Keeping the Focus on the Positive

as featured on Edutopia.org: As a special educator with seven years’ experience as a public school teacher and now seven more as a private tutor, I work with students with huge academic and behavioral challenges. Often the discrepancies between their current performance and what is expected are so large that …

Do You Wonder if Your Child Has Dyslexia?

  Do you wonder if your child has dyslexia? Maybe you wonder if you have dyslexia. You are definitely not alone. As a special education teacher and reading tutor, one of the most common questions that I am asked by parents is, “Do you think my student has dyslexia?” I …

Volunteering: It’s good for way more than your student’s college application.

“I am so glad I am here,” the teenage girl next to me says as she heaves clunky binders and packs of notebook paper into marked boxes. We are in the back of a box truck on a warm summer day in the south. A cool breeze blows my hair …

5 Study Strategies for Students with Test Anxiety

As the school year begins, a problem that I hear parents express most often, working as a study skills tutor, is that they see their children studying and then it seems they cannot remember the material on test day or for end-of-the-year cumulative exams. Many times they wonder aloud if …

Is the Idea of a “Good” Teacher all in Your Mind?

As a child, I remember heading back to school and hearing whispered rumors about the teachers in my new grade, other kids and sometimes adults speaking under their breath about which teachers you wanted to get and which teachers you definitely didn’t. Sometimes these rumors turned out to be true …

Put Down that Workbook, Summer Learning Should Not Be Torture

I see you in Walmart or Borders buying that summer workbook for your kids, and I know that you have the best intentions. I have had the same thoughts myself. Nothing is more infuriating than coming home from a long day of work to see teenagers sitting on the couch …

Five Strategies for Surviving End-of-the-Year Testing

Good Morning. Testing will begin shortly after you complete the identification information on your answer sheet. Please listen carefully to the following instructions. You may not eat or drink in this room. You may not leave the room until you have been dismissed. You will have one hour to complete …

Ten Tips to Prevent the Summer Slide!

School is almost over and the kids are ready for SUMMERl! It’s time to play video games, go to the pool and really just relax. While these are all fun summer activities, it turns out that inactive summers can really result in what’s called the “Summer Slide”. All kids tend …

If Your Kids Can Do It Themselves, Let Them: 4 Ways to Foster Independence

I walked over to the coffee pot to put in the filter and spoon the tiny black granules into the basin. Above the soothing drip drip drip of coffee entering the pot, I suddenly hear my oldest daughter’s voice. It is getting louder and faster with each word, in a …