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How to Make a Lesson Easier

No matter what subject you’re teaching, or whether you work at school or give private lessons, students (or a student) may become quite bored at your lesson. It’s not always easy to keep the attention of the students, to keep them focused and willing to learn new information.
I’m a teacher, a private tutor and a student myself, so I’ve had enough of opportunities to watch my colleagues at work and try some methods on my students. I’d like to share some tips that will help you to make your lesson easier, reduce the tension and make the learning process flow smoothly, so students won’t feel bored afterwards.
My subject is English language, but I think my advice will be useful for any teacher or tutor.
1. Switch activities
Before starting the lesson, make a quick review of the things that need to be done. For example, you need to do some writing, listening and speaking. Try to break these activities in halves and mix them up: it will be better for the student to write a little, then switch to another kind of activity and then go back to writing. The student(s) will most likely grow weary if they remain involved into the same activity for a long time; they won’t learn the material so well; and their attention will suffer as well. When time comes to begin another task, the students won’t have enough energy and they’ll do it worse.
So try and break all your lesson activities into smaller parts and interlace them with each other. It will help your student(s) to stay focused and they won’t grow tired of monotony.
2. Make pauses
Give your students some time to relax and catch their breath. You may think that the lesson is short, and there’s not enough time to do everything that was planned, but if you keep your students in constant tension and hurry them up, they will – voluntary or not – reject some information coming from you. If they’re tired or overstrained, they will start checking their cellphones, looking at the windows or just idly staring at the walls. They will take their time for rest anyway, so it’s better than you give them a minute or two to clear their thoughts. Such intervals can be introduced after every 15-20 minutes of a lesson.
Tell your students a joke, a small story or an episode from your teaching experience, let them stretch and chat a little, ask them some random questions – anything to make them relax a little. This way they’ll concentrate on the next activity much better.
3. Be friendly and praise them when you can
Teachers and tutors often think that it’s better to be strict and demanding at the lesson. While it helps to keep up discipline, it may also make your students too shy and unwilling to communicate. Tell them a couple of good words if you see they’re doing well; choose a bit easier task for the ones that seem to fall behind the class – it’s always better to help students feel more confident and stimulate their wish to learn more and work harder.
If you use these simple methods, your classes will have a nice, friendly atmosphere, and it will be easier for the students to focus. Your explanation will fall on eager ears, the students will remember and learn much more, and they will be always looking forward to your classes.…

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Persistence Is Key

Whether it is your chosen sport, online tutoring or raising children, I believe you must have persistence to achieve results. Without persistent effort success will be absent.
The above statement is the result of a small yet thought-provoking event that occurred in my life last weekend and the motivation for this article. My wife, Jacqui, and I are expecting our first child and over the last couple of months (we’re in the third trimester) we have conversed considerably about how our parenting style will be, our morals and mostly how we believe events will unfold in our household (It’s all about getting on the same page). Up until last weekend I would have been more than happy to let others know what I felt about how to parent in different areas (not thinking I know it all), however one of Jacqui’s friends has changed this for me and reinforced the idea of persistence as an extremely obvious choice in the production of results.
The conversation over some fish and chips by the beach turned to Jacqui’s friends’ 2 year old daughter and her potty training. Now I can appreciate how difficult it must be to teach a young child to use the potty for the first time, although I didn’t feel the reaction was warranted when Jacqui told her friend what plan of action we had discussed to use for our child. It was like one of those hold in the laughter, how na?�ve, what could you possibly know about it reactions. Not being one to back down Jacqui simply mentioned that we have other friends you have had great success potty training in the particular method suggested.
As a couple we are not one to judge other parents on their methods however it seemed obvious to us at the time that the couple with the results acted with persistence from an early age, where as the friends having trouble seemed more reactive to circumstances. Basically the potty success came down to putting the child on the potty after each toilet from an early age. That way the child got accustom to sitting on the potty and started to make an association between the potty and going to the toilet.
Reflecting on the conversation has leaded me to realize that any area of my life that I enjoy success in has been the result of consistent effort of a pre determined plan/idea. I have taught for 10 years and am involved in online tutoring, and if there is one area where students who achieve success and those that don’t differ, it’s persistence. A sunny weekend, some snapper and chips and parenting conversations leaded me here but persistence will take me anywhere.…

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So, You Want Your Child To Be A Pianist?

It seems to me every mother’s dream is to put her daughter in Music School to learn to play the piano or any other musical instrument. This does not necessarily mean that the child has to pursue a career in Music. It simply is a status symbol when a member of the family, usually the girls, can play Classical compositions and have a Piano Recital.
I had been teaching piano to very young children, having had advance units leading to an Associate degree in Music along with my Bachelor’s degree in Arts and Education. But being a graduate at the age of 18, I could hardly find a job as prospective employers think I was too young to be employed. So I went into tutoring piano for 2 years and the experience I had with children learning piano is something that might be valuable to mothers.
As early as 5 years old, some parents would prod these kids to enroll in Music schools. Unless a child is really gifted, this does not cause any problems. However, if the child is merely forced to– to keep her busy in the summer months, learning becomes a horrifying experience for the child who would play a “tug of war” with either the parents or the piano teachers.
In my case, I accepted kids only from age nine (9) for piano beginners. The attention span of those younger is very short and usually, it takes 10 minutes to get them concentrated on the piano before the actual lessons start like reading notes, simple exercises for finger dexterity and hands-on on the keyboard. After 20 minutes, the child sighs (sign of getting bored and tired) and as the teacher patiently pursues the lessons for the day, the kid’s eyes wander off. or may even complain (just about anything) or ask you instead to tell stories. As a teacher, you have to do justice to what you are being paid for an hour’s tutoring. So your tendency is to try as much as possible to keep the child at the piano with her struggling little fingers on the keys. I think of this not as piano tutoring but piano torturing with the eager parents as accomplices. It is for this reason that I gracefully turn down any child below 9 years old presented to me for piano lessons. And even if the child qualifies my age requirements, I would still assess if the child really wants to take up piano or have the lessons postponed in his later years. Sometimes, it takes some degree of a teacher’s creativity to get the child to appreciate piano. I would ask her what songs she likes and play them on the piano. Or play some light simplified classical music to get her acquainted with the Great Masters. I became popular in the community for making a child play the piano in just one year of tutoring and soon enough my young students grew in number. As soon as they have learned the Basics and moved on to Kohler or Czerny, I would advise them to enroll in the Music School, so they could join a Student’s Piano Recital which is every parent’s dream. Many pursued piano studies til high school while others dropped off after I stopped piano tutoring. But to all of them, I would say—never give up what is most dear to your heart. And many of them (now professionals) would remember me for that and say—though they have gone to various fields and ended in good careers, they still play the pieces I taught them and could play them by memory.
Every child has its own pace and level of development and we, parents, must remember that learning that is fun and enjoyable can leave lasting imprints for a lifetime.…

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Students Can Now Resort to Online Tutoring for Extra Help

Online tutoring has become an excellent alternative for those who find it difficult to attend various tutoring centers located far away from their homes. It provides great relief to such students as they can choose from a variety of subjects such as reading, writing, math, science or accounts and receive one-on-one tutoring from well-qualified teachers online.
Students can easily gain access to tutoring of different subjects through online sources. Usually students who find mere school teaching hard to cope with and need additional assistance in order to maintain good grades are the ones to benefit from this. Online tutors provide guidance and individual attention to students to improve their knowledge base in academics. Additionally, they keep track of their students’ progress. Such tutors usually strive to ensure that each and every student develops appropriate skills and inculcate good study habits in order to succeed academically.
Math is an important subject for students but can be challenging for certain individuals to grasp. It is critical for every student to undergo training in this subject in order to be clear with mathematical concepts. For those who are unable to attend regular classes, can opt for online math tutoring. Some people consider math to be rather difficult to be taught online. Since there is speech aided tutoring packages and digital white board services which can provide easy math problem solving, grasping math from online sources is not an issue. Moreover, students get the opportunity to interact with experienced teachers who are aware of various techniques and short cuts to master the problems involved in math thereby making it useful for students to progress in the right direction.…

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Education Benefits for Veterans

After serving in the military, many veterans look to go back to school and continue their education, but the cost can be prohibitive. Thankfully, there are a multitude of options for any educational assistance for military personnel, including scholarships, admissions programs, and appropriations. The G.I. Bill is the best known source of funding, but there are other options. Scholarships and state-run programs are worth considering and are detailed below.

Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008

The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill expanded educational benefits for veterans who served since September 11, 2001. Also occasionally referred to as the “New G.I. Bill,” this law pays for veterans’ college expenses, as well as providing the ability for these benefits to be transferred to a spouse or child. The bill includes four years of tuition. The amount given depends upon time served, with a minimum of 90 days of service entitling veterans to 40% of the benefit.

Additionally, the bill covers a living stipend based on housing costs, funding for supplies and books, and a grant to pay for licensing or certification testing. These benefits are good for 15 years after duty. There are additional options for online learning, international schools, and out of state possibilities. For more information visit this site.

Scholarships

There are hundreds of scholarships available, many of which are directed specifically to veterans. Organizations such as VeteranAid, Veterans Caucus, and Veterans United Foundation, offer scholarship opportunities to veterans and their families. Many of these scholarships are donated by successful veterans and their families and are named in honor of their loved ones. Moreover, many local and state organizations, as well as colleges themselves, offer similar awards, many of which can be found here.

Accelerated payment for MGIB-AD

Veterans pursuing work in a technical field can receive a large portion (up to 60%) of the financial benefit up front as a lump sum payment. This is not any additional money, but it allows veterans to access the funding sooner. To be eligible for these payments, veterans must be working towards a degree in a subject like life science, physical science, engineering, mathematics, computer science, or computer management. Finally, the awardee would need to indicate an intent to eventually work in a similar field, varying from aerospace to weapons, nuclear technology to computer-integrated manufacturing.

Post GI Bill Eligibility

There are other Student Financial Aid Programs offered by the federal government that can frequently benefit veterans. Most of these grants (as well as some loans) are given to eligible citizens with satisfactory academic progress and displayed financial need.
To apply for these funds, eligible hopeful students can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at https://fafsa.ed.gov. The information from the FAFSA will then be disseminated to any accredited school you wish to attend. Lastly, most states offer some educational assistance to students staying in-state, with many options for veterans and their families. Search military.com for grants, loans, and tuition waivers.…