01 November 2010

America Reads Tutors: Reflection Question # 2

ATTN: America Reads Tutors

List three skills and/or talents that you are learning and using as an America Reads Tutor. How will these skills and/or talents assist you in your chosen field of study?

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  1. I think the number one skill I am learning is Patience. The children are a gift but they are also a trial, I've learned how to understand their needs and help them in the best way for them to learn. I believe these skills will be a big help to me in the future while I continue to interact with people who may be adults on the outside but constantly act like children.

  2. I feel I am learning leadership and organizational skills at the school where I am tutoring. I oversee the computer lab during "keyboard skill" time. This has proved challenging in some ways, but as an occupational therapy assistant, I will need the leadership and decision making skills while working independently in home health care, et.

  3. Three skills or talents that I have improved upon by being an America Reads tutor would be: #1. patience--- I definitely have had to learn patience with my financial situation that has placed in the need for federal work-study. The teaching of the kids requires some patience but it is mostly just fun and easy.
    #2. compassion--- I had no idea how difficult it is to be a teacher. To have kids who are struggling and may not have parents interested in seeing them improve can be very frustrating. But to show up with a smile in the face of adversity is commendable.
    #3. responsibility--- I have always worked for myself so it has been different having to report to someone else. It is not that I feel pressure from the school or the America Reads program; I report to those kids. They count on me to be there, and when I miss a day they definitely notice and care. It has taught to be more unselfish.

  4. For me the top 3 skills would be that I am learning and using are patience , hard work , and lesson planning so maybe that would be more organization. I will be able to use these skills in everyday life. And I will be able to use patience and hardwork in the nursing field where I am going into.

  5. My top 3 skills are:
    1-record-keeping. Westvale uses the STAR program, which requires lesson plans to be filled out. This will help me in the biotech field because there is also a lot of record keeping in lab journals during experiments.
    2-Cooperation/flexibility. Sometimes I plan something and then a teacher or student will have something different in mind, so I often need to switch things around a bit. This will help me in my field when I work with others or when things don't go as planned in the lab.
    3-Listening. Sometimes when I am tutoring a child, it sounds like they make a mistake, even if they have read the word correctly. I am learning to give everyone the benefit of the doubt .

  6. 3 skills that I am learning as an America Reads tutor is:
    1. Be flexible (sometimes schedules change
    due to assemblies etc.)
    2. Show empathy for the children, and talk to
    them on their level to get them to
    3. Strategy for teaching the wiggle worm.

    These skills will help me in the medical field working with children and helping them to learn while they are in my care.

  7. Patience. It is important to remember that even though I may be a great reader these children are still learning.

    How to engage them. What makes them want to read more, or continue to get better. I find that if I'm excited about reading then generally the kids are too.

    How lucky I am. Some of these children don't have the best homes. ANd, I'm reminded on a daily basis how lucky I am even though my situation seems sometimes unideal.

  8. I have learned that you need an assertive personality because if you show weakness the children can sense it. If you treat them as friends they lose the authoritative respect you should have. I started that way but have now showed that I am an adult helping their teacher and not their playground friend. It's very hard to keep the relationship professional when they show so much happy emotion towards you. Having siblings, I just want to smother their cheeks and say "You're so cute!" It is very hard but I feel proud of myself for resisting the urge.

  9. This is a great topic. I am becoming aware of my ability to "taylor" the tutoring session to the individual. I connect with them through our similarities but at the same time encourage them with what interests them the most. Another talent is being perceptive to their abilities and their educational needs. I have found that some childern just need a friend who has confidence. Who can show them how being confident makes tasks like reading less frustrating. I became aware of this when I observed that my pupil, who was unable to read clearly, around the 4th or 5th session, he started to flash through the flash cards without hesitation. He seemed to believe in his ability to read. I have also realized that it takes the ability to listen, not just hear the childern that you work with, but to connect with them on their level like what some one else previously posted.

  10. Being that most of my work with America Reads is in the office the three major skills I am learning are:

    1. OCD attention to detail
    2. Understanding and compassion for others
    3. Understanding for strict rules and guidelines.

  11. The skills I am learning on my journey as a tutor are listening skills because you really have to listen to the child beyond what their saying to know what there comfortable with and what level they are actually on. The second skill is different forms of communication as each child requires you to communicate with them in different ways and it's interesting how you can communicate with one student and it makes sense but you have to change it up for the next student. Three is patience. One of my students first langauge is Arabic not English and it takes a lot of patience to teach a child a language. English really isn't as easy as it seems! I think these skills will help me as a Humanities major because I will be communicating with all sorts of people and also different languages and this is really helping me to see what that might be like.

  12. It was exciting for me to be in a position to help someone learn such a valuable skill as reading. It is the gateway to all education and you all know how important education is especially during these times when knowlege and flexibility are a must. It is enriching to me to have association with people who are different from me. There are always new ways to look at a situation or thought, especially in a book. This opportunity will help me become more comfortable with the various types of cultures and personalities I will encounter in the medical field. It will enable me to better relate with the patients I hope to know and help.

  13. It has been very enjoyable for me to be able to tutor children I am enjoying every part of it. The more I interact with the children the more I understand what they are going through. 1. I should say that my first skill and or talent I struggled with but I'm getting better, It was a struggle for me to explain math to a kid and or child so that they would be able to understand how to do it but the more I helped them with their math the easier it got for me to explain it. 2. Another skill that I have that I am using is I am able to interact with the kids and children especially when I was shy and didn't say much. and Finally my last talent and or skill is that the more I tutor the more I tutor I have noticed the reading has been enjoyable for the children becuase they have looked up to me. These skills will help me in education to be able to explain and teach well

  14. I am learning how to say yhings different. Sometimes you have to say something few different ways in order for kids to get it. I am also learning how to get my personal space from them. Sometimes they like you too much, and they want to be close all the time. I used to hide from some kids, but I am finaly learning to ask for my personal space.

  15. I am really good with kids so this is a talent that I am definitely using in my tutoring for America Reads. A skill I am developing is the actual tutoring itself. The STAR program is an amazing reading program and it is exciting to see the progress these kids make in a short amount of time. Another thing I am learning is the importance of keeping good records. It helps me to know where I am and what I should be doing and also it makes it possible to look back and see the progress that is being made.

  16. One of you mentioned that one thing you are learning is compassion. I totally agree with this. I love working one on one with the students, but I have no idea how a teacher works with a whole clasroom full of kids all at once. They are absolutely amazing!

  17. Jelena-
    I too have learned that sometimes you have to change the way you say something for a child to understand. I've noticed a lot of adults will just keep repeating the same thing over and over, getting louder and louder, and the child just doesn't know what they want. Using differetn words will sometimes make all the difference for the child.

  18. I think with alot of these kids, the real problem is self-confidence. They are afraid of making mistake for whatever reason so they hesitate when they read. Once they gain that confidence the reading skills jump by leaps and bounds- the STAR program at Westvale really does help them gain confidence and very quickly too!

  19. The biggest skill that I am gaining is being able to assess the needs of every individual. I have also learned to be patient after many mistakes are made. Thirdly, I have learned how to politely direct a distracted child back to the task at at. In my career as a Civil Engineer I am sure patience and communication will come in very handy!

  20. I just read through the first four comments and I am seeing a theme of Patience! It is amazing how patient we must be with a struggling student. Without patience, every student would get frustrated with us, and probably give up. As we show that patience, the students feel safe to continue forward down the hard reading road.

  21. Dannika says...
    I think the biggest skill I’ve developed is patients, because often times I have to repeat myself to make sure all the children are listening and are following directions. I’m having a difficult time deciding on a major now that I have been working so much in the elementary school setting I kind of want to be a teacher. Patience is a good skill to have in any work field or in your relationships. The next skill I have been developing is leadership, the children look up to their tutors so much and it is important to be able to be a good role model while accomplishing tasks at the same time. The children will begin to think you are their friends and try and tell you stories and it is sometimes hard to keep them on task. Leadership is also an important skill to obtain because it is useful in almost any career. The last skill I notice that is improving is my listening skills. I am asked to test the children on their reading abilities and it’s important to be able to have careful listening skills to be able to pick out a mistake if and when they make one. Active listening skills are also valued in the work place because people (customers, employers, and other co-workers) like to know they are being heard. I’m glad these skills I’m developing will be helpful in any work field I choose, because of this experience I may even decide to become a teacher.

  22. Alexis says:

    Three things I am learning from tutoring os lesson planning, organization and documentation. I have the privilege of teaching kindergarteners their letters with the Early Reading Intervention at Nibley Park. The lessons are pretty much planned out but putting them together and making sure I have the materials I need, not to mention going over the lesson ahead of time is essential to success with those kids. When you're unprepared they pick up on it and get restless. Organization is key too for many of the same reasons. Documentation helps with tracking progess of the individual student and helps me assist them in their reading needs more efficiently.

    This is going to help me immensely in my career as a kindergarten teacher because these seem to be three key components to teaching that don't come naturally to me. This "practice" has been a great eye opener for me.

  23. Alexis says:

    Believes in Miracles mentioned compassion. I think compassion is essential. Our lives are filled with rich diversity. And the baility to empathaize and have compassion for all walks of life is a beautiful gift.

  24. Alexis says:

    I totally agree with Amanda Moon. Being flexible with the teachers and students and their ever changing schedules or needs really shows that you're willing to do what it takes and it's will leave them with a good impression.

  25. Alexis says:

    I like your comment on leadership Dannika. A lot of times my students and I will play learning games at the end of our tutor sessions. At this point my kids have become quite comfortable with me and often want to just play the games. I gently remind them that they are there to learn and that the games are a reward for their hard work. I am conscious not to let my "need to be liked" interfer with the reason I a there inthe first place.

  26. I have learned several things from just a short time as an 'America Reads' tutor. I have learned communication skills. I feel that talking in simple terms have helped clarify my thoughts which I express. The second thing I have gained from this position would have to be my character personification. I have found that things I say,do,act, and look like can be heard, seen, and interpreted by another. I believe kids are developing ideas on what they want to be or have as a person. The last thing I would consider as an obtained skill is the ability to dependable. I am not only working to support myself, but I also am there to see a person develop. I have seen these skills and more grow which are attributed to this tutoring experience.

  27. 1. The most important thing I am learning as a tutor is the most effective ways that children learn.
    2. You CAN be the friend of a child without demanding the "authoritative respect" so many think we deserve, which is a fallacy of logic.
    3. You cannot expect a child to act like an adult when you are treating them like a child.

    I am taking all I have learned, and I am going to turn it into a brand new way of teaching. My ultimate goal in life is to write children's software that will help them overcome their learning barriers.

    Too many teachers and tutors demand a level of respect from the kids that they do not return. We are impressing an exorbitant amount of control on these impressionable youth, and the end result is lack of self-control. Basically, we are teaching them how to be good sheep, not innovators; innovators are the wave of the future.

    Immediate gratification is the motivator in controlling the kids, but if we all had more patience and understanding, we would be able to actually unlock their minds and teach them how to be individuals.

    I am one of those people who is an adult on the outside and child on the inside. I know I drive my peers crazy, but my success levels with the children are much higher than my peers. The kids listen to me because we are friends, and they don't want to hurt my feelings. At first they walked all over me, but I did not disrespect their tenacity; in the end, I won.

    Beth Brown

  28. 1. The power of love.
    2. The ways to open a child's mind.
    3. How to identify the problems with public education.

    The love that I exude for these small adults has been my greatest tool. Because they feel that love, they want to be around me and they eat up everything I tell them. This is a very powerful position to be in, and it should not be abused.

    If you can get a child to love you, you can get them to want to do their studies. When a child feels animosity and tension, they shut down completely and are forever lost.

    I believe I have stumbled onto the biggest problem with public education...there is more love for the rules than the outcome of a child's education. There is too much intolerance for the "naughty" children, and not enough understanding, and these "naughty" children are most likely our future leaders. In my life, the teachers that had the most impact on me were the ones who made my life miserable. I thought I was terrible at math because of an intolerant teacher, but that could not be farther from the truth.

    I would like to believe I have mastered these skills, and I intend on using them to change the future. My goal is to provide a learning environment that is free from all these blockades and is conducive to what should be our ultimate goal: The desire to learn.

    Matt Brown

  29. For me the top 3 skills would be that I am learning and using this year are patience , hard work , and organization and better use of time and energy along with resources. I will be able to use these skills in everyday life. And I will be able to use patience and hard work in the nursing field where I am going into.
    ~ Ruth Elmore :)

  30. I only have one primary skill that I will be trying to improve, and that is speech communications. I have a speech communications major with an emphasize on argument. I feel the more I am able to interact with people that are different from myself than I will enjoy more opportunities to learn different communication techniques. Will M.

  31. I think one of my skills is being fun! I think kids need that. I also think I am good at connecting with the "harder" kids. I am learning more patience and how to just focus the kids more on their work. Js