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The Bible states in Proverbs 29:18 stats that "Where there is no vision, the people perish".  Others have stated that "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail".  We see time and time again that setting goals and making plans are essential to success.  So how do we do this?   George T. Doran published a paper in 1981 entitled "There's a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management's Goals and Objectives" (  In this paper you will find the S.M.A.R.T acronym so commonly used in business, however, it can also be applied to education.   SMART Goal Setting  S – Specific - What specific skill does your student need improvement in? M – Measurable - How will you know that your student has improved?  How will you measure their progress?   A – Achievable - In Doran's original paper it actually states "Assignable", however, for our... read more

A friend of mine recently posed a question to me: "What exactly IS a career student? Is that the guy that has been in his senior year of high school since 2009?" No, young grasshopper, a career student is not that guy. That guy or girl is what we call a senior-senior, and he or she is usually a pretty awesome person that just really enjoys high school. I came up with the term "career student" (peep the tagline) in an effort to describe the types of high school and college students that might be interested in my services and/or what I hope students that use my services will become. A career student is a student that treats their academic life like a professional career. I know a lot of career students, and yes, you want to be one of them.  Career students have certain qualities that they have acquired with lots of effort and support. Anyone can be a career student (even people that HATE school). A lesson I learned after high school... read more

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!"

This post is inspired by an article I read, “Be Less Helpful” by Joshua Zucker (can be found at this link: and I am here to relate it to my teaching and tutoring experiences. When working with students, it can be easy to watch struggling students and thoughtlessly just give them the answers. Why do we do this? Well, for a variety of reasons. Maybe we empathize with the struggling student and want to alleviate their pain. Perhaps we are impatient and have already solved the problem mentally several times over. Maybe we think the question is asking too much of the students. Perhaps we’re worried that they are taking too much time and should move on to the next problem. Maybe they have made three incorrect guesses and we feel it’s time to just give it to them. Perhaps we are really enthusiastic about teaching and are overly anxious to show them how to do it. (Remember, depending on the subject... read more

Bio Cognitive Learning by Jean Piaget Why not now??? Jean Piaget ( August 1896 – September 1980) was a Swiss developmental psychologist and philosopher known for his epidemiological studies with children. His theory of cognitive development and epidemiological view are together called genetic epistemology.". Piaget placed great importance on the education of children. As the Director of the International Bureau of Education, he declared in 1934 that "only education is capable of saving our societies from possible collapse, whether violent, or gradual." Jean Piaget was "the great pioneer of the constructionist theory of knowing. However, his ideas did not become widely popularized until the 1960's. This then led to the emergence of the study of development as a major sub-discipline in psychology. In this stage, Piaget believed that the process of thinking and the intellectual development could be regarded as an extension... read more

I remember taking some courses in my early years of undergrad that were pretty awful. The teaching wasn't that bad, and I was definitely awake for them (two key points to getting decent grades) but the subject matter just wasn't something I could ever see myself using. Sound familiar?    Interestingly though, after changing my attitude, I saw that I can indeed use most things learned in most classes, if I am looking for the beneficial parts of each subject. I'm not saying that if you hate science you'll want to start studying the makeup of dirt all of a sudden, but I can definitely assure you that there is a way to dislike things less. We have to find ways to connect what math, science, English, or the like teaches us (even if it's under the surface) to what we love in life.    I love children with cancer. You can see more about that here. And even though I had to write that on the front of a lot of notebooks over... read more

In my teaching, I have seen that lessons can be fun when:   1) An application is applied to the learning.        -ex.  when I can see that material that I am learning now has application to what I will be doing in my life this week, month, year, life.   2) When the concept makes the problem solving easy.       -ex. When I can understand what is causing the frustration or making it hard, and taking that obstacle away by knowing how to work the problem in effective manner.   3) Humor       - laughing is a great why to take the edge off of homework.  Make it fun by poking fun into it. Laugh about it.   4) Making the most out of the homework to see how you can breathe some life into something that is dull and lifeless.     -ex. some homework assignments have the ability (especially writing) to make it more than just learning how to write sentences;... read more

When I talk with my students about goal-setting, I encourage them to think hard about their goals and really hone in on what it will take to reach that goal. I encourage them to create SMART goals, along with an action plan. Often, our thought process is general and vague - this leads us to set goals that we aren't going to meet, which is why people often give up on their New Year's resolutions. "Saving money" and "losing weight" are common goals that many people have, but these are example of non-SMART goals. Likewise, many students set non-SMART goals when it comes to their academics. SMART is an acronym that can help students set personal and academic goals. I break it down here:  Specific: A goal of “getting good grades” is too general. Instead, specify what exactly will be accomplished. What grade are you shooting for? In what class? A SMART goal would instead look like “Raising my Geometry grade from a B- to a B by next semester.” Measurable: Establish... read more

1) You can have fun and be silly, but still increase focus on the subject   When I taught piano lessons to a 5-year-old girl, I would start off by asking her to find the weirdest, funniest sound that she could find on the keyboard, and then ask her to play the song she had practiced for that week in that sound! She always would laugh and make faces, but it made the repetition of practicing the same song over and over less monotonous and more fun! This would start our lessons off on a great note, and they would be more of a game or exploration of music than just a class.   2) Take a snack break     After about 30-45 minutes of studying the same subject, it can get tiring and hard to focus. Our brains need a break! Stopping 30 minutes into a tutoring session to have a quick snack or drink can really help to give your mind the rest it needs to be able to refocus and start refreshed after the break!   3) Talk about your worries... read more

Just about every parent asks me this question.  It is so difficult to answer because there is no set formula. So my honest answer: I don't know.  Every student is different.  There really are no easy fixes when it comes to learning differences.   (And I can't believe I said that-right?)   I like to think that teaching someone to read is like teaching someone to bake a cake. The first step is to assemble the ingredients and the tools you need to measure, mix and bake. With reading it's the same way.  We need all the right ingredients and tools to get the job done. We need to identify sounds, blend them together, take them apart and mix them into new words.  The issue for students with learning differences is usually, that they need different tools than the ones they are used to working with.   Some students make steady consistent progress, while some progress, plateau, then progress, and... read more

Let's be real people-- if you don't actually WANT to be 'better' is some real way, I'm not capable of making that happen by osmosis, meaning just being in the room won't be enough. Pride in my communications skills also won't mean much if you're not answering or giving me feedback about the process, so that's an essential ingredient to our success-- the question and answer (plus practice!) process.   I'm a fairly accomplished writer; while a knee injury has slowed me down considerably, I know my way around most athletic events, including rugby. As a professional executive-personal assistant and long time sales professional, I'm clear on the idea I need to know what is going good or bad in the overall, and I'll be asking you the 5 W's-- who, what, when, where, why (and how) regularly. The better you already know those answers, the faster we'll get to the 'meat' of the situation. "I got a D in English" will elicit questions about why? and what the expectation is--... read more

As a former camp director (references available), and as a published writer and college English instructor, I can customize a reading and writing group to engage your teen. This will keep them in a safe environment, and they will be learning and practicing their writing and analytical skills.   I will design a custom plan and schedule for your needs. Why not contact another parent and see if their teens would be interested. We can select some appropriate books together, and I will design discussion questions and writing exercises for the workshop meetings. We can decide on public meeting places: libraries, coffee shops, etc.   Contact me here through WyzAnt and I will create a special package rate for my services, especially if you introduce additional students that might be interested. There is no obligation to discuss this idea. Please e-mail me if you have questions or to discuss further!     - Tim 

Unless you are traveling in a spaceship and moving close to the speed of light, time passes at the same rate for everyone. The Earth takes approximately 24 hours to complete one full rotation on its axis, which has resulted in a day being 24 hours long. So why do some people seem to be able to accomplish so much more when we all have the same amount of time in our day? Simply, they have mastered good time management skills. I have summarized 3 Time Management tips that I have condensed from a number of different resources. Hopefully, these will help you finish more tasks and get you closer to accomplishing your goals. 1) Create a Prioritized To-Do List At the beginning of every day, take 15 minutes to consciously decide how you want to spend your time. This is also called making a plan for your day. Write down everything you need to do that day. This list should include steps needed to complete a S.M.A.R.T. goal, tasks or project items for work or school, errands,... read more

Statistics Class is one of those oddball math classes because it is one of the first university level math class that a student will take. See most students coming into statistics have gotten into the    1. Attendance 2. Speech 3. Syllabus 4. Done   Stats does not necesserily act like that because stats is more labor intensive the first week. Most of the information though is only required on the first test but is necessary for the rest of the semester. For instance Statistics is the math where students COLLECT, ORGANIZE, ANALYZE AND SUMMARIZE large amounts of data.    Hmm...    If students studied that definition just for a second, they know what the rest of the semester is going to bring them, but we will continue that in a different posting.    First important thing to notice is the title of my blog. PPSS This is probably the most important item you need for class because it is arranged... read more

See if there is one thing that I cannot stand, is seeing a student rush into a Stats class and stating that this class is remarkably easy because my friend said so. Too many times has a student come up to me and asked is statistics easy, and I reply "it most certainly is... for myself, because I studied my content for two years before retaking the course.". If you know that you are going to start a statistics class anywhere at any time your going to need the following items.   1. TI-83 or 84 preferably Now why one of these calculators? Students, if you are going to take a stats class be aware that there is a lot of data or numerical values that can be used to find the measures of central tendency and measures of dispersion. These calculators excel for data entry and double checking your answers on the very first test.    *If your teacher says you cannot use this calculator, then get its cheaper cousin. TI-30XII Hint there usually... read more

As a new tutor to Wyzant I see many positive possibilities to come from this tutoring resource opportunity. As an employed tutor of Mid-South Community College, I tutor students from a vast variety of backgrounds and makeups on a daily basis. With that being said, I am versatile, people person with a passion for helping students. I would not have joined Wyzant if I didn't love my job as a tutor already, I am just excited about the possibility of meeting new students to help reach their learning goals! As an assistant basketball coach at MSCC, I see that in the sport the most important event is not the event itself, it is the reaction of the player. In the classroom or tutoring setting, it is no different. My main goal as a tutor is to build student confidence, so when they encounter adversity (can't solve a problem, keep getting wrong answer, etc.) they react with a smooth and confident demeanor and avoid frustration and destructive self-criticism.

I love to read. Reading takes you on all sorts of adventures and teaches you about the world around you. I could spend hours curled up with a good book. But lately I have started to think about WHY I read. Simply put, I read because it expands my knowledge, horizons, and especially my vocabulary. Ben Johnson, a British philosopher (among other things), once said, "Language most shows a man. Speak, that I may see thee." This is a succinct summation of how I feel on the subject: the words you choose, the speech patterns you employ, say more about your education* and thirst for knowledge than anything else you do. Therefore, I read to enhance my vocabulary. My vocabulary expands my speech. And hopefully someday my language will reflect the kind of person I strive to be. *Education can, of course, mean both formal academics as well as knowledge garnered through observation and life experience.

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