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Over the past 3 decades I have tutored, coached, and mentored over well over 300 students. The students have ranged in age from 5 to 65 years of age.
In more than 30 years, I have never regretted my decision to focus my efforts on gifted students and students struggling to come to grips with the effects of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
I would estimate that well over 100 of my students were labeled as gifted!
Interestingly, I would argue that almost every ADD and ADHD student I have had the pleasure to work with was also gifted…in one way or another.
In my opinion, the children and adults I have had the pleasure to tutor over the years, including those struggling with the learning challenges associated with ADD, ADHD, and Asperger’s syndrome are extremely intelligent, creative, imaginative, and very coachable!
I have tutored students in the following subjects (partial list):
- Reading and writing
- Tutoring kindergartners is a dream job
- ABCs; stories; puzzles; and, fun
Tutoring Elementary School Students
- Geometry and algebra tutoring
- Science is fun and tutoring science is often quite rewarding
- Tutoring English and literature
- Working with students new to the idea that they may have ADD or ADHD, helping them come to terms with the diagnosis as they progress through adolescence and move on to middle school
- 1st through 5th graders are warm, wonderful, inquisitive, and full of life
- Most elementary school children still love learning
- Over the years I have been able to pull quite a few students back from the brink, many with just the wrong teacher at the absolute worst time
- It’s difficult to turn young children around, particularly once they have had a profoundly negative experience, but it can be done and it is incredibly rewarding when you succeed
It is a whole lot of fun to tutor elementary school students!
Tutoring Middle School Students
- Tutoring English and literature is an adventure and many middle school students will have an opportunity to meet Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, Jim, and Becky Thatcher…many will also meet the stranded boys of The Lord of the Flies
- Pre-algebra and algebra tutoring can be a lot of fun
- Many students will need help with geometry too
- The sciences are interesting and fun for most middle school students and I have tutored Earth science, astronomy, biology, and health at this level
- In fact, between kindergarten and the 8th grade, there are just too many subjects to count
- In almost every instance, 6th through 8th graders are still children…although they will vigorously argue the point
- Additionally, middle school students are beginning the journey through adolescence and on into their teenage years
- Middle school students are often wonderful, challenging, and bright
- Middle school students often provide their tutor with some of the most rewarding opportunities to tutor, coach, and mentor
- Additionally, students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades never forget it if you treat them fair and respect their individuality
- Middle school students are in the toughest age bracket, bar none!
- However, if you gain their trust and you’re straight with them? They will do anything for you…and do it well!
High School Students
- At the high school level, tutoring biology, chemistry, and physics takes real time and effort
- Ecology and geography are also introduced to many high school students
- Precalculus and calculus tutors are always in demand, and most of them have gray hair
- Most of the geometry and trigonometry tutors have their fair share of gray hair too
- Tutoring English (introductory, honors, AP) and literature (American literature, British literature, and African American literature) is demanding
- An English-Grammar-Literature tutor must be well-read, able to write well, and must be able to communicate complex ideas
- Tutoring history (US and world history) is demanding and a history tutor must be up on the latest trends (the world is changing rapidly and history scholarship along with it)
- A professional tutor should be able to handle all manner of test preparation, from the OGT and PSAT, to the SAT and ACT, AP and CLEP; and, so much more
- It is at the high school level that tutoring becomes challenging and incredibly rewarding.
- High school students are under so much pressure to perform and have so many things on their plate, they need a tutor, a mentor, and, at times, a confidant
- As with middle school age students, if you gain their trust and keep it, they will do amazing things for you…and for themselves
College, Graduate School, and Beyond
- At this level, most students know what they need and are desperate for professional tutoring
- Yes, it is true that most colleges and universities offer free tutoring
- Remember that age-old adage…you get what you pay for!
- At the college and graduate level I have tutored microeconomics and corporate finance
- Chemistry and biology tutoring
- Algebra, algebra II, trigonometry, geometry, calculus, and statistics tutoring
- English and literature…if you can name a form of literature or literary expression? I have probably tutored it at the college/university level
- History tutoring…around the world and back again
- Anthropology tutoring is a personal favorite
- Psychology and sociology tutoring
- Anatomy and physiology, embryology, and osteology tutoring
High School and College/University Students
- As a junior in high school, and then again as a junior in college, many students begin to look to the next level in the ladder
- A professional tutor, particularly a tutor familiar with the college, graduate, and/or professional school application process, can be a real help
- A professional tutor may make the difference between being accepted to the school and/or program of your dreams…or not
- Remember, applying to the right college or universities, at whatever level is appropriate, is a complex task
- Your application must have more than “just good grades”
- In fact, it’s not enough to have good grades in a world filled with 4.0 and above GPAs
- The right applicant will have a solid GPA, that’s a given
- The right applicant will also have the right kind of extracurricular activities
- Solid test scores (including the writing portion—required or not)
- A knock-your-socks-off personal statement
- And, an extracurricular project will make the right impression, an impression few others will have considered
- Additionally, a college visit and an interview, required or not, is a must
- If you are applying to graduate school, you should have already developed contacts within the department you are applying to
- Applying to the right college preparatory program (high school or other)
- Applying to the right college or university
- And applying to the right graduate program or professional school may make all the difference
- What is equally important to the applicant and the reviewer of the applicant’s application is the overall presentation…what I refer to as the package
The package is the total person you present to the admissions committee!
I used to have a business partner who was fond of saying:
“If you take care of the corners, the middle takes care of itself!”
Well, while not always true, it most certainly applies to the college/university and graduate school/professional school application process. Imagine yourself as a room, a complete package…now fill the corners!
For more information and a free, in-home consultation and assessment, call today!
Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr.
Madison Ave. and Westwood Ave.
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
PS, Mention this article and you will receive your first week free* when you become a Westside Tutoring client. Just say “Ken Robinson” (see videos below) and we will do the rest!
Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity!
Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!
RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms