Tutor of the Year nomination

Wow!  Good news!  I’ve been nominated by TD for 2020 Tutor of the Year for Canada!  A student’s mom wrote a very positive report on me, and now I am in the running to win this year.  This is most pleasing.  It comes with a gift card of $xxx.xx and … who knows what else – likely a news release of some sort (in the tutoring world, that is).  I’m grateful to TD for all their support, and I’m grateful to have such great students.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – my students make me look good!

auto stop & start students

The same day I posted my last entry on M & F (students, not Mom & Fl0yd), F quit.  He’s gone with another tutor.  His schedule has changed, and I can only tutor after 5:30pm, so F is no more.

At the same time, another student started.  Students come, students go.  This time, however, the student isn’t in Coaldale like F was; he’s in Lethbridge.  Good for me.  I don’t spend $5 in fuel driving to and returning from a student’s house to make $17 / hour.

a good measure

My students have been improving considerably.  Two in particular, M & F (no, not Mom & Floyd, but another M & another F!), have caught the I-want-to-learn bug.

M has improved his mathematics skills considerably (among other skills).  It’s not easy to do ‘mental math’ without guidance and practise.  We’re using the practices of 1) using fingers to count, 2) memorization (as in the multiplication table), 3) writing out problems long-hand, and 4) using a calculator for complex calculations or to check one’s work.  Because M is in a Montessori program (and, no, it isn’t just for playschool, preschool, and kindergarten – it’s valid all throughout elementary school and beyond), it involves practical life (understanding everyday activities), sensorial (tactility, sound, vision, etc.), academic (mathematics, language arts, histories, the sciences), and societal (creativity, games, group work, social activity).  It’s not just reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic anymore, folks.  So, part of yesterday’s homework is fractions and their uses.  What’s the good in knowing fractions unless you can use them?  He’s a creative fellow, so he could go on to use this skill in everyday life.

No, he’s not helping me build the trailer.  He’s reading the tape measure in the pictures.

F has improved his reading skills. It started with not knowing the phonics of letters and combinations of letters of the alphabet, having difficulty writing letters in patterns, and knowing sight words.  Now he’s sounding out words he doesn’t know and breezing through those he does.  It’s about not being intimidated by the written word, I think, and he’s come a long way in this.  He says he enjoys writing, so hopefully this will pull him along in the reading thing, too.  Plus, I promised him a prize (a notebook from Korea) if he reads really well – something to shoot for.

intro to mentor

D.F. is my Mentor, set up by ASET.  We emailed a few times and spoke today by phone.  What an interesting conversation!  He’s in the architectural world, and I’m his 4th mentee.  The first 3 were all young people.  I’m his first old guy.

We talked about marketing one’s self, the industry(s), expectations of employers, personal backgrounds … lots of things.  I’ll sit and think about what he said for a while before embarking on any more comments.

He did give me homework though.  Yes, homework again!  Not easy homework, either.  I am to create an “elevator speech” for our next conversation in a few weeks from now.  …  I had this ages ago in the ESL world, although I didn’t know it was a thing, per se.