I talk to each student about what they need to do and how they want to do it, then we discuss the best ways to achieve that goal so that the student is empowered to make their own decisions and feel more confident that they made the correct choice.
I have been a newspaper reporter and copy editor for the past 40 years. This experience has helped me tutor students from elementary level to early college students to advance their reading level (elementary students) to helping high school- and college-age students write cohesive and error-free term papers.
I am good at being an English tutor, I enjoy it because it is rewarding and because students achieve their desired goal-- they become better students and more eloquent and literate in their reading and writing.
Forty years as a newspaper reporter/copy editor, volunteer high school journalism adviser and volunteer college newspaper adviser has taught me how to get the best work from students -- and what not to do.
I also communicate similarly with the reporters I work with daily in terms of what to change in stories, and what not to change, and why.
I was a volunteer tutor for Reading Partners/Learning for Life in Hayward for five years just over a decade ago. I helped inner-city fifth- and sixth-grade students in Oakland who were a grade level behind in their reading. I worked on helping them to read more and hopefully enjoy and understand better what they were reading so they would become better writers with their expanded vocabulary.
As a volunteer adviser for the Livermore High student newspaper in 1995-’96, I helped students produce their newspaper so that it looked and read better and guided students on how to make their writing more clear, concise and flow better.
At about the same time, I was a volunteer adviser for area college students as part of San Francisco State University’s journalism adviser program helping students to improve their writing.
I also recently helped a college sophomore improve her papers for two classes by asking her questions about what she wants to say in each one, and posing as her professor to help her write what the professor wants, then proofreading each paper so they contain no errors.
In each case, I let the students make their own decisions about their writing so they can take ownership of it. I listen to them, and use positive reinforcement to help them become better writers not by telling them what to write but by listening to their questions and asking them the right questions about what they want to write and why. This way, they think of their own answers, build their confidence and feel empowered and more successful.
I come from a family of teachers/professors, mentors, coaches, motivators and givers who enjoy learning and helping others to love learning through reading and writing.
Thank you for your time.
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