September 17, 2014

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

**This page is a work in progress! Please be patient as I work to answer all of these questions. If you have a question that you don’t see, please feel free to ask me in the form at the bottom of this page. Thanks!**

  • Are/were you an educator?
    • I was certified in Elementary Education, grades K-6 and taught in public schools (2nd and 3rd grades) for over 5 years when I lived in Florida. I also tutored after school during that time. In May of 2012, my husband and I moved to Austin to pursue his career in video games and I began tutoring during that summer while looking for a teaching job. However, by the time the school year started, I had a full tutoring schedule, and I LOVED IT! I will never go back to teaching in the classroom as long as there is a place for me in the tutoring world. This is what I am meant to do!
  • Is this your full-time job?
    • Yes! During the school year, I work with students about 20-25 hours per week. During the summer months, I typically spend 30-35 hours per week with students. The rest of my time is spent preparing for lessons, researching/learning new methods for helping my students, creating math videos, and creating resources to sell on Teachers Pay Teachers. I am available to work with students from 10 am to around 7 each night Mon-Fri.
  • How many students do you have?
    • I usually have anywhere between 20-25 students whom I see on a weekly basis.
  • I’ve never used a private tutor before. How does it all work?
    • A typical lesson lasts for 1 hour. During the first session, I will conduct an assessment to find out areas of strengths and weaknesses. This will give me an idea of what skills/topics need to be covered, and it gives us a good starting point for tutoring lessons. I generally like to send home a little bit of practice if we are trying to get caught up on any skills. The practice isn’t very long, and is designed to reinforce whatever skills we worked on during the tutoring lesson. It also gives me a chance to see if we need to review that skill any more during the following lesson. Some students have tutoring sessions once a week, and some like to meet twice or even three times per week – it all depends on need, and availability. Payments are processed through Square Invoices.
  • How do I know if I or my child needs tutoring?
    • Sometimes It’s hard to know when it’s the right time to reach out for help. Usually, students come to me because it’s difficult to keep up with their peers in school, they don’t feel confident, and/or are receiving poor grades. Other times, students aren’t feeling challenged enough at school, or want to prepare for an upcoming class or test.
  • What do you do to help kids to focus during tutoring?
    • I’ve worked with a lot of kids, all of them different in their own way. One-on-one tutoring is a great way to help students who are more active, have shorter attention spans, or need physical movement while learning. I design each tutoring session to fit the needs of my students. I use a lot of positive rewards, stickers, motivational games, activities and prizes to help keep kids focused and motivated. A lot of times, high energy kids are lost in school because it’s hard for them to focus with so many distractions. It’s amazing to see how excited they are once they have the chance to learn it. All of a sudden they get super motivated to learn and do more!
  • What can I expect during a lesson?
    • This one is tough to answer with a blanket statement. While the actual content of the lesson varies for each student, you can expect the use of many different materials specially selected to target the student’s needs, plenty of feedback, lots of praise, extra practice for remedial skills, and honest answers.
  • Do you communicate with my child’s teachers, other tutors, or other support persons?
    • Yes! I’m happy to share my information with my student’s teachers or anyone else who is involved in their education. I will collaborate to the best of my abilities to make sure we are all working together towards a common goal.
  • What types of curricula have you used?
    • Many! To name a few, Scott Forseman, Everyday Math, enVision Math, Singapore Math, Acaletics, Linda Mood-Bell Reading, Houghton Mifflin Reading, Harcourt Reading, Peasrson Math and Reading curricula, iXL, and A to Z Learning.
  • What about Common Core and state testing?
    • Oh boy…common core and state standardized testing are some serious buzz words flying around in the education world. In a lot of schools I’ve been in, that’s all they talk about! I realize the importance of these types of tests for students, teachers, principals, schools and school districts. Trust me. I get it. However, “teaching to the test” is one of the biggest reasons I left the public school system. During tutoring, I do my best to equip students with the knowledge and testing techniques that will help them in school, but more importantly, I help them to learn things they really need to know, not just memorization for a test.
  • Do you guarantee your work?
    • I cannot guarantee that a student will pass a test, or earn a specific score in a class or on a test. Those types of things all depend on the student completing assignments, studying for tests, finishing practice, attending tutoring sessions and class frequently and consistently, and actively participating in class. I can guarantee that I will provide tutoring services to the best of my abilities, and if, for some reason, I feel that I am not adequately providing the student with what he or she needs, I will say so.
  • What are your hours of operation?
    • I work out of my home office, and generally answer phone calls, texts and emails from around 10 am to 7 pm. I do not answer phone calls or email while I am in a tutoring session, or when I am spending time with family or friends. If you’d like to chat, the best thing to do is schedule a time to talk with me. I’ll make sure I’m available. I schedule lessons for as early as 10 am, and as late as 6:30 pm. I am a one-(wo)man band! Please be patient if I don’t get back to you right away.
  • Where does tutoring take place?
    • 90% of my students meet with me online. I use a combination of Zoom, BitPaper and/or Google Docs to work on various subjects with my students. A lot of parents (especially of younger students) are skeptical about online tutoring and I completely understand that hesitation. However, I’ve been working with students as young as 6 years old quite successfully online. In fact, many of my students used to see me for in-person lessons, but now that we have switched to the online format they love it and prefer it over in-person. We play games, work on homework, share informative websites, and can simultaneously edit documents. I personally feel that online tutoring offers many benefits that in-person tutoring simply cannot offer. I notice that students are more engaged when we meet online. Their focus is on me and all of the interactive features available to them. Also, students seem to feel more comfortable when they are in their own space working. They can take more of a “lead” role during our lessons, which helps them to feel empowered and confident in their learning. And a huge benefit for parents is that traveling is now eliminated. No more fighting bad weather or congested traffic.
  • How does online tutoring work?
    • For math lessons, I typically use an online interactive whiteboard through a site called BitPaper. It allows both the student and me to write directly on the page simultaneously, and we can also upload documents or pictures, so working on homework or school assignments is super easy. For writing/reading lessons, I typically use Google Docs to easily store all of our work where it is accessible to me, the students and parents. I also use a video chat program called Zoom so that the student and I can easily chat and be “face-to-face” during the entire lesson. I do offer free demo sessions, so please let me know if you’re interested!
  • How much do you charge for tutoring?
    • Please take a look at my pricing and fee schedule here.
  • What if I’m unhappy with your tutoring services?
    • Well first of all, I’d be so sad to hear that. Momma always told me, “you can’t please everyone.” so, if you are ever unhappy, please let me know and I will do whatever I can to remedy the situation or issue a refund. I am not a huge corporation, just one person trying to build her own business, so customer satisfaction is very important to me.
  • What if I have a friend who wants tutoring? Can I give them your information?
    • Yes! I love referrals! It’s the best way to grow my business. I even give a 1/2 off discount on your next tutoring session when your referral schedules and completes a tutoring session.
  • What forms of payment do you accept?
    • Payments are made via credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB & Union Pay) through Square. For our first session, I’ll send an invoice to be paid online. At that time, I ask clients to save their credit card information, which allows me to set up automatic charges for any regularly occurring subsequent lessons. All charges are processed on the same day of tutoring, (or if multiple weekly sessions are arranged, the charge for the entire week will happen on the earliest day of the week on which a lesson takes place).
  • Can I contact your references?
    • Yes! I am happy to provide a list of references to you once we have established communication and you are close to being ready to proceed with tutoring. I will be honest with you, I am not comfortable giving out the names and numbers of my current clients to just anyone. They have been nice enough to give me permission to give out their personal information, and I won’t jeopardize their trust.
  • Are there any other fees I should know about?
    • I do have a contract that I ask my clients to sign, and there is more information regarding fees. I generally do not charge extra fees except for any bank or card charges due to unpaid invoices or returned checks, special material requests, or if there is some other unusual circumstance.

If you have another question that I haven’t addressed here, please let me know by using the form below:

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