program as being effective in presenting the author's findings--that the phonetic approach is of more value than any other method of teaching reading.
Teaching reading really excites me. I love to see students who have struggled with reading attain success! I use the Wilson Reading System, which is phonics based and was created for use with dyslexic students. There are two versions--one for small children and one for older students. The program is very effective for anyone who is having difficulties in reading. I taught Wilson for seven years for a school district, and have tutored using it for several years now.
Most of my twenty-one years teaching Special Education was spent with developmentally-delayed children. Many of them had Down's Syndrome or another type of delay that was present from birth. My firm belief was that the best way I could help these students (whom I adored) was to teach them what they really needed to know. Skills of daily living were my focus--how to read signs, count money, sign a paycheck, cook a simple meal, and keep a home clean. In addition, I developed my students' pre-vocational skills. For a student who could read, speak, and conduct himself appropriately, I would groom him for competitive employment based on his areas of interest. If a student were less academically capable, had difficulty making her needs known, and/or had behavior difficulties, working in a sheltered environment would probably be ahead. Some students were in between, but all had strengths as well as weaknesses. I tried to capitalize on these strengths. One of my students was invited to a non-disabled peer's birthday party; to me his social acceptance was the pinnacle of success!
At other points in my career I worked with students who were labeled emotionally disturbed and those who were labeled learning disabled. Often there was overlap. No matter what the student's needs, I determined what was most important for him to learn (with the help of his parents, of course,) and wrote up long-term and specific goals. I detailed how I was going to help the student reach those goals, and periodically assessed his progress. Small successes were met with hearty praise, which helped to encourage more successes.
I have also worked with adults with special needs. One of the most rewarding things I've done is to teach a class for a school district's Continuing Education department. Each week the class and I would cook or bake a treat together, do an age-appropriate but simple craft, and talk, play games, and have fun. Eventually we began to meet outside of the classroom to go out to dinner or watch a show. One of the students became a special friend whom I was employed to help out at home. She lived in her own apartment, but could not drive. I helped her grocery shop, cook, and do laundry, as well as go on social outings. I even took her to see her favorite rock band, and she danced in the aisles!