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1.  Democracies are more fun than dictatorships! Give students choices when possible in areas of interest to them. 2.  Research articles and opportunities that your student might enjoy. 3.  Use "kidspeak" when appropriate - keep an open mind and a positive attitude to the world your student lives in! 4.  Use music, art, sports, games, and current events to help your student connect to your teaching. 5   Humor! Humor! Humor!  Be real, be authentic, and share your sense of humor with your student!

It is July 2015 and many trumpet players will be starting high school marching band rehearsals for the first time and others will be returning. It can be very intimidating from many aspects especially the music!   How would you like to make one thing a lot easier and take the stress and anxiety out of a brand new marching band season in the Houston, Texas Independent School District Area?   Having a professional trumpet teacher WILL make you sleep easier at night. Imagine showing up to every rehearsal and band camp with the music...ALREADY DOWN!   Cool, huh?    

Firstly, tutoring is an art. I try my best to make each lesson unique. My number one tip is try to find a way to explain material through everyday phenomena. For example, in chemistry we use stoichiometry to find the right amounts of substance need for producing a certain amount of products. Before of jumping into the mathematical madness, I explain the concept through cooking. Chemical equations can be treated just like recipes. Students are more likely to understand the concept through things that they are familiar with.      My second tip is to take difficult things and make them into something silly or funny. I use this when I am explaining dimensional analysis. Many students struggle with unit conversions and unit simplification. What I do is I put the joules, kilograms, and meter/sec away and I explain dimensional analysis through smiley faces, hot dogs, frowny faces, and hamburgers. To do this I set a certain number of smiley faces equal to hamburgers... read more

T. is a young math genius, but his English language skills were lagging when we first met.   It was apparent that T. had very good comprehension, but had great difficulty in organizing his thoughts in English. We worked with the SAT work book for the most part, which is an excellent tool for getting a student to focus and to familiarize him/herself with the exam structure. We also worked on conversation, reading practice, and writing exercises.   We worked for two months every week. He took the SAT twice more, and his English exam score improved from the low 500s to the middle 700s!    Later, I helped T. with his college application process. In particular, he succeeded to write an excellent essay. His grades were very good, but we are sure that the interesting and unique essay helped to get him admitted to ALL five  colleges of his choice. 

The essential elements that I employ to help make my tutoring session engaging, fun and rewarding are really simple:   1) Get to know the student and their family! - The better I know you, the more I am able to understand what you hope to gain from tutoring.   2) Motivate! Staying motivated is the key to success in any field. Ensuring that my students remain motivated, and that they are rewarded for a job well done, only helps to empower students to achieve more.   3) Trust - I do what I say I am going to do, and follow though on my promises. Trust is vital for success, and I want you to trust that I have your best interests at heart.   4) Goal-Oriented! I take a coaching approach to tutoring, and I am very focused on helping students and their families articulate their goals. We will do goal-setting during our first session and use that as a living document to help achieve success!   5) Laughter - I want to connect with... read more

summer vacation is the perfect time for starting to study for the fall college admissions tests.  It's also a great time to keep those math skills up so that you don't lose any of the skills that you learned last year.  So many students lose so much of the skills that they have gained in the past year, and math is just like anything else, don't practice and you'll lose all that you learned.

Have you ever wanted to hit your irons like the professional golfers you watch on TV?   Well you can once you learn their secret. Well to be honest the secret is really no secret at all as it is more about the impact the pro's make onto the ball versus how the typical amateur makes impact.   When the pro's make impact they actually decrease loft their clubs due to forward shaft lean which turns a normal 7 iron loft into a typical 5 iron which results in more distance. When an amateur swings the majority of their impact is behind the ball which contacts the turf and looses delicate speed and power and also increases the loft onto the club because they are impacting the ball with their hands behind the golf ball.   The key to iron distance and consistency is to learn how to maintain your shaft lean into the ball at impact. The professional golfers know this secret and spend a lot of time developing their impact position and so should you.   Contact... read more

Golf can be a very frustrating sport with many ups and downs, both in emotion and on your score card. The area that most amateurs add unwanted strokes are around the greens. In this lesson we are going to show you a simple method to reduce that "chunking" feeling around the green and aid in promoting solid ball contact around the greens.   First we need to establish your understanding of the term "impact"...this is the position of the hands, hips, arms and legs at the moment of impact of the golf ball. The hands should be leaning forward with a shaft lean, firm straight left hand(for a right handed golfer) and your right knee threw impact as you maintain your weight on the left side.   Secondly we need to address exactly where you need to place the ball to maintain a pure impact strike without the advent of any turf getting in the way. Now lets start with the feet about 12 inches apart for this pitch shot. Place 80% of your  weight... read more

Colleges and professional schools want candidates with a well-rounded resume. This means that as students, you have to balance demanding coursework with sports, internships, volunteer service, and most importantly, also find down time to enjoy with friends and family!   Efficient study techniques will help you juggle all this quite well.    Some tips:   Don't record lectures to spend extra hours listening to the same lecture later. Save study time outside of class and learn within class time. Take good notes during lecture! Note topics the instructor spends time on, important keywords, terminology.    When given an assignment, complete it in advance and run it by the instructor a few days before it's due. This will ensure full credit because his feedback will tell you exactly what he wants out of the assignment. You're going to do the assignment anyways, just plan ahead and make time for it early on. Do not procrastinate... read more

If you just found me, well, you have hit the jackpot. This is part of my collection of mostly free resources for clients. Enjoy the links!   Vocabulary building What we do with the material—now, for that, you need to hire me! Crossword puzzles: Practice vocabulary and learn to write clues for particular audiences. Middle and high school Wordles: Build them as gifts for family. Start with detailed tributes in paragraph form to work with vocabulary and grammar, sneaking in coherence. Middle and high school SAT prep Grammar: Vocab: Writing: Reading:... read more

IT REQUIRES MORE THAN ACADEMICS TO CREATE SUCCESSFUL LIFE-LONG LEARNERS My tutoring philosophy is about balance. My obligation to my students - which may include roles as teacher, counselor, mentor, and/or role model - is to foster various traits which increase my students' likelihood of success - in school, professionally, and as human beings. According to the Johnson O'Connor Foundation, and various other longitudinal studies, the single best predictor of success both in school and occupation is a large vocabulary. A large vocabulary has been shown to enhance reading comprehension and fluency, improve critical thinking, and make communication in all fields more effective. But, it is also crucial to understand that, as absolutely critical as text based literacy skills are, it is easily possible to have a large vocabulary and still struggle with reading. I know this well from my own daughter’s experience and many of the students I have worked with. So,... read more

-Meet at different locations, not just the library.  Use the food store to teach food vocabulary, use the bookstore to discuss literature or teach about books, etc.     -Play games..  Even for adults, games are a great drill.  The web has some fun games, but you can create your own based on other games that exist.     -Get to know your clients and their interests.  Use those interests in your lessons to "personalize" their lessons for them.     -Create lessons around real-life activities.  Perhaps teach students vocabulary for an activity they are already involved in.     -Do fun things-ilke a cooking lesson and teach around that.      

S. completed her homework assignment - a still life - with elegance. Her powers of observation and proportion are steadily improving. Since she will be traveling out of the country for a month, I just wanted to go over some of the basics of materials and techniques, and encouraged her to bring a sketchbook on her travels. In addition, I gave her a folder of photocopies of the skeleton, leg and arm bones and the pelvis, including hands and feet, from an excellent anatomy book, "Atlas of Anatomy for Artists" by Jeno Barcsay. I suggested she study them by sketching the basic shapes - not every single vertebra or finger bone, but just to start exploring anatomy from the inside. She found it hard to believe that, with study, an artist can "sense", almost "see", the bones inside a person. I told her that it is a basic practice that any artist interested in the figure should explore. I sketched the basic shapes of the skeleton so she would... read more

The most asked question that I hear at the end of every school year is, "What should ____ do over the summer? How do I make sure ____ is ready for next year?" If you can't have a tutor, then there are some things that you can do at home to best help your child.    I usually answer this question with READ! That is the best thing and helps close the most gaps, and your child only needs to read for 20 minutes a day.  That simple 20 minutes can help them gain thousands of words of vocabulary.  Now, after your child has read, I would suggest having them talk to you about the book or answering questions about the book.  If you need help finding comprehension questions, many teachers have created questions and quizzes, for free, online.  Just search for the book time and comprehension questions.    For math, I would suggest keeping up with the multiplication facts, no matter if the student is in middle school or high school... read more

Please remember that you must supply payment info to Wyzant once you decide that I am the Tutor you are looking for. WyzAnt also provides an easy option to run a background check as well.   Thanks, Susan

1. Be Creative: I always encourage students to be creative and think of the way they prefer or enjoy studying for any course. This can be watching an animated video, or a 2 minute Youtube video, using a picmonic or listening to an audio lecture. You do not have to limit yourself to just books like the old days.  2. Biting an elephant: Yes! you can do it but first breaking it into smaller pieces. Pieces that are not burden for you. 3. Memorizing can be FUN: Think of fun ways that help you memorize a concept by relating it to your daily life or relating it to something you really enjoy doing, be it playing sports or music or arts.  4. Divide and Conquer Rule: Yes! You may apply the lessons of history in your daily studies as well. Divide a topic into smaller portion and understand it well enough so you can teach your family, friends or peers. That is when you know you have mastered the concept that is You conquered it!  5. Plan: Plan ahead. Manage and divide... read more

For many students, last year in school was frustrating and there were needs that perhaps were not appropriately met.  Maybe it was accommodations needed that were not in place or it was study or organizational skills that are lacking and are not being supported in school.  Or, if your child is in high school, perhaps they're struggling with writing -- research papers, essays, or preparing for the writing portion of the college admissions exams.   Summer is the time to evaluate what has happened and where things need to improve for the upcoming school year.  Every school year matters and ensuring that your child is realizing success vs. struggles can make all the difference.  A few tips include: Ensuring that your child has a quiet area for school/homework.  TV, video games, and even texting cannot and should not compete with their ability to focus; Online calendars are great, yet many students do better with an actual calendar/day... read more

Math is a subject that I've always been excited about! So it was easy for me to do my homework. What if you don't like math? Let me ask you a question. Is math a subject that is required for you to take in order to be promoted from one grade to the next? Do you have the choice of not taking it? My point is simply this. There are many things which you and I have to do that we don't like if we want to make it or survive. Instead of telling yourself that you don't like math or that you hate it; simply say that you love what learning math can do to your quality of life or how you can conquer your fears and I promise that you will find yourself solving problems that you thought only Einstein could do. Get it? Got it? Good!

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