Monday, June 29, 2015

Preparing for Tutoring Sessions

For a long time I didn't want to tutor because honestly...I was nervous. I know it's crazy, you're probably thinking, You're a teacher...what could be so hard about it! The thing is, I never knew what I should do, how much to charge and what was expected of me. After years of hearing about all the fun and MONEY my friend was making I finally agreed to tutor. After doing it I cannot believe I waited so long!

I will admit though when I first started I wasn't as organized as I am now. In hopes to encourage others to jump into the tutoring world I have included some steps I take to help me prepare for the long summer of tutoring.

Before you advertise to tutor: Make sure you figure out what day(s), how long you want each session to be, where you will tutor, and how much you are going to charge. These things are all questions parents are going to ask. If your classroom isn't available to use during the summer you could try tutoring at the library, renting out a small space in another school building, going to your clients house or if you are really comfortable inviting them all to your house. Once you have all of that figured out it's time to start advertising.

Getting the word out: This part is easy for me because my district sends out a tutor list to all parents in the district. We simply fill out a form with our name, grades/subjects we can tutor and our contact information. If you are not so lucky you can make up a flier and send it out to your parents, pass it out in your neighborhood and post your fliers in businesses around town. Click on the picture below to download the flier image for FREE! All you have to do is pull the image into PowerPoint or Keynote, send it back and then add your text boxes on top!


Finding out about your "student": Before I meet with the families I make sure to send out a google form. It helps me know where the student is and what the parents are expecting out of the sessions. What is so cool about Google Forms (if you have never used them) is that all of the information compiles into one document. I ask basic questions like, what is their reading level, strengths and weakness of reading, writing and math, what is the main thing they [parent] want out of the sessions. Once parents fill out the form I feel like I have a good understanding of what they are expecting me to do during the sessions. If it is available it is also beneficial to ask for a copy of their report card.

Planning for the first session: Now that you have all of your info and you are headed into the first session it is important to get some baseline data. This doesn't have to be formal, just something that helps you gauge where they are. One of my favorite things to do for reading is the Quick Phonics Screener. I use it all of the time in my classroom and it is a quick and easy way to assess basic phonics areas. For reading comprehension I use Raz-Kids. For writing I like to use my Picture Prompt Writing Activities. For my more advanced writers I jump right into writing a personal narrative using my graphic organizer pack. When it comes to math I usually just write some problems on a white board and have them solve them. I like doing this because it is quick and easy to make them harder or simpler without having to rummage through stacks of papers.

Planning for future sessions: If you don't feel that you got enough data/information out of the first session by all means take one more to truly pinpoint the students needs. If you were able to get everything you needed in the first session pinpoint the areas of need by examining the data. Find activities that correspond to the area they need most practice with and BAM!! you have just prepared your tutoring lesson!!! (worksheet in picture is from The Moffatt Girls)

Extra info:
How much do you charge?-  This is a gray area but certified teachers should charge anywhere from $25-$75 an hour depending on experience and type of tutoring.

How long do you tutor?-  I think 45-60 minutes is plenty of time. Anything more than that the student starts to become fidgety and unfocused. I also tutor students 2 times a week.

If you need more assistance/ideas please don't hesitate to contact me. I would be happy to help you prepare for your first session :).

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge # 2: Dare to Dream!

This weeks TPT Seller Challenge was all about dreaming big! I work hard to make quality products for my students and followers but other than the obvious why do I do it? I first started selling on TPT because I found it fun. Now that I have been doing it for awhile I still find it fun but it is so much more than that. Every month the possibilities of this business keep growing and my Big Dreams don't seem so far out of reach anymore. Here are my dreams for my growing business:

#1: Being able to pay off my student loans would mean I could start saving for my future children's education fund. This is my biggest dream because it will be the hardest/longest to achieve.

#2: Being able to bless others abundantly would bring so much joy to my life. I would love to pay for someones groceries every time I go shopping just because, or buy someone's dinner. I would love to be able to give another education major money towards their education, I would love to be able to give more to my church and other charities.

#3: Being able to inspire others would be the ultimate goal. Sharing knowledge, experiences and inspiring others would mean together we could reach hundreds, thousands even millions of students across the world!

So every time I make a product, post something to social media or help a fellow teacher I will think about my dreams and know that if you want to succeed you have to DREAM BIG!!

Thanks Third in Hollywood, Sparkling in Second, Teach Create Motivate, and Peppy Zesty Teacherista for the inspiring weekly challenge.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge #1: Makeover Madness!

This summer my goal was to kick it into gear! I did so many amazing things last year and didn't do one blog post, NOT ONE!! I also didn't focus much on my store and really missed it. When school ended last week I wasn't sure where to start. That's when I came across Emily's post from Third in Hollywood. The TPT Seller Challenge is exactly what I needed to jump start the summer.

The first weeks challenge was called, Makeover Madness. We had to makeover something in our store. It could be the cover, a couple pages or an entire product. I wanted to start small but ended up doing a complete overhaul on my #1 selling Literary Essay product. Here is what the product looked like before:

As you can see I didn't really spend the time the first go around to make it cute. I had all of the content there but it needed to be better. I have used this product in my classroom for 2 years and each time I use it I wrote down the things that I didn't like....or really just needed to be improved.

So....I got a little carried away and am so in love with the revised version. There are so many additional pages added. Here is the after:

This Literary Essay pack now has 67 PAGES!!! It is jam packed with color and b&w versions of graphic organizers and anchor charts that are sure to keep your kids organized. What is so cool about these digital anchor charts are that they are the perfect size for your kids to store in their writing folders.

Revamping this product was so much fun! I cannot wait for the future TPT seller challenges. Make sure to grab it now while it is on SALE!!

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