About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Rooter Tooter

Passion - an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for anything. (from Wikipedia)

My first tutoring student has come and gone and it was an exhilarating experience! We had such a good time and ended up laughing so hard it hurt! At the end of the session, my student earned a sticker and she was excited to add it to her collection on her bed. I know she will look forward to returning.

I know I'm a good teacher. I'm not bragging, just stating a fact. Kids like me because they sense how much I like them. I make the learning fun fun fun because I instinctively know that if it isn't, nothing can be learned.

For example, this student needs to improve on the speed of her arithmetical computations. So after going through some simple addition flashcards as review, I brought out a giant deck of cards. We made up a game whereby I dealt out all the cards so we each had half. I said, "Ready. Set. Go!" and we each put down a card on the table. She had three seconds to get the addition correct or else I won the pair. Whenever she didn't get it right, we went over the equation so that she'd remember it the next time it came up. She beat me in the first game. She beat me in the second game and did it by winning even more pairs. She was having so much fun that she didn't even realise that she was learning. We laughed so hard our faces hurt.

I told her that next time we'd play the game by doing subtraction. After that we'll move on to multiplication and then division. What she doesn't know - yet - is that after we've gone through the game a few times, her allowable time is going to go down to two seconds, and then one second, and then we'll play as though we're equals. Kids love competition. And they love to beat the teacher!

I am passionate about teaching. And my goal is to see my students passionate about learning.

25 comments:

jmb said...

That's a great gift you have there Leslie. Would that all teachers had your passion and you did not seem to get burned out as so many do.

meggie said...

I wish I had you to teach me maths!
There is a local old lady here, - I mean old, she is in her 80s- & the kids just love her. She dresses like a hobo, but she is brilliant, & only charges minimal because she loves to watch her students 'light up' when they 'get it'.
I am sure you are just as gifted, by the sound of it!

CrazyCath said...

You ARE a good teacher! That is definitely the best way to learn. I trained to teach and I had the best time teaching when I was allowed to teach this way - MY way.
Great post.

Deb said...

Good Morning! Your post reminded me of what I loved most about teaching - and did make me a bit sad that I am no longer in the classroom. And I agree with CrazyCath that teaching is best when we are left alone to do it our way instead of being forced to teach to the test. True teachers know what their students need to learn. Sorry. I will put my soapbox away now. Your post got my blood flowing - and that is a good thing. Take care.

Carol said...

ohhhhh....you make me miss my teaching days! I just may have to look into tutoring! I'm enjoying your photos and your blogs! I'll be back!

Crazycath is spot on!

Rosie said...

you are so right..if it is fun they learn..if not...they sleep..if you are lucky!

leslie said...

Thanks everyone! You have no idea how many teachers' creativity is stifled by "rules." I used to hate it when I was being evaluated because I'd have to do the lessons according to how the administrator wanted them done - boh-ring!

diXymiss said...

Oooh ~ great idea for painlessly drilling math facts. I will borrow it! Yeah for great teachers like yourself. ThanX for stopping by the other day.

Smalltown RN said...

Yahoo for you....I know there are alot of great teachers and tutors out there....my girls were fortunate to be taught by some exceptional teachers.

You my friend are passionate about teaching...here you are retired and taking in students to tutor...and making it fun to boot....yes a relaxed environment is a much better way to learn....and you can teach without the pressures of the school administrators looking over your shoulder.....

I hope we find a tutor as good as you for my youngest....

Cheers my friend...

starnitesky said...

Your pupils are lucky to have such a passionate teacher! My son trained as a teacher and spent many hours out of school still 'working'. Teachers have a very important job inspiring the next generations.

Ruth W. said...

Leslie, I wished I had a teacher like you in school. I was pretty much written off as unteachable in my youth and they couldn't spend the extra time because of the large class size. Believe it or not, it wasn't till I started Jr College that I had met a teacher who finally stimulated me to learn and I was able to continue through and received a BS in elementary education.

However I did not teach because I had never learned the very basics of language, spelling and reading. Phonics was not used in my day, just pure memorization.

Good teachers are so important and so underpaid I wish society would wise up and do whatever is needed to teach these kids!!!

I still think I need to go back and learn everything over again, the RIGHT way of course..lol

Russell said...

Always good to hear about a person's passion! Congratulations!! And those students are very fortunate to have YOU for a tutor!

Jo said...

Wow! It is rare when a teacher can actually make learning fun. I can count the number of teachers like that on one hand. I wish I had had you for a teacher when I was learning arithmetic. I still have a mental block about it. Thank goodness for calculators!

PERBS said...

That sounds like a terrific session -- something they don't allow in schools now a days. sigh I did those kind of things when I was a teacher also and got out when the BIg test was al that counted, not real learning. I tutored a young man a couple years ago and used my laptop as part of it and he gained so much skill that he was back again where he belonged after just one summer.

Drop by my new blog.
Paulie

Ralph said...

Teaching well is an art, and cannot be taught, it seems. The best teachers can motivate students to get out of their comfort zone and see the subject in a way that makes more sense...to allow the student to see the success of the right answer.

I can remember the best teachers from long ago decades...

Casdok said...

Wish i had had a teacher like you!

Glad both you and your student had such a good time.

Daryl said...

I am sure its a yin yang thing .. they like you and so they learn and they learn because they like you.

:-Daryl

Ellee Seymour said...

I love passion, it's a wonderful driver. It's obsession that I think is dangerous.

Chuck Pefley said...

Great story and wonderfully creative motivation making a game out of learning!

Belizegial said...

Leslie, I wish I lived nearby to send my two girls to your tutoring sessions.

keep up the good work and take care of yourself.

last 5 mins at the internet cafe :)

blessings,
Enid
xo

mrsnesbitt said...

I hated maths at school, yet I loved to teach it. I knew how it felt to not quite understand so took care to explain properly.

I can imagine you being a good teacher, a great gift.
Dxx

S.A.D. said...

A short gap since your last post leads me to conclude you may be unwell or even in hospital - healing thoughts come your way from Shirl

leslie said...

Hi Shirl, no I'm still waiting for my surgery date, but I did come down with a nasty bug. I'll be doing a new post later today. Hugs to you! :D

Heather De boer said...

Where do you get your ideas Leslie? I'd love some new sites for making kids understand math more. That's the hardest one!

leslie said...

Heather - from God, I guess. They just come to me.