Tutoring & Executive Function Skills

I have taught kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 4th grade and tutored up through 8th grade.

Click here to read some testimonials.

As a writer, I have devised an organized and methodical approach to helping students develop their skills as both expository and creative writers. I combine reflective prompts and graphic organizers with rubrics to help mitigate feelings of unease, which many students experience when faced with a blank page. The cognitive load is greatly reduced when students internalize the structure of how to craft a paragraph, an essay or a paper and, as a result, they can expend more energy on critical thinking and creative expression. 

When it comes to reading, I take delight in helping students acquire the foundational reading skills (phonemic awareness, decoding and fluency) as well the more advanced skills such as comprehension, inferencing, sequencing, text-to-self connections, and reading with expression.

Growing up, I struggled with math simply because I was told to memorize and compute quickly without truly understanding what operation to use when and why. As an educator, I help students become aware of their strengths as a learner and how they can apply those strengths to a challenging problem. This helps develop a flexible approach toward problem-solving and leads to a greater conceptual understanding of what they are being asked to solve.  

The Mighty Ms work I've done in the classroom can certainly be replicated in tutoring sessions. In fact, tutoring sessions afford more opportunities for mindfulness practice because when a student encounters a challenging math problem or becomes flustered by a comprehension question we can work with the discomfort in the moment the student is experiencing it. This leads me to my favorite topic...stress.

 

Students are expected to perform on a consistent basis and yet many assessments don't actually reflect what they know. Their brains are often flooded with so much stress and anxiety at the moment they are expected to perform at their best. Thoughts become muddied and careless mistakes are made. In the classroom, I explicitly taught mindfulness exercises along with executive function skills because I felt it was vital to my students' development. When working with students to meet their needs, I don't classify students into categories - this child only needs tutoring support whereas this child only needs executive skills coaching.  I think the two go hand-in-hand because they influence each other. Without the ability to deflect distractions (executive function skills), then a student may fall behind and need some support to help fill in the gaps (tutoring). To put it simply, I meet my students where they are and we go (and grow!) from there.