Friday, May 6, 2011

Your Unofficial Guide To Home Tutoring (1)

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Welcome to the exciting wold of Home Tutoring. Even if you've already tutored, some of these helpful hints may come in handy. I'm sure others will be no surprise.

If you're a teacher, a retired teacher, or a young student just out of college and unable to get a teaching job, you may not have run across many of these situations. You have probably been receiving middle/upper class students who were ill, or just had a run of hormones and got in short term trouble for a week or two. At one point or another, you WILL get one of MY students. Since the district no longer pays for gas mileage, most tutors meet their student at the public library. BUT...some students cannot get there because of transportation problems. Or they are so obnoxious they have been banned from the library (or you're so embarrassed you don't want to expose the librarians and library patrons to these students). Maybe the district sends a bus to take them to the library (which, at 8mpg diesel, plus bus driver's pay, makes WAY more sense than paying YOU to drive there), but the student never gets on while the bus stops traffic for ten minutes honking in front of their house (while the student, backed up by Mom-who was not there-will swear the bus never came). And there you sit at the library, clueless, getting paid to rearrange the books according to the Dewey Decimal System instead of tutoring, because you're bored out of your mind and all caught up on your paperwork.

With some of the students, being a taxpayer myself, I prefer to eat the gas mileage and go to their homes. IF you do home visits, there are a few simple items you will need, other than books and papers, and these are essentials.

For Elementary Students:

In addition to work, you will need crayons, markers, colored pencils, colored paper, dominoe, matching card memory game, math and letter flashcards, childrens' story book, especially for the younger ones. They will have NOTHING in the house. No school or art supplies of any kind. There will be a 60" plasma TV with a starred screen from Rent-A-Center and a VCR/DVD player with all the wires chewed up by the family dog(s), and stacks of dvd's and vhs tapes that were never returned to the various libraries and video stores they came from as these people moved from town to town every 6-9 months. Most of the children in these homes under the age of 10 will be unable to read, count, write their own full name, tie their shoes, recite the alphabet, recognize common barnyard animals.

None have learning disabilities. They are just victims of neglect.

Used with permission given by Dean Davis of Living World Ecology Center. (c) 2011 All Rights Reserved


  1. I guess I do a bit of tutoring, but only in the formal sense of school. Good stuff.

  2. I refused to do home visits. After a parent backed me up against a wall when I was 7 months pregnant, I decided that all of my interactions with parents would occur in well-populated, public places.

  3. Charles: I think that in an idea world, that would be the normal way to go about doing it.

    When I got done reading the two part e-mail (about 11 pages total), even though it was incredible funny, some of it simply blew me away. Especially when my friend told me that this stuff was pretty much an accurate representation of what tutors have to confront.

    Mama Z: That is positively insane. What the hell was that person thinking of? Did they assume that their precious child was somehow blameless?

  4. You are right, this is hilarious!

  5. R: Trust me, it's gonna get even better. This was more or less the intro to the series.

  6. sad thing is I saw the truth more than the humor.

    Of course, I come at it from a peculiar angle...having experienced school in the following order: private, 3 years; public, 4 years, home school/part time private; 4 years. College for senior year, I have a pretty wide view of the scholastic system.

    And I can honestly say, home school was the best learning experience for me by far. Probably because my parents/grandparents/cousins/etc valued education, so I did.

    The most worthless was public school. I tested higher after 3rd grade than I did after 7th. Every year I spent in public schools I got just a little bit stupider and had less value placed on education.

    Couple a broken school system that cares more about money than, you know, education, with people who care more about, you know, the end of the school day so they could get on to important things, and you have a system designed to produce the people you wrote about.

  7. Darth: Sometimes the truth, no matter how revolting it may get (and trust me, this series does get worse), becomes unintentionally funny.

    And to a small degree, I am experiencing just a little bit of what you're saying.

    My son, who is finishing high school on the five year plan, is in danger of not graduating. Again.

    Is it because of poor grades? No.

    It's because of not passing his CAPS that the school is threatening his diploma.

    Imagine having to pass a test that is pointless to the student but essential to the school system in order to graduate.


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