Interview with Executive Administrative Assistant Michelle Obasi

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How long have you been tutoring? What’s your favorite subject to tutor?

I have been a tutor for a little over 5 years! I really enjoy how straightforward math can be, but I really enjoy noticing the long term differences when it comes to reading fluency.

What are the benefits of one-on-one tutoring compared to larger educational settings like classrooms?

Compared to classrooms, one-on-one tutoring allows students to be more open with their thoughts and feelings as well as have someone pay more attention to those same feelings. Most kids might feel intimidated when asking questions in the classroom because of what their peers might think, however, one-on-one tutoring can shrink those pressures.

What’s something you enjoy about working at Tailored Tutoring LLC? What makes it stand out as a company? 

I enjoy working at Tailored Tutoring LLC because not only does everyone truly care about education, but they also care about the well being of every student. The name of the company truly fits, and makes it stand out because Tailored Tutoring adjusts to meet the needs of children so they can ultimately meet success, instead of forcing children to fit a mold that may fail them.

What’s been one of your favorite experiences as a tutor so far?

Seeing the immediate impact tutoring sessions can have on a student’s confidence is my favorite thing about tutoring. I like hearing stories of students being more attentive simply because they know they now have someone who will answer any questions they have without judgement.

Why We Love Working with Adult Learners

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At Tailored Tutoring LLC, we love to work with students of all ages and learning styles. Sometimes we even get the exciting opportunity to serve multiple generations in one family. From parents to grandparents, we work with a diverse range of clients who are returning to school, studying for professional exams, or striving to improve their writing and arithmetic skills. Sometimes there is a stigma around adult learners that says people of a certain age are too old to learn or gain new skills, but at Tailored Tutoring, we know there is no wrong time for education.

Many adult learners are balancing the responsibilities of daily life with exams, homework, and assignments. Because of the sheer business of their schedules, adult learners are very serious about getting the most out of their educational opportunities. They are determined to be active participants in the classroom who ask questions when they are uncertain and communicate openly and directly with their teachers.

Especially in higher education, the academic landscape is becoming increasingly diverse in age. As tutors, we want to serve all students with compassion and let them know that whenever they feel ready, it’s the perfect time to learn!

By Tailored Tutoring’s Writing Staff

I Am Enough

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At Tailored Tutoring LLC, our students have diverse personalities, backgrounds, and learning styles. Our priority is to celebrate our students’ identities through education. With that goal in mind, our curriculum highlights books and assignments that prominently feature characters and people with a variety of identities. One book our students really enjoy is I Am Enough by Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo. I Am Enough is a colorful and inspiring tribute to diversity and community. This book for younger readers includes girls of different shades, sizes, religions, and ability levels. After reading I Am Enough, your child or student may want to talk more about what individuality and identity means to them. Even if children do not have the same vocabulary and language for some of these terms, they can see differences between themselves, their peers, and their families. In a world that sometimes equates differences with value, I Am Enough sends the positive message that our identities are what make us so incredible and that in every single way, they deserve to be celebrated!

By Tailored Tutoring’s Writing Staff

You Are More Than Your Grades

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For many students, being back in school means the return of test anxiety. In some children, this may manifest as an upset stomach or even bad nerves that impact their test performance. How can we, as adults, help relieve some of our children’s fears around exams and assessments?

Provide context for your child:
Many children think that tests measure intelligence. If they don’t get a certain grade or percentage, children may feel insecure or inadequate. While tests may be an indicator of a child’s progress or how much they’ve grasped a certain skill, our intelligence cannot be reduced to a number. Educators around the world debate the efficacy of tests for students of diverse backgrounds and learning styles. Remind your children that tests are not the be-all and end-all when it comes to education. Many smart and innovative people struggle under the time constraints and pressures of an exam. The most important thing we can stress to our child is to try their best and to remember that no one’s worth or intelligence can be simplified to a letter grade.

Help your child prepare:
How does your child prefer to study? Do they enjoy using flashcards or making a study guide? Depending on the subjects, there are many resources online that can make studying less daunting for your child. Help them come up with habits that work for them by trying out a variety of study methods. Some students prefer to highlight as they read, others like to stand up and move when they practice their multiplication facts. It can take years for a student to develop a system that works best for them, so be patient and encourage your child to try new approaches.

Communication with teachers:
For younger students in a smaller classroom, it may be easier for a teacher to notice when a student is fidgeting or having a hard time with a test. But in larger classrooms, it may be a challenge for the teacher to check in with every individual student. Additionally, students may feel less comfortable speaking up and sharing their anxieties around their peers. For younger students, it’s helpful if parents or guardians communicate to the teacher any concerns they may have that will affect their child’s experiences in the classroom. It’s also essential that the students talk to the instructor directly, but this may be more difficult with children in elementary and middle school. In high school and in college, professors have more of an expectation that students will communicate clearly about their experiences in the classroom. No matter what age your student is, teachers can be great resources and advocates to turn to when test anxiety strikes.

Teaching Should be an Act of Love

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I’ve been teaching others to read for 30 years. At first, my role as an educator started with my younger siblings. I’d read word problems to them and teach them the complicated phonics of independent reading books. Through long division and bedtime stories, I not only educated my siblings, I got to know them as individuals. I learned that my brother loved to read about games, that my younger sister enjoyed mysteries, and my second eldest sibling couldn’t get enough of fantasy. When they read things they loved, they couldn’t put the books down.

 

When I had children of my own, I remembered the lesson my siblings taught me, educating shouldn’t be punishing, burdensome, or discouraging. It should be an act of love. When I sat with my own children, we read what they loved. We navigated through the mazes of libraries and bookstores, searching for video game guides and the newest YA series. And when I sit down with every student at Tailored Tutoring, I bring that same philosophy. When I educate, I have the opportunity to share what I love, but I also get the absolute pleasure to learn my students, too. Their passions, their concerns, their dreams. And that is why Tailored Tutoring is here. That is why we teach.