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Tutoring For Your Needs • Passion For Education

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Dec 312011

2011 has come to an end and what an exciting year it was for The Tutoring Solution.  We feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to help so many young students improve their academic abilities.  To end the year we’d like to have you vote on our Top 10 Blog Posts of 2011.   The following blog series are in no particular order.

  1. Get to Know Us – Many of our customers chose to work with us because the passion we have for education.  These articles were written to share some insight into our lives and why we have decided to become tutors.
  2. Innovative Educators – Numerous educators have shared their expertise on The Tutoring Solution blog over the past year.  We have labeled them innovative educators because they work hard to educate and inspire those whom they come into contact with.
  3. Passionate Tutors – We encourage our tutors to take part in the discussion on education by contributing information on the subject of education.
  4. Community Outreach – This year we were asked to give presentations at the Chino Valley GATE Together and for School on Wheels.  At the GATE Together, we taught Elementary and Junior High School students about blogging and how they could develop their own blog.  For School on Wheels we provided tips on how to motivate students who appeared to be unmotivated to volunteer tutors who work with homeless students.
  5. Students of the Month – We had a variety of students who excelled over the year.  Here are some of our favorite students of the month in 2011.
  6. Videos – Our videos may not have the best production quality, but I always get a kick out of watching these videos . . . and some of them have some great information as well.
  7. #Edchat – Educators from all across the world are using Twitter to improve their craft.  These articles have been in response to some of the #Edchat topics that have come up over the past year.
  8. Monthly Newsletter – One thing people associated with The Tutoring Solution comment on the most is our newsletters.  Here are our monthly email newsletters for 2011.
  9. Top Blog Posts of the Month – These are our top 9 blog posts for each month in 2011.
  10. Tutoring Recommendations – We have been recommended by numerous parents, students, teachers, counselors, family and friends.  Read some of those recommendations here.

With every new years comes new opportunities.  New Year’s Resolutions are a great way to get you to think about changing your life and the lives of people you care about in a positive direction.  Lets make 2012 the year we promote and encourage education and growth.

Jul 132011

School on Wheels is very excited to have Zeb from the Tutoring Solution host a workshop for our volunteer tutors this Saturday in Long Beach. I’m also happy to have the opportunity through his Blog to talk a little bit more about School on Wheels and spread the message of what we are trying to achieve.

I thought it might be helpful to start with some statistics from our website to demonstrate the need surrounding our mission. Over 1.6 million children are homeless annually in the United States. Families with young children account for 40% of the homeless population. Lastly, over 35,000 homeless youth are enrolled in LA County Schools, 12,461 in LAUSD alone. It is hard for most of us to imagine the obstacles these students face. Constant moves create gaps and setbacks in their education. Students usually move several times during the year, and fall behind 3-4 months with each move. At some shelters, families have to be out by 7am each morning, are let back in at around 5pm for a meal, and sleep on cots in one big room after lights out at 9pm. One of the students in our program had to literally hide in closets after lights out to finish work for her AP classes.

School on Wheels is a non-profit organization founded in 1993 by Agnes Stevens, a retired school teacher. The mission of our organization is to enhance educational opportunities for homeless children from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Our goal is to shrink the gaps in their education and provide them with the highest level of education possible. We do this by offering:

· One‐on‐one weekly tutoring with a volunteer

· Backpacks, school supplies and school uniforms

· A toll‐free number for students to keep in touch with us

· Assistance in school enrollment and locating lost records

· Guidance for parents in educational matters for their children

· Two learning centers, one located in the heart of Skid Row and the other in South Los Angeles

· Tutoring in seven major regions in Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura counties

· Three annual scholarships and additional learning opportunities for all students

Our program serves as a consistent support system to homeless students and brings the message that they are cared about and important. We work with over 1500 homeless students during the course of the year, primarily through volunteer tutors. Tutors are matched one-on-one with a student and commit to working with that student for at least one hour each week.

I currently serve as the Education and Training Coordinator for School on Wheels, and am responsible for expanding resources for both tutors and students in the program. There is a great need to further educate our tutors to be more effective in their sessions, especially in the areas of motivating their students to take ownership of their education. It might be helpful to think about who motivated you as a child – your parents, or maybe your teachers or counselor. What if your parents were busy searching for housing, food, and a job. Maybe your teachers or counselor try to help, but they never really get to know your needs since you are only at the school for a few months. The further you fall behind, the more frustrated you get with school. Add these issues to the usual lack of motivation non-homeless students face, and you can see there are some big obstacles to overcome.

Our tutors are really looking forward to Zeb’s presentation which will address “Motivating the Unmotivated”. I know it will be a great help to them in working with their students. If you would like to know more about School on Wheels and how you can get involved, please email me at nbayus@schoolonwheels.org.

Jul 012011

I have been asked to give a presentation by School on Wheels, titled How to Motivate the Unmotivated.  The presentation will be given to volunteer tutors that provide tutoring for homeless children in the Greater Los Angeles area.

The presentation will take place on July 16 at 9 AM in Long Beach, CA at The Neighborhood Resource Center.

The following is a brief summary of what I will be covering at the workshop:

All students are born with the internal desire to learn . . . through conditioning, many have learned to become unmotivated.  It is our job as educators to get them interested in learning again.  I have developed and utilized 42 practical tips that I have used to increase motivation in students.  In using these tools, I have successfully increased motivation in a countless number of students.  During this presentation, we will discuss the causes of unmotivated behavior, we will identify the steps needed to confront these students and we will discuss the 42 practical tools that I have developed to increase motivation in students.

Jun 302011

I’m glad to hear you might be interested in facilitating a workshop!  The main focus of our program is helping homeless students by setting them up with a one-on-one volunteer tutor.  We currently have over 650 active tutors in Southern California, from Ventura to Long Beach.  The tutors go out to the shelters and meet with their students for an hour a week.  They work on homework, but also address the academic gaps that these students face due to constant moves and subsequent absences in school.

The tutors come from all backgrounds – business professionals, students, retired or current teachers, etc.  Since many of them have little previous experience in teaching, we are providing more workshops to help our tutors be more effective in their role.  Most of them can get the hang of addressing the academic problems, but motivation is often the biggest obstacle and tutors don’t know how to deal with this.  It is especially hard since tutors don’t always know how long they will be with a student.  It could be a month or two if the student is in an emergency shelter, or a few years if they are in a more organized shelter program.

Ideally, I would like to address strategies they can use to motivate these students to do better . . . We can also take advantage of the resources that would come out of the workshop and share these with all our tutors.


Jun 292011

Dear Zeb,

I really liked your pointers in your post “Giving Hope to Struggling Students”.  I am the Education and Training Coordinator for a non-profit called School on Wheels.  We provide enhancement of educational opportunities for homeless students in K-12 in Southern California, primarily through one-on-one volunteer tutors.  I hope you don’t mind, but I am sharing a link to your blog in our newsletter.  I hope you will post more frequently about tutoring tips, especially for working with unmotivated students.

I am also wondering if you would have any interest in facilitating a workshop for our volunteer tutors?  I have to be honest that we don’t have funds to pay facilitators, but we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit so any work could potential be a tax write-off.  Please let me know if that might be of interest to you.

Natasha Bayus

Jun 262011

Natasha Bayus from School on Wheels, a non-profit organization that provides volunteer tutoring to homeless children across Southern California has asked me to give a presentation on how to motivate students to their volunteer tutors.

Natasha found me through this blog and really enjoyed the tips I provided on motivating students in my blog and decided to ask for my help.  After looking at the organization and understanding the valuable service that they are providing to students across Southern California, I immediately jumped at the chance to offer my expertise to the excellent tutors who volunteer their time to improve the lives of students.

Since being asked to present I have been hard working to put together a dynamite presentation for the volunteer tutors and will have much more information about increasing motivation in students in the upcoming weeks.  Check back frequently for more information about School on Wheels, increasing motivation and my upcoming presentation.