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I want my students to enjoy the hands on learning experience of fine art, and to accomplish this I strive to create custom curriculum catered to each student. By understanding the needs of my student and what their goals are I can keep their interest and the process of learning fun.  I believe in teaching through encouragement and positivity, and the importance of not taking yourself too seriously.  As Mrs. Frizzle always said, "Its time to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!"

Being tutored or tutoring a student isn’t always exciting but the subjects need to be learned and understood. With my students, I like to take the time to get to know them – what interests they might have or things that they value – in order to tailor my sessions with them. Each student is different and they can’t all be lumped together like a group of clones. To put it more simply, I have listed a few things that help me make tutoring sessions more enjoyable for both the student and myself.   1. Find a common interest – if there is a personable connection, the student will feel more comfortable learning from you as a tutor. A comfortable environment, I feel, increases the success of the student because they are keeping their focus on the subject at hand.   2. Tailor sessions to the student – paying attention to a student’s interests can provide a tutor with invaluable information about them. For several of my younger students, knowing their interests to tailor... read more

Tutoring is a two way street. Both sides of the party need to put in 110% of effort in order to see positive results.   A tutor needs to be enthusiastic about the subject. They need to be passionate about what they are teaching. Throughout my college career, I had a better experience and better results in classes where my professor was enthusiastic about the class. Adversely, teachers who don't show enthusiasm, do not connect with the students, and the students refuse to create that connection as well.    Another healthy tutoring tip is patience. Nobody likes a pushy tutor! Yes, be assertive, but being too pushy will annoy the student. Patience allows the student to digest the material and to create cognitive connections.   Positive encouragement is also a good way to make lessons fun. There are teachers who scare their students by giving them discouragement. When a teacher gives the student positive encouragement, the student feels good... read more

Any time I learned to do something new, I fall flat on my face for many of the first tries. I went snowboarding, and I fell down for 80% of the day, waking up sore the next morning. I never wanted to go back out on the mountain, but my mom encouraged me to do so, and now I love snowboarding! I can remember learning to ride my bike and scraping my legs up every time I fell, but now I ride my bike all around the city, and I can't imagine what it would be like if I could not.   The learning process results in bumps and bruises, and I think we too often glamorize it as something that just happens- no sweat, no frustration, just learning! This is simply unrealistic. Now, I do not contend that learning should be a miserable process, on the contrary I think it is a wonderful process, but it's like a great workout: there are intense moments, and times when we might feel like giving up, but by sticking with it and overcoming the obstacles at the end that sense of accomplishment... read more

I remember the moment clearly even now: Mrs S., brandishing the loose-leaf pages in front of my fourth-grade classroom, her wild-eyed look at odds with her precise hair and immaculate apple-printed skirt. I remember how I had quietly slipped the papers into tray of finished homework, how I had felt somehow embarrassed by the inked words. I remember her words: "Julie is going to be a famous writer someday!" And I remember the feeling: elation, pride, and a stark wonder that someone believed in me this much.   Now, years later--after a college degree in Creative Writing and a few published pieces in literary journals--I think back on the powerful impact that Mrs. S. had on my writing. I was an extraordinarily shy student. English had been my second language, and I had been shuffled through ESL classes all throughout my early elementary school years. But for me, English was not a hardship—it was a refuge. I lost myself in books, and found myself in paper and pen... read more

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