Are your children stuck at home?
Are they struggling to learn on their own or keep themselves proactive in their learning?
Are you concerned about the impact this situation could have for their future?
You and I can help each other.
My employer is closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic and I'm looking to continue my work in education online.
While I am located in Texas, I can provide assistance to students anywhere in the United States. I'm also available to provide help around the world for those who have English as a second language.
Who am I?
My name is Ryan. I'm an honors graduate (Cum Laude) from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education certification, and I'm licensed to teach in Texas. While my degree is in English, my college education included cross-curruiculuar coursework in physics, multi-variable calculus and other math-based subjects. As a result, I have a greater understanding of how to translate information from one expertise to the other and I'm able to help students who may naturally prefer one subject (but may struggle with the rest.)
For the past three years, I've tutored K-12 students at a commercial tutoring center in Dallas / Fort Worth. Every day, I have worked with a dozen children at all ages to improve their overall comprehension skills, academic performance and test scores—not to mention my fair share of STAAR (Texas) and SAT/ACT prep work.
How Does It Work?
With the introductions out of the way, let's start talking about what we can do together. Through programs such as Skype, I can communicate directly with your child to give them audio and visual feedback on the materials. This aspect is important, especially for reading and writing comprehension, because speaking is only one of four methods of how we learn to incorporate new language. Reading, listening and writing are equally as important and everyone has his or her learning style preference.
You can imagine this setup is much like the classroom whiteboard. However, instead of having the teacher write on the board for the whole class, the board is shared between the pupil and the instructor. There are other benefits to this arrangement such as being able capture screenshots and draw on them in order to give more detailed commentary. For younger students or students who struggle with English, this also allows drawings, multiple colors and other non-verbal communication to keep them engaged. Even for older students, these subtle, non-verbal hints could help them identify patterns.
In addition, we may also use Google Docs or One Drive for Windows to share word documents so I may annotate them for any grammar or structural errors. We can also incorporate any school-work into our lessons, practice former STAAR (or your state's equivalent) tests, or broaden the student's understanding of past concepts as if they were in school. In short, I will modify the lessons themselves to suit the needs of the child, or whatever you want to focus his or her time on. After a couple of sessions, I will provide some practice work based on past concepts to assess how much the student has learned. Instruction is only one part of the overall equation for learning; application is what we want to achive at the end.
First Session / General Expectations
Before we start our first session, it would be help me prepare ahead of time if you can send me an email answering a few questions to give me some idea about your child's needs. The most obvious of which are general questions such as age, grade level (current and next year,) your or the teacher's concerns, accomodations, and a general description of what you want your child to focus on for the time being. Additionally, if you are out of state, if your child is in private school, or if your child is not a native English speaker, then please provide me any district / state standards so that I may best match the student's current system.
In addition to those questions, here are some other questions that would help me get to know your child better:
- "What is his or her favorite class, and why does he or she like that subject?"
- "If the student has a favorite teacher, what is he or she like? Do you know why your child enjoyed that teacher?"
- "What is your child's greatest strength and weakness when it comes to education?" (This last question is open to interpretation as you could either focus on in-class topics or study habits at home.)
From all these questions, I'll put together an assessment test based on skill-level and grade-level to give me some quantifiable metric on how your child places academically. In general, this test itself will take about thirty to forty minutes at most; the first five to ten minutes will involve asking the student a couple of questions to hear what they think they need to work on. Any remaining time will be used to let the student finish, to go over the answers, or to ask any follow up questions to help me understand any challenges that may arise. After the session is over, we can discuss the results over the phone or by email with copies of their work.
Those are all the guidelines for the first session. The rest of this section will illustrate what things I would need in order to give your child the best education possible as well as to keep them safe.
- If you can scan or take a picture of any assignments or curriculum material from school that would be a huge help, but after that session I would have to delete the original files to ensure I comply with copyright laws.
- If any material cannot be provided, then I will try to provide resources in advance of the lesson, but I will need a notice in advance so I do not waste any time during the hour.
- After two or three sessions, I will provide some practice-work outside of class—we can later discuss how much practice work you feel is appropriate.
- Finally, for your safety as well as for my own documentation, I will be recording our sessions so that if your child needs to revist any lessons we went over, then he or she can revisit the footage. I also encourage you to record our sessions, audio or video, so you can monitor the quality versus the time and money spent. As any concerned parent, you are more than justified to have some additional oversight whenever your child goes online.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The sessions you and I record are for your informational purposes only and are not authorized for distribution by email or on Facebook, Youtube or any other platform. I will honor the same courtesy as I understand the value of protecting your information online, and none of the materials used during our sessions will be shown to anyone other than you, me and your child.
What You Will Need
Your child should have access to a computer with internet, a web camera and a microphone. Most laptops come with all three, and even periphial devices such as gaming controller headsets allow voice functionality. If necessary, we can communicate over a smart device or phone, but I will still be recording our sessions from my side of the screen. It's more difficult to interact with someone without any visual or non-verbal language from them and it is harder to notice whenever they get off task (such as daydreaming), so please make this alternative a last resort.
We will be using software such as Skype, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime or Google Hangouts in order to host these calls. (The hour won't begin until we properly start, so any forseeable technical difficulties will not take away from your time.)
The only other requirement is that your child must come prepared with a willingness to learn.
What Is The Price?
Sessions are typically sold in blocks - five one-hour sessions are priced at $125. You can schedule these sessions to occur daily, every other day, etc. based on your schedule.
The assessment test by itself is $25; however, it is included for free with the first paid block of sessions; that means, when you pay for the first block your student will receive the assessment and five tutoring sessions.
Individual sessions purchase outside of blocks are priced at $35. This might be a better option for a college student who wants help on a particular subject or assignment.
Tuition payments would be made in advance on a weekly basis through Paypal.
First Block Trial Period
Your first block of sessions will be a trial period. At the end of that block, if you don’t feel like your child is getting value from our tutoring, I will refund the sessions for that block with the exception of the $25 assessment test fee.
After the first block, you are free to cancel at any time; I will refund any unused portion of your paid block of tuition.
Let's Get Started
I'm looking forward to working with your child. Send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. When you're ready to get started, email me with the answers to the above questions as much as possible. Also, please provide your name, phone number, and a good time to call you so we can further discuss how I can help your child.