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Teacher Education

Perpetual Student – A Key to Career Security

I recall being 27 years old and nearing the end of my graduate studies. My grandmother, who never had an unpleasant word for me and had left school after the fifth grade, said: “Stuart, what a shame. You are 27 years old and not working.” I was so embarrassed! Now I am much more than twice that age and still working. I am also still a student — a perpetual student — but no longer embarrassed. Instead, I feel blessed.
Management guru Peter Drucker offered this thought: “To make knowledge work productive will be the great management task of the last century, just as to make manual work productive was the great management task of the last century.” Achieving success and significance requires current knowledge or, more specifically, application of current knowledge.
Each of us should strive to be a perpetual student. Continuous learning and judicious application of new knowledge and skills help us earn career security. By career security I mean much more than job security. Career security means always being engaged, as an employee or independent professional or business person, and doing what we love to do.
How can we continue to learn? The most effective way to be a perpetual student is to seek varying and challenging assignments — so that we learn as we go. “Seek” is probably too soft — we should demand varied and challenging assignments.
Consulting is an excellent platform for continuous improvement via “on-the-job-learning.” The technology-driven and client-driven consulting field demands continuous learning and, at the same time, provides many continuous education opportunities. When our children were teenagers, I recall coming home and telling them about the stimulating consulting work I was doing-new projects, new people, new locations, and new technical and non-technical challenges! The response was a resounding disinterest. Years later, my oldest daughter and two colleagues founded an economic consulting firm in California. My wife and I visited her after about a year. She was so exited about consulting and said something like: “Dad! I am exposed to new projects, new people, new locations, and new technical and non-technical challenges.” I could not have said it better.
Besides the experience route to continuing one’s education, there is also more formal ways such as university courses, seminars, webinars, and self-paced learning. Some employers offer mentoring programs or tutoring and teaching opportunities. Work in different sectors of our economy such as business, government, and academia and gain many useful lessons. Actively participate and sometimes lead committees and task forces formed to carry out well-defined charges. Travel to and experience different cultures. Get out of your comfort zone and learn.
As a result of continuously learning – of being a perpetual student, when faced with a new situation you are more likely to say: “This reminds me of…” You get the idea.…

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Teacher Education

Do I Need a Tutor?

You may be struggling in school and feel like a failure. You may have big academic goals and feel like you need help in reaching them. Could a tutor help? Would it be worth the cost in time and money?
Since ancient times, skills and knowledge have been passed on through one-on-one instruction, and this kind of education is as effective today as it has always been. Much of what we learn best is learned from individual instruction, whether it be from parents, grandparents, mentors, friends, co-workers, or teachers. We each have unique needs and ways of learning, and tutoring taps into this effective method of teaching and learning. As a high school teacher and owner of a tutor referral service, I have seen it: the more individualized the instruction, the better.
Tutoring can always improve learning, but this does not mean every student should have a tutor. Hiring a tutor is an investment, and like any investment, the costs must be weighed against the benefits. There are at least three important questions to consider when deciding whether to get a tutor.
The first is obvious: How well you are currently performing in school? A tutor can make the difference between passing and failing, graduating and not graduating, and of course, tutoring is an important option in such cases. If you are already doing well, you may not need a tutor. But that depends on what level of performance is acceptable to you. A tutor can help make the difference between a B and an A, and this can also be a good reason to get a tutor.
The second consideration is your motivational level. Are you really trying? Are you willing to put real effort into learning? Is improvement really important to you? No matter what your reason for seeking a tutor, it is unlikely to help if you are not motivated or not really trying. Before you call for a tutor, look inside yourself and ask whether you really want to do better, and how badly you want it. If you are having trouble with motivation, a tutor may be able to help, but he or she will need to start by working on your motivation and goals, rather than math, English, or other subjects. Before you can improve your grades, you have to want to do so. Tutoring is not a magic pill. The tutor cannot upload the understandings and skills into your mind. He or she is there to help you acquire your own skills and understanding. That requires your action.
I believe that every person is a powerful individual with tremendous potential for personal fulfillment. But if you don’t believe that about yourself, or you don’t believe you can or should do anything about it, you will struggle with motivation. This is what psychologist Nathaniel Branden calls self-esteem, and it is a good place to start if you are struggling with motivation. You have the power and the right to improve your life.
But what if you have healthy self-esteem and yet remain unmotivated? This is possible, because the question of motivation is closely tied to the next one: What are your goals? If you are not motivated to perform in school, it may be because you simply value something else more highly. What are your goals and priorities in life? If you have never answered these questions, now is the time to start. You may find that answering this question solves the rest of the problems automatically.
The tutor cannot answer this for you. Only you know what you want out of life. For many people, fogginess about goals and priorities automatically leads to struggles with motivation. So, set some goals. Read Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (or Sean Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens), and do some real soul-searching. “Know thyself,” as Socrates put it. A tutor or mentor can help you sort it out.
Setting goals will help answer the question of how well you need to do in school. For many colleges and universities, C’s and B’s may not be acceptable, and straight A’s may help you stand out. If college is not in your plans, you will still want to do well in school, but you may want to balance schoolwork with other preparations: starting a business, learning a trade, or building your own vocation. And even if college is your goal, you may need to balance schoolwork with other important tasks like a job, family responsibilities or college scholarship applications. Tutoring takes time, and the more work you put into it, the more you will get out. You may need to reevaluate your priorities and reassess your whole schedule. A tutor or mentor can help you to sort out these issues, set goals and clear …

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Teacher Education

Why You Need To Find A Tutor

One of the most difficult decisions that a parent must make is whether or not to find a tutor to help their child when he is being challenged by his schoolwork. It is a delicate balance that has to be maintained between getting the child the help that he needs to be successful in school without stripping away what confidence he has left and making him believe that he is a failure. But there are a handful of things that a parent can look for in trying to determine if the time is right to find a tutor for their child. If your child seems like he learns differently, if he seems to read well but fails to understand what he read, if he isn’t keeping up with his class, or if you sit down and try to help him with his homework but you have no idea how to do the assignment either then it is probably time for you to find a tutor than can help your child.
If your child seems to learn differently then he may be having difficulty with the way that the material is being presented to him in the classroom. This does not necessarily mean that your child has any type of learning disability. Every person has their own way of learning that works best for them and allows them to best understand what is being taught. Some people learn by reading, some by listening, and some by watching. You need to find a tutor that will figure out which method works best for your child.
You have your child read his homework assignments out loud to you and he seems to be a very good reader. However when you ask him to explain to you the meaning of what he just read he has no idea. There are methods to aid in reading comprehension that can be taught to him by a tutor that will not only help him understand better what he is reading but also help him to retain that knowledge.
Getting left behind while all of his friends move ahead to the next grade is one of the most devastating things that can happen to a student. If you have any feelings that your child is falling behind to the point that he may be held back then it is vital that you find a tutor right away so that you give him every opportunity to catch up to his classmates and move on with them.
You enjoy sitting down with your child each evening and helping him with his homework but you have found yourself getting confused lately and are spending quite a bit of time figuring the assignment out for yourself before you are able to help him. No one can be an expert at everything and many of the subjects being taught in school have changed quite a bit in just a generation’s time. There is no reason not to admit to yourself and your child that his studies are just over your head and that it is best if you find him a tutor to help him with his homework. What is best for your child should be your guiding principle.…

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Teacher Education

Tutoring From Home – How to Market a Tutoring Business

Starting up a home based tutoring business is hard work. Tutoring is a competitive arena and you’ll frequently be up against people with more experience and bigger social networks (tutoring is ALL about social networks). Follow our 5 top tips to ensure success with your home based tutoring business.

Set your prices low. To start off with you’ll need to be very competitive with your pricing. Find out what tutors are charging locally and makes sure you are charging less. You don’t have experience to offer and unless you are teaching a niche subject you can only really compete on price to begin with.

Offer a free first booking. People love freebies! A free first taster booking will let people “try before they buy”. So it’s zero risk for them, and very important experience for you. Make sure you ask them for feedback at the end of the booking.

Get professionally designed flyers and business cards. A good looking flyer goes a long way when parents are choosing a tutor for their children. Presenting a professional image will do a lot to build confidence and is also a brilliant branding exercise for you. Making sure each happy client leaves with a few of your business cards for their friends can ramp up your clientele in no time. Many shops, community centers and universities have places for flyers. Do a door drop in your local area with a special offer on it.

Do deals. People love a deal – Offer 5 bookings for the price of 4, or summer specials, or “Refer a friend, get a free booking”. Its a great and quick way to build up your numbers.

Network network network! Tell your friends to tell their friends about you. Involve yourself in community events where you can hand our your fliers. List yourself on as many tutoring directories as you can. Spread the word via social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn.…

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Teacher Education

How Online Tutoring Can Work for Your Student

In a time when kids are being pushed harder and harder in elementary school and more students are looking to attend college and graduate school, tutoring is becoming increasingly important. Whereas many people used to think of tutoring as remedial only, more people are now getting tutored not only to make up for education gaps but also to get further ahead faster.
Conversely, kids are getting busier with school and extracurricular activities and parents are working outside the home more. It’s becoming more difficult to make time for traditional tutoring meetups outside of school hours. One great solution is online tutoring. But how does it work?
Online tutoring can take a number of forms but the best closely mimics traditional tutoring but with the use of technology. Students search for online tutors using tutoring match-up websites and negotiate a rate, expectations, and timeframe with the tutor. Depending on the site, the tutoring will either be paid for in advance through the site or the student and tutor will arrange for payment.
Once the initial introductions are made and the basics are laid out, the tutor will work with the student to determine what needs to be installed on the student’s computer, both hardware and software. In most cases the student will need a microphone and speakers. A webcam can also be helpful but may not be necessary. Free software such as Skype and be used to facilitate the actual sessions and allow the tutor and the student to see and or hear each other.
From there, the tutor will begin making assignments to the student in a variety of ways. These may include pointing them to spreadsheets available online, asking them to purchase a textbook, sending them an ebook, or just emailing documents before each session. Sessions will be done in real time at pre-arranged times convenient for both the tutor and the student. For younger students it would be best if an adult is home to monitor online time, especially when a webcam is used.
Instruction can be done over Skype in the exact same way that it is done in person. The instructor can write on a whiteboard, use screen shots, or even write on regular paper to show the student what to do. The student can then do their work as the instructor watches via the webcam or explain their steps if a webcam is not being used. At the end, the instructor should provide a written followup of the session as well as expectations for what should be done before the next meeting.
Online tutoring, when done properly, can be a great way for students to get extra instruction in a convenient way. Whether it is for regular school subjects, advances courses, or even college test preparation, tutoring online is become a popular alternative to traditional tutoring for good reasons.…

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Teacher Education

Easy To Use Ideas To Make Homeschooling Work

Is public school becoming too much of a hassle and too dramatic? You’re not alone. For many parents, public school is very disappointing and does not provide their children with the quality education they need. If you have ever thought about homeschooling, there are a few things they should know. This article will fill you in on the essential details.

Keep kids’ limited attention spans in mind when preparing your lesson plans. It allows them to be motivated and relax a bit. Give them permission to simply do nothing sometimes. Letting them do this ends up in a much more rewarding time schooling the kids.

Contact other homeschooling families and go on group trips together. This will help your child feel comfortable with the idea of homeschooling. You might also save a bit of money, as many places offer group rates.

Homeschooling can keep your children from socializing with bad influences but they still need socialization with other children. Plan some play dates with other children in your area. Let kids play at the park with other children. Go out of your way to get your children involved in ballet, sports, 4H, or other clubs where they will be able to interact with others.

Before you begin the difficult task of homeschooling your child, give him an advantage by doing your homework first at conferences or training sessions. It is very easy to feel like it is too much to homeschool your children. Classes and seminars offer some hands-on inspiration and guidance for almost everything involved with homeschooling. These can also give you further information, even if you are already an old hand at homeschooling.

Leave housework to someone else if you can afford it. You cannot do everything. Cooking, cleaning, shopping, childcare and homeschooling will leave you drained. Use any resources you can to help so you do not burn out.

To find out about the laws you will need to follow, speak with The Homeschool Association in your state. Some states will make you have your home registered as a school that’s private, and other states just make you give your kids tests that are standardized when they reach a certain age. Truancy is a serious issue, so be sure to let the school district know why your child is not enrolled.

Get connected with other homeschool families. There are many different philosophies behind homeschooling. It is normally easy to find other people who have similar goals and ideals. There are many good reasons why getting involved with a homeschool group will be beneficial to you.

Know when to change course. When you’re teaching your child and it’s not working, there is a time to give in. There are many methods and approaches you could try. You could make use of online apps, movies, audio books or even virtual tutors to help to get the message through to them. Making learning fun is a great way to keep your child’s interest.

Parents often feel as though school doesn’t offer a quality education. This is why homeschooling is so popular. Make use of the tips found above to educate yourself on homeschooling and find the best alternative for your family.…

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Teacher Education

Read These Tips Before Getting A Student Loan

Because college costs seem to go nowhere but up these days, student loans are something almost every young person needs to know something about. It is important to learn what kind of loans are available and the financial implications of each. Continue reading for student loan basic information.

Know how long of a grace period is in effect before you must begin to make payments on the loan. The grace period is the amount of time between your graduation date and date on which you must make your first loan payment. You can get a head start in making timely payments by knowing what your grace period is.

You don’t need to panic if a problem arises during repayment of your loans. Unemployment or health emergencies will inevitably happen. Luckily, you may have options such as forbearance and deferral that will help you out. Just remember that interest is always growing, so making interest-only payments will at least keep your balance from rising higher.

Know how much time you have in your grace period from the time you leave school until you must begin paying back your loans. For example, you must begin paying on a Stafford loan six months after you graduate. Perkins loans have a nine-month grace period. The time periods for other student loans vary as well. This is important to avoid late penalties on loans.

Choose a payment plan that you will be able to pay off. Many loans offer a decade-long payment term. If these do not work for you, explore your other options. You might be able to extend the payments, but the interest could increase. Once you start working, you may be able to get payments based on your income. A lot of student loans will be forgiven after you’ve let twenty five years go by.

Make certain that the payment plan will work well for you. A lot of student loans give you ten years to repay. You may discover another option that is more suitable for your situation. For example, you may be able to take longer to pay; however, your interest will be higher. Another option some lenders will accept is if you allow them a certain percentage of your weekly wages. Some student loans are forgiven once twenty five years have gone by.

When you pay off loans, pay them off from highest to lowest interest rates. It’s a good idea to pay back the loan that has the biggest interest rate before paying off the others. Do what you can to put extra money toward the loan so that you can get it paid off more quickly. Student loans are not penalized for early payoff.

Many people spend a lot of money while they are in college, accumulating large debt. If decisions on student loans are not made carefully, it can have adverse impact on the borrower’s financial future after he graduates. Thankfully, the information gleaned from this article will steer you away from the troubling aspects of the student loans.…