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Since I need to coordinate the university classes I teach, my family schedules, and my tutoring, I sync it all to  I then restrict the public information. Any open time slot is available for tutoring. Since I hate playing text-tag to schedule an appointment I send my link and my students can see what times work for them (in their own time zone, too) and then they let me know what they want.

One of the leading questions parents ask when inquring about tutoring services is "how long should my student study for the SATs?"  This answer varies depending upon the student's current academic progress, whether they've taken the test previously and what areas they need to invest more time in.  The short answer is at least 40 hours.  Also, it is not a bad idea to take the test more than once to improve your score and become more familiar with the time structure and layout of the test. Retaking the test is not a sign of failure or falling short of your goals, it is simply a benefit toward improving yourself for your future academic ambitions. Not many opportunities present themselves more than once, so take advantage of improving your academic health and increasing your chances of getting accepted to the college of your choice.  If you need study tips or a SAT workshop program please feel free to reach out to me to schedule a session...

One of the biggest successes you can endeavor during your tutoring career is expanding your academic reach. Two years ago my student asked me to help her begin preparing for the PSATs. I have never taught that material but she enjoyed my English and reading approach that she was confident I could help her. After reviewing the materials, we began to take apart the test and work through the English sections. Over time I became comfortable and I started to spend time at home studying to increase my knowledge. Fast forward to two years later I am now teaching tips, tricks and strategies for conquering the SATs. This has opened the door for more opportunities that I would have never had if I didn't take the initial plunge into unfamilar water. You can also take that plunge I believe in you.  One of the best ways to approach tutoring the SATs is not just arriving at the answer but teaching strategies to ace the test and avoid tricks. Boosting a student's confidence is also key.... read more

Tutoring is always fun when the student gets to make activity choices as we go along. I make tutoring fun by planning activities that strengthen the Reader and that makes them interested. Tutoring is fun with social praise and teacher input that motivates them. Tutoring sessions are fun when you know the student wants the end of session token reinforcement. Tutoring can be even more fun if you have some surprise end of session token reinforcement, like candy or small prizes that go with the holiday season or with the mastering of a certain goal at the end of a school year.

Tutoring is always fun when the student gets to make activity choices as we go along. I make tutoring fun by planning activities that strengthen the Reader and that makes them interested. Tutoring is fun with social praise and teacher input that motivates them. Tutoring sessions are fun when you know the student wants the end of session token reinforcement. Tutoring can be even more fun if you have some surprise end of session token reinforcement, like candy or small prizes that go with the holiday season or with the mastering of a certain goal at the end of a school year.

Spring is in the air. With Spring comes time to freshen up again. As tutors and educators, we need to freshen up on our skills, our transportation, and our teaching methods. With a fresh new attitude, we endeavor to raise our student's altitude. We freshen up to allow for more fun in line with the new season. Here is my essential chores check-list to tackle when Spring arrives:   Month of March >This year, daylight savings time(DST) begins on Sunday, March 13. Go to sleep early the night before and remember to set all your clocks and watches one hour ahead >Update your own assessments to match new test requirements e.g. EOG tests, PSAT, SAT, ACT, GED, GRE, GMAT, etc >Work on your own promotional materials >Advertise through usual channels such as social media and bulletin boards   Month of April >Seek ways to improve your tutoring by adding in new games, fun activities, or even stories >Take a class or learn a new... read more

It is hard to believe Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was first published nearly 30 years ago. Although all 7 habits are excellent tools for both tutors and students, I believe the Second Habit -- "Begin With the End in Mind" -- can play an important role in creating the foundation for a productive and satisfying learning partnership.   For example, it is no use for a tutor to expect a student to go back and read the assigned book when the analysis paper is due in 48 hours. Similarly, a parent will be bitterly disappointed if they expect an "A" in Chemistry after only a few tutoring sessions. And a student shouldn't expect to learn a semester's worth of Physics without completing a single assignment.   Tutors can start this conversation by asking a few key questions: "What would you like to accomplish during our time together?" and "How would that accomplishment look to you?" Follow up questions... read more

Tutoring is teaching on steroids. You have a small amount of time to make a huge impact in a student's life. In addition, the parents are looking for quick results, after all they are paying. However, there is something that every tutor should consider when planning and tutoring-if the student doesn't like what you are doing, how long do you think the parent and the student are going to continue to make the investment of their time and money? Here are 5 quick tips to help build the connection without spending a large amount of time on things other than the lesson.   1. Talk to the child. I know it sounds silly, but children have things they love to talk about if adults will just take the time to listen. Some students open up right away, others do not.   2. Involve movement. It helps. A lot. Have them sing, dance, or do anything that involves them getting out of their seat and moving around. They have usually sat in school all day. They need a break and so... read more

1. POSITIVE LEARNING  Smiling/Happiness changes you brain patterns, thus opening you up to learn more.  I like to incorporate a little fun with learning.  Getting a smile here and there and showing appreciation to the student on progress.    2. STRESS LESS LEARNING Stress causes you to retain energy that blocks you brain from functioning.  Stop and do something silly that will help ease the stress.  Once you can relax, you can learn.  I will incorporate small activities that remove you from the subject jut long enough to reset and release the stress.  Only in short cycles when needed.     3. INVESTIGATIVE LEARNING I focus on the student investigation and hands-on learning. I provide guidance and support for students through the learning process. My students play an active and participatory role in their own learning process. Applying real life situations into a game concept helps with the hands-on... read more

I absolutely love tutoring. From a few years of experience I have gained some knowledge on how to make tutoring a fun experience and not make students feel like they are attending a second school.  One of my main tips is to let the students set the atmosphere. They need to be comfortable in whatever environment to facilitate learning. If music helps them concentrate, or some kind of background noise, then encourage it. If they want to sit on the couch instead of the chairs, so be it. The student should be able to chose the medium in which they study so as not to feel constrained like a classroom setting.  Another tip that I like to give is to level. If you know that your student isn't going to understand something the way an Ivy League student would, don't use ridiculous words and techniques. The whole point of tutoring is to help someone understand a concept, not to show off how smart you are. Subjects should never just be limited to the material either. Ask... read more

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

Online tutoring is definitely a great thing not only to take, but to teach. It allows you to be flexible with your schedule, you don't have to leave your home, and you save money on gas! However, there can be some downsides to online tutoring.  If you live with family, there can be distractions and background noise You may not be technologically savvy You may find some students would prefer tutoring in a face-to-face setting Even despite these setbacks, WyzAnt's online tutoring platform is an amazing way to interact with students. Here are some solutions to these issues: Make sure you have a designated "tutoring room" or quiet time during tutoring hours. Living with family, especially children, can be difficult. However, letting others know that you need silence, or having a designated room where there is little to no family traffic can help improve the quality of the session. Even if you are not technologically savvy, WyzAnt offers a... read more

1. Sing a Song It is amazing how singing a song can relieve stress as well as improve memory. Consider starting each lesson with a silly, but relevant song. 2. Offer Incentives for Meeting Tutoring Goals Tutoring lessons are fun when students have a goal to work towards and a reward for meeting it. 3. Have a Snack No one likes to learn on an empty stomach. Consult with parents on what snacks would be appropriate and have it there waiting for them when they come to see you. They will think you are the greatest and will be more focused on learning. 4. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes Yes, it’s silly but this simple exercise when students seem to be falling asleep on you will wake them up and keep them focused. 5. BINGO Playing games are always fun. BINGO is a game that can be customized to any subject. Break up the monotony with a game.

As per Wyzant's request, I'll give my five cents on what makes a tutoring session fun.   1. Liveliness: What better way to garner enthusiasm than to be enthused. It truly can be contagious.    2. Movement: Cognitive science evidences that our brains are not entirely at work while we're at rest. Moving around keeps things interesting, and, of course, complements the liveliness and enthusiasm that creates a memorable session.    3. Games: This one goes without saying. Games generally have entertainment value, but they can be useful educational tools as well.   4. Connections: Making things relatable, learning about the student, building a tutor-tutee connection makes each session more enjoyable.    5. Pneumonics: Pneumonic devices, particularly silly ones, can make a session both fun and memorable. Retention is key. 

Working with different students can be challenging, but I've noticed that there are five main things you can do to make each experience with a student that much more successful.   Personality! Bring it on! Use your personality to relate to your student; whether young or old, you can connect on different levels outside your subject. Help them become comfortable by you being a regular person just like them. I've noticed that this will help your student relax and become more susceptible to your lesson.   Who doesn't appreciate kindness from another person. Let's not forget The Golden Rule of treating others as you would be treated. I would hope that a person would be courteous to me, especially in the position of student and teacher. I personally have a younger student under 10, and there are times where she can get rowdy, but even in disciplining i find that softer words does the job.   Which leads me right into Understanding. Sometimes, it can... read more

I had a great math teacher in seventh grade.  Coach Hopkins was just one of those teachers that made math look so easy when he demonstrated problems on the chalkboard.  For some reason, he was always smiling.  Believe me, in seventh grade, a smiling teacher who made me feel like he liked his job and his students was a bright spot in my day.  I was lucky enough to have him again in college for an algebra class.  He made math seem so simple!  I learned that when you go into a department store, and the tag says 40% off of a $25.00 blouse, you don't have to figure out what 40% off is and subtract that amount from $25.00.  There is a faster, easier way.  Since the blouse is 40% off, that actually means you will pay 60% of the retail price.  So, we only have to multiply $25.00 times 60%, and we have the price of the blouse.  For instance:     $25.00 x .60 = $15.00                 ... read more

While tutoring is about making sure you learn the material we are discussing, it should always have a balanced amount of learning and fun!  Here are some ways I keep my tutoring sessions a fun place to be: 1. Games - Learning is most successful when it's fun! When applicable, it can be a great change of pace to incorporate a game into the tutoring session.  2. You get to be the teacher - Nothing shows me that you know your information best than when you can teach it to me! On this day we might switch jobs, and you will pretend to be the tutor helping me, your student.  3. Songs - Sometimes the best way to memorize information is to put it in a song. Acronyms, lists of names, dates or even important people can make their way into your favorite song and then you'll never forget that information.  4. Performances - for my music students, we will spend a lot of time working on technical skills to apply to your music making. But some of the... read more

Understanding your child's / student(s)' learning styles is one of the most important factors in helping them reach success.  At the end of the day, why else did we become parents or teachers but to watch the next generation learn?  The problem is that we often assume that everyone learns and processes information the same as we do.  If they don't, does that mean there is something wrong with THEM?!  Absolutely not!! Respecting and building on the natural learning style of the learner, in my opinion, is the most important role of the tutor.   In my day, everything was pretty much done by taking turns reading aloud.   The problem for me was that I was not good at processing information while reading aloud nor was I savvy at auditory processing.  For several years I was treated as though something was wrong with me and given that I had an older sister who processed information "normally," I internalized that message for a very... read more

***Disclaimer: I write blog posts the way I think and speak, so pardon the grammar and the non-formal language, Enjoy!*** First things first, as a tutor you need to realize you aren't their teacher... so relax! You don't have to take a dictatorship role with them. Get to know the students you are working with. I say "students" because aren't we all just trying to learn something? Doesn't matter how old you are, you are always a student... only the setting and situation has changed a bit. With that in mind, everyone is different so therefore people also learn differently, people are motivated by different things. By getting to know your students, you will be able to understand their needs that extent farther than simply their academic needs.  Don't take yourself too seriously! This goes hand-in-hand with number one, but it's true! You want your students to feel comfortable working with you, and that won't happen if you're a stiff.  Treat your students... read more

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