Friday, May 23, 2014

New Student Butterflies!

I get an email from my website or through one of the various tutoring services I am part of, and after a series of communications, a date and time are set!

Oh, it's the new student butterflies!! Here are some things I always do to prepare for a new student:

1. Check my Availability
Didn't I already check my availability when I booked the student? Well yes, that is exactly what I mean! Availability isn't about having an hour in between each student. Do I have time to take out my dog? Do I have time for traffic? Do I have time for MY OTHER STUDENTS?? 
Too often, the idea of an extra couple bucks can seem so attractive, but it is extremely important that I make sure I have enough time to answer questions my students may have about their homework and that I have enough time to prepare for my next session with them!

2. Study and Review!
Okay, I don't review basic arithmetic for my 3rd graders, but I do review test taking strategies, fun games, and software information! I make a living out of KNOWING things and TEACHING those things to others--it only makes sense for me to review the material or supplies I will be working with if I plan to get paid for my services. And yes, I do have to review for college and high school courses! I don't remember every single reagent used in organic chemistry or every single irregular verb in Spanish, so STUDY STUDY STUDY!

3. Prepare my Bag
If you are teacher, you know the importance of a good school bag! Recommendations would be nice actually! I need a new one! It is the responsibility of my students to have paper, pencils, homework, math books, etc. not mine. But of course I have extras! I make sure I am stocked with those essentials and whatever else I am working with for the entire day! Currently I have pens, alphabet cards, bouncy balls, and plain computer paper in my bag/car. You never know when that perfect activity will come to mind! So be prepared for any and all activities!!

4. Revisit my Website
Okay, this isn't a plug for myself! But I really do review my policy and prices listed on my website. Having booked a new student, we have already discussed pricing, location, etc. but something new might pop up (and it almost always done!). I have to be ready with knowing my up to date policy information as well as the ins and outs of my business. The first meeting is the best time to ask about my tutoring style, personality, and policy. So I have to be ready to answer any question a student or parent may have!

This is not just some selling point! I really have to smile when I meet a new student! I am so blessed by Jesus Christ to have my own business--and booking a new student means I am expanding! I smile not only with my students (who are nervous to be meeting with a tutor), or with parents (who are nervous about a stranger teaching their precious baby), but for myself! Even if I just came from a session where a student did not try or want to learn, a new session is a new chance! What an opportunity to serve the Lord through education with multiple people every single day! If that don't make ya smile, I dunno wut will!

Have fun preparing your students for summer!!! Take the sun as an opportunity for new adventures in the tutoring world!! :)

Friday, May 9, 2014

I'm Not a Great Tutor

I'm not a great tutor.

Before a test or final as I pack up my things from a session; I turn to my students to let them know that I will be praying for their exam. And the wonders of this past week have shown me that I am not responsible for my students' successes.

I praise God He has allowed me to retain knowledge from my past and given me the ability to share it in an engaging manner. And I praise Him for helping my students recall information and apply it. No, I cannot say that I am the reason why my students are rocking A's and B's this semester.

This past week has been our revival week. Two nights ago, our guest preacher Bro. Darrell Hayes spoke about how we need to just trust Christ that everything will work according to His plan for our good. And I can say that this message has wrung true on so many different levels with my students.

I want my students to know that when I say I will pray for their test, exam, quiz, etc. I am praying for more than just that. I cannot enter a business endeavor with someone without lifting them up for a blessing. Because my students are such huge blessings to me!

If you are one of my students please know that I pray for your grades, your health, your safety, your family, your future goals, any specific requests that you tell me, and most importantly, that you would trust in Christ wholeheartedly as Savior.

I do this in private, I do this alone, and I keep my specific prayers only between the Lord and me. You are not alone in your journey through education. You have a prayer warrior any time of day in someone unexpected--your tutor.

Because I am not responsible for your success, no, I lead you to the One who gives the entire victory :)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mother's Day Activity!

I have a student who always says, "No, I don't want to do that!" It doesn't matter what the activity is. Her mom has hired me to help her in Language Arts and Science (occasionally Social Studies). She just has a "no" attitude. I'm sure you have a few of those students yourself!

When I studied to get my Masters, we used fancy terms like "cooperative learning" and "scaffolding". But let's be real, I have to trick her into learning! Even if I say the word "read" she automatically pouts and does not want to do anything. So yesterday I had to do an impromptu activity.
My improvisational comedy career really does help with teaching!

I saw some blank sheets of paper and knew we had to practice our adjectives and spelling words. So a quick tutorial later, we made these:

They are Mother's Day Origami hearts! They were so easy to make and before I knew it, we were spelling words, and even added a verb section (because my student wanted!).

On the left flap we wrote adjectives that describe our moms--"Smart" "Pretty" and "Awesome". On the other flap we wrote and drew verbs--so activities we want to do with our moms--"Sing together" "Buy stuff together" and "Draw together".

And on the inside we drew and wrote big vocabulary words that describe a situation that has or will happen with our moms. My student turned in the inside into an airplane with different airline words.

This was such a fun and easy activity! With CRCT over and only a couple weeks until the end of school, we really needed to come up with something fun to keep everything we've learned all year in our brains!

Watch the link below or click the picture to follow the tutorial I used to make these adorable origami hearts!

Easy origami hearts for Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Finals and the "Flu"

This is finals week for many of my students. So why am I at home typing a blog post instead of making sure my students got their facts down and their critical thinking caps on? Because I have had the lovely stomach flu for the past few days.


Don't worry, I'll spare you the wonderful details. Though today is the first day I feel able to sit up and concentrate to write anything. So I wanted to mention the ways that I am keeping track of my students while I am physically quarantined from most of them.

"Stomach flu" is a misnomer; it is actually called Viral Gastroenteritis. Usually caused by a Norovirus.
Because I am much more technologically connected with my college students than my K-12 students (for obvious legal reasons), I have been texting, emailing, and calling them to make sure they have their details correct. I usually charge for technology tutoring--but it is neither their fault nor mine that I am sick, so they get access to me via technology for free during the time slot we should have been tutoring. Can I hear a WOOP WOOP!

Thankfully, my elementary and middle school students have two more weeks before the end of the school year and they JUST finished CRCT! So good timing for them! Since the pressure to meet with them is much lower, I have an open line of communication with their parents to contact me. I am always an email or text away if their student has a question. A few of them have taken the opportunity to talk about summer sessions! Woop woop!

Good thing that happened even though I haven't tutored: one of my students aced her final! Proud tutor over here!!
Bad thing that happened: I had to miss my teaching English as a second language class at my church. I love that class so much and we've been on a month long break due to out of control circumstances and we won't have class for another 2 weeks... So only two more classes until summer break for them! I have so many ideas and I'm just so excited for these adults that I just want to teach and teach and teach!

Finally, I just want to say thank you to my wonderful husband who has waited on me hand and foot these past days! Seriously, God is so good to have given me such a loving husband (and he's rather good-lookin' too) :]

Off to eat/drink more clear fluids. Yay!