The Shocking Truth About Mindfulness In Tutoring

mindfulness in tutoring studygate

Mindfulness in tutoring makes all the difference to helping a student achieve their goals and feel good about their grades. Everyone likes to promote mindfulness, but the truth is that conscious thinking in education is way more difficult than it seems.

There are so many factors that are beyond our control as tutors. We have the opportunity to connect with a student for just a few moments out of their day.

No matter what a student’s family life is like, the time we do have can go a long way to helping them develop healthy mental processes that contribute to lifelong learning.

And that experience should continue long after we work with them.

Key Steps for Mindfulness

  1. Our reactions determine our mental and physical health. For the student, a positive attitude is equally important to your knowledge of the subject material. You can set an example for your students by giving a consistently positive presentation and showing them you really believe in their ability to succeed.
  2. When you work with students, it is your responsibility to provide them with quality information. If we fail to do this, we bring stress to students. Stress literally makes students sick and factors into 75% of illness and disease.

The point is that we should all pay attention to what our students say. Your job is not only to teach them and provide them with accurate information, but to encourage them to think positively and increase awareness of the negative thoughts they may be thinking. This can be achieved through the art of focus.

However, attitude is impossible to fake. Our true selves eventually come out. Mindful understanding of our true selves is not always easy to detect since we all have subconscious feelings. Dr. Caroline Leaf has developed a 5-step process to help ensure you can project mindfulness in tutoring.

These steps are not 1-minute miracles, and they take time to build out. The reflection can ultimately help define a positive experience for your students that will make them want to come back and work with you again and again.

Five Steps to Positive Thinking

  1. Gather: What thoughts are passing through your conscious mind at the moment? Can you determine the attitude of those thoughts? What feelings are they generating?
  2. Focused Reflection: What thoughts consistently flow through your mind? What would you like to directly change?
  3. Write: Based on steps 1 and 2, take a moment to write a mind map of the thoughts going through your mind. Enhance authenticity by writing it out as creatively as you wish. You can use color, diagram, and illustration to describe the process.
  4. Revisit: Identify the negative thoughts that you wrote down in your mind map. How can they be redesigned in a way that will help you live the kind of life you want?
  5. Active Reach: Choose one thought that you would like to change. Review it in its current state and redefine it in detail. Dwell on that new thought and own it as your current reality.

It’s critical to recognize that you can enable your thoughts to act with mindfulness in tutoring. That positive energy will directly affect the lives of your students.

The shocking truth about tutoring is that competence and a positive attitude go hand in hand!

No matter what, it’s the way that you think that actually determines how far you can take your students. As tutors, we have the great privilege and responsibility to set a positive example and show mindfulness in tutoring.

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Calling bold and aspiring tutors: Choose from these 4 strategies for an optimized tutor headline

optimized tutor headline

A lemon is a bold flavor, and your optimized tutor headline should be just as attention-grabbing.

It might seem like an extra step, but of the 80% of students that will read your headline, only 20% will go on to read the rest of your bio.

So it shouldn’t be surprising to read that the first rule for writing good headlines is to respect the headline. This is prime real estate and the first sentence that your potential students will read.

Students will use this content to decide if they want to work with you.

So if you want an optimized tutor headline, here are the principles to follow:

optimized tutor headline

 

With that, you have the core information needed to make your headline shine.

But the devil is in the details of course. If you’d like to refine further, there are four strategies below for writing a headline. You can take the one that works best for you and run with it.

No matter which one you choose, we here at Studygate recommend to be bold and experiment. Try what feels right and ask others for their opinion as you craft these words.

Good feedback makes for a great value proposition, and that’s exactly what you’re going to give in your optimized tutor headline!

Strategy 1: Highlight specifics

optimized tutor headline
A good headline is like a blueprint—specific and measured

The best headlines are the ones that humans love. Here, you can create something that addresses the reader and would make them want to read on.

With that said, it’s time to build a strategy that centers on detail. Many people tutor math, but you can use the Long Tail approach at the end of your headline to make your offering unique.

Former Wired editor Chris Anderson coined this term. He describes the theory of the Long Tail as “increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of “hits” (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail. There is now less need to lump products and consumers into one-size-fits-all containers. Narrowly-targeted goods and services can be as economically attractive as mainstream fare.”

Here are some examples of the Long Tail approach in headlines:

Not so nice: Tutor who teaches chemistry with excellence

More interesting: I am amazingly good at your HS chemistry, especially stoichiometry. HW help preferred!

Meh: I offer helpful solutions in C++, Python, PHP, and more!

Wow!: One-stop shop for C++, Python, and all your CS problems, delivered in <24 hours!

For example, your headline can clarify:

  1. Who your offering is for
  2. What the outcome will be
  3. Where your students typically start from
  4. How much time is involved
  5. When you are available

These specifics are useful, so make sure a headline could provide some of these elements to your student.

Be authentic

The second strategy involves promising something emotional that you can truly deliver. A few moments spent defining what you want to actually give can help with this.

optimized tutor headline

Here are 5 questions to ask as you prepare your headline:

  1. What are students going to get out of working with you?
  2. How will that make their lives better?
  3. How will you deliver your service?
  4. Can you use numbers to set expectations (how fast you deliver, how fast you respond to messages, years studying)?
  5. Why should your audience keep reading?

Your short answers to these questions will help you craft the content that will go into your headline. Not all of it needs to be used. The goal is to distill your value offering into its most essential elements.

With those elements, you can send a message the helps a student eliminate the stress of confusing homework.

Tell 1 main thing

Have you ever been to Upworthy.com? The articles there tell readers a story. They are not sensationalist with adjectives to grab undeserved attention. Instead, the headlines serve as a spark for conversation starters.

optimized tutor headline
This oddly cute gerbil picture is great. But the plant on its head is what makes it really stand out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A good tutor headline focuses on just one of the following deliverables:

  1. Subject
  2. Delivery
  3. Review
  4. Experience

Here are some examples—

Subject-oriented headline:

Woman who’s mastered the quadratic formula and more. She can help you do the same.

Delivery-oriented headline:

Biology tutor who can deliver homework help within 4 hours Thursday-Tuesday 9AM-9PM PT

Review-oriented headline:

I deliver 5-star chemistry tutoring. Anything less and I will make it right for you!

Experience-oriented headline:

Big data researcher with 7 years industry experience and a master’s degree

Give immediate value

This optimized tutor headline strategy offers specific value through the use of “sell words.” What is a sell word? I define sell words as terms that can be used to deliver ideas that have value to your reader.

Just like bees are drawn to honey, good sell words are the foundation of profile credibility so that students cannot help but see the value you offer them.

optimized tutor headline studygate
When we give students value from day 1, we show them just how much we care

Here are a few sell words to get you started:

  • Tips
  • Reasons
  • Lessons
  • Tricks
  • Ideas
  • Ways
  • Principles
  • Facts
  • Secrets
  • Strategies

As a tutor, take a moment to consider what subjects you already know. How can you demonstrate that on your headline by sharing your knowledge?

This might come out looking like a listicle, but if your bio content can back it up, you will be set to rule over your subject area.

The golden rule of giving immediate value is to show it instead of saying it. By building content with sell words, you give value to your student from the very first point of contact. With this commitment to your student in an optimized tutor headline, they will feel inspired to commit to you.

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Four Examples Of Great Educators And What We Can Learn From Them

When I think of all the teachers I’ve ever had, I am amazed at the many roles they have to play for their students’ success. In addition to being educators, they can be mentors, role models, knowledgeable experts, a sympathetic ear, even a fellow student! Whether you’re a tutor, a schoolteacher, or a university professor, you’ll find yourself playing these roles, and the very best educators play multiple roles seamlessly. Here are a few teachers I’ve had and the lessons that all educators can learn from them.

 

Mrs. Berens: 4th Grade

4th grade was arguably my greatest year of school, period. I’m not kidding. I had it all: good grades, popularity, an active social life, and so much more. I also developed a genuine love of learning, which I owe to the efforts of my teacher, Mrs. Berens.

Mrs. Berens seemed to know everything and was eager to share all that knowledge with you, ready or not. She was a real-life Ms. Frizzle! We covered a ton of subjects every day: Math, Science, History, English, and did a lot of group work in each of them. I remember when she gave us multiplication speed tests, and then instructed us to get with two to three other students to compare answers and correct our work. Everything was a collaborative process in her classroom, and I loved it. The classroom itself was FULL of resources we used during our free time. There was a huge bookshelf that I loved to pick from because she always had the best books that weren’t always available in the library. It was a space designed to maximize learning, but that wasn’t even the best part. Mrs. Berens not only encouraged excellence, she expected and demanded it.

And she rewarded excellence in the best ways: special field trips, lunches, computer privileges—once, when we achieved a reading goal she had set for us, she arranged for our class to attend a movie premiere in Hollywood! She had influence!

The Lesson: Passion

I loved Mrs. Berens because she played a strong leadership role in our learning journey. She set a high standard, expected us to achieve it, and allowed us to be curious and discover new things in the process. With her, learning was a true pleasure, and I understood that attending school was not my duty, it was my privilege.

 

 

Mrs. Rosemann: 6th Grade

As an unruly 10-year-old, I lacked the self-control to focus on my studies sometimes. Take an absentminded child, add a newfound access to video games, and you’ve got a kid who’s not always paying attention in the classroom. Mrs. Rosemann changed all that.

She seemed wonderfully odd to me when I first met her. She had fiery red hair that looked out of place paired with her usual dark blazers. As it turned out, her fashion sense was a perfect illustration of the kind of teacher she was. She struck a balance between stern and empathetic, serious and silly, kind and cold. When teaching math and science, she was all business. When we got to reading and art, however, she’d prance around the room, vibrant and animated. Mrs. Rosemann ran a structured classroom, and her expectations were clearly laid out from day one. She was a strict disciplinarian: if you were caught messing around, she would call you out in front of the whole class. But she was also a free spirit who encouraged creativity from all of us. In the middle of the year, our class wrote and performed our own Greek tragedy—we made our own costumes and everything!

The Lesson: Discipline

Mrs. Rosemann introduced structure at a pivotal time in our lives. At the start of our preteen years, other things were more important than school, and she taught us to remain studious, composed, and to take our own learning seriously. Most importantly, she held us accountable for our behavior, our assignments, and for understanding the lessons. Many of the best educators emphasize that learning is also YOUR responsibility.

 

 

Ms. Bullard: 9th Grade English

Following my middle school years—where I had been puffed up and praised for doing well with relatively easy work—Ms. Bullard shattered my idea of what good academic writing was and forced me to improve my skills—or suffer the consequences…

I’ll never forget that first day: We were a bunch of arrogant freshmen, straight out of junior high, sitting at our desks, waiting to receive a worksheet to fill out for 45 minutes. But it never came.

Instead, Ms. Bullard told us to write an essay about our summer reading. With a thesis, supporting evidence, specific details, a conclusion, and everything. Without the book. Using memory alone. It was a bloodbath.

After that, the real work began. She taught us two important things about academic writing and communication in general: how you say something is as important as what you’re saying, and if you’re going to take a position, you’d better be able to back it up. Her class was rigorous. It was frustrating. It felt impossible. If you managed to break into the “A” range, you felt like a champion because you fought for it.

The Lesson: Humility

With knowledge comes pride. The best teachers give you a good kick in the shins and make you forget everything you think you know so you can start learning from a new perceptive, which ultimately makes you smarter. Even though it was a freshman English class, Ms. Bullard treated us like seniors. She expected nothing but clear, excellent writing from us, and that’s what we had to deliver if we wanted to survive. She was a relentless, unforgiving coach—just what we needed.

 

 

Mrs. Haus: 9th, 10th, and 11th Grade Biology (AND Chemistry)

Science was one of my favorite subjects in high school, and it’s all thanks to Mrs. Haus. A lot of students complained about her because she gave a lot of homework, although I later realized the reason why. Much of the learning process is repetition, and her classes were all repetition, all the time! In high school, test preparation slowly takes precedence over actual learning, but not in Mrs. Haus’ class. She taught for understanding.

In my freshman year, she gave us packets filled with a list of that week’s science terms for us to define, as well as a ton of short answer questions that we had to complete with thorough explanations. One week, we had to explain the process of Meiosis, and if we left out a single part, we could expect corrective red marks all over the page.

The devil was in the details.

Her pickiness followed me on to 10th grade, her 6 week summer Chemistry course (which was brutal), and ESPECIALLY to AP Biology, where I wrote, reviewed, and rewrote answers for her all year.

But here’s the thing: her obsession with detail was only half of her winning teaching style. She also focused on getting to know each student and our weaknesses so she could help us learn in our own ways. She knew that I’d skip over the smallest details, so she made me revise assignments again and again until I learned to be thorough.

And it worked! I scored high on the AP test!

The Lesson: Perseverance

Even though she was incredibly nit-picky, Mrs. Haus taught me that anything worth doing is worth doing correctly. Excellence is all about the small things that can make or break you, and my time with her was a testament to that fact.

 

 

The great educators in our lives have all played roles besides that of “teacher” in order to teach those core values that help us succeed. Good teachers stick to the material, amazing teachers go beyond it. The best thing about that is, every teacher has the opportunity to be a great educator if they’re willing to walk the extra mile.

For more stories like this one, study tips, homework help, and one-on-one live tutoring, check out StudyGate.com!

 

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Four Reasons Why Vocational Classes Will Make AP Students Successful

AP Students

Harvard president Charles Eliot expresses how difficult it is to provide an  education that leaves students prepared for the workforce in his 1869 article, The New Education. On one hand, he champions trade schools. He cites their usefulness in producing effective workers with a strong sense of practicality. On the other hand, he recognizes the need to develop the American educational system to cultivate strong thinkers and educators. His difficulty in finding a comprehensive education presented a problem that still exists today.

About forty years ago, lifestyle courses such as home economics and wood shop were serious elective classes. They taught important skill sets for everyday life. As schools slightly shifted their focus to boosting academic test scores, these classes have taken a backseat and gained a reputation for being “easy A” courses. They are basically where unmotivated students can gain extra credits toward graduation.

In recent years, however, schools like Tesla STEM High School in Redmond, Washington are starting to combine Advanced Placement courses with vocational classes to provide much needed hands-on experience and better prepare students for life after high school, according to a recent PBS article. It’s a move that could potentially lead us to emphasize that pragmatism and scholarship go hand in hand. Here are a few reasons why this improvement is a step toward Eliot’s vision that will give students the tools to be more productive and successful in the future.

 

Practice Over Theory

Typically, high schools separate hands-on experiences from textbook learning as students get older. Yes, many courses incorporate effective learning exercises into their curriculum, but at the end of the day, there is a greater emphasis on standardized testing and sprucing up that all-important college transcript. Students mostly apply their knowledge to hypothetical situations. While this may do wonders for test scores, abstract theories do not completely prepare students for the future. In short, students learn by doing things. The more things they do, the more they think about their skills and work they want to pursue in the future.

 

Practical Skills Are Essential For Survival

Home economics, wood shop, auto repair, and other vocational courses teach valuable skills that adults use every day. While it is important to learn advanced science and math concepts, learning to cook a complete meal is equally important. Students need to learn basic survival skills, such as how to change a tire, change oil, sewing, tax preparation, and so much more. As students transition into college life, these skills will give them a sense of independence.

 

More Application, Less Memorization

In most AP courses, students rapidly move through difficult concepts and lessons throughout the year, taking tests regularly. Then, over the months of March and April, students and teachers shift into test preparation mode. They study the AP test format, nailing down all the definitions and possible questions and preparing students for the big test in May. These courses are useful for teaching students advanced concepts and how to take on challenges, but they are ultimately test centered. The knowledge gained is quickly lost. Students at Tesla STEM High School agree that applying knowledge to real-world situations helps them understand the material. One student links behavioral sciences to a career in forensics, saying that, “The lab work really puts things in perspective and makes them easier to understand when we take tests.”

 

Mixing Students Of Different Academic Levels Could Be Beneficial

In our current academic culture, the gifted and talented students are slowly separated from everyone else. In high school, there is a clear distinction. Mixing students of various skill has the potential to increase learning by removing status as a factor in academic success. The students normally suited to AP courses can apply their knowledge with other students and learn to become problem solvers. They learn how to work in a team of people will different backgrounds and skill sets. Students who lack the skills to succeed in college and beyond would face greater challenges and demand excellence from themselves. A learning environment plays a significant role in a student’s success and there is a lot that they can do to support each other.

 

 

A man cannot run an organization or company without having first performed the organization’s basic services, according to Eliot. A doctor cannot become the head of a major medical institution without having spent time with actual patients. The same concept applies here. Students will be better off if they apply their advanced lessons to real situations. Knowledge coupled with experience yields longer lasting success, and it is time that our educational system reflected this principle.

For more articles about education, homework help, study tips, and one-on-one tutoring, visit StudyGate.com!

 

 

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Get More Work! Tutors, Here’s How To Market Yourselves To Students!

Tutors, Market Yourselves To Students

All of us at StudyGate are pleased to work with brilliant people all over the world. You’re professors, students, tutors, writers, and lifelong learners with boundless knowledge that you’re kind enough to share with students. Therefore, we want you to get as much work as you want and we’re going to share ways you can market yourselves to students, so you can do exactly that.

When students post questions on StudyGate, they’re looking for three things: Quality, Credibility, and Care. Basically, they want to know that their tutor can definitely answer their question, knows what they’re talking about, and actually wants to help them. Express these successfully, and students will always come back for more. Here is a question from a student called Angela. Let’s look at a few examples of bids that will show you what and what not to do.

Question: I need someone to help me edit my economics paper.

 

Terrible:

Tutor Reply: I can do your assignment. Accept my offer nw. Yes. I can handle

 

This is a terrible way to attract students. It does not answer the student’s original question, and it tells us nothing about the tutor’s skills and qualifications. Your bid is the first contact you have with a student. The way you message them determines how they see you and whether they decide to trust you. Without any relevant information, this tutor’s message seems a little pushy, and the student will likely ignore it.

 

Okay:

Tutor Reply: Hi, it would be a privilege to review and edit your economics paper, ensuring clarity and fantastic style. Publishing is my life’s work. As a design coordinator at Cornell University, I work with designers, production editors, and copywriters in turning manuscripts into published books. Our  goals are to produce and disseminate excellent scholarship… At your request, I can provide more information about my skills, experience, and qualifications.

 

This reply is fine but has potential. The tutor begins by offering to help and promising a great result. They go into a long career summary before offering to share more about their career–this is where it all goes wrong. Again, students just want to know that you’re interested and can help them. They don’t have time to read a complete career summary, so keep it brief! You can include a couple sentences explaining why you’re qualified but leave it at that. Keep it moving!

 

Great:

Tutor Reply: Hello, I looked at your paper and feel I am a great candidate to help you for two reasons. First, I am a sociologist (Ph.D). While economics is not my primary focus, my dissertation research focused on the pharmaceutical industry which required I gain a basic understanding of the subject. I am attaching my academic resume and dissertation; I am happy to provide other writing samples as needed.

 

This reply is great for two main reasons. First, the tutor shows that they have already seen and understood the student’s assignment. They have taken the initiative to start working on the project before they’ve even been chosen! Nice! Second, they give a brief reason why they’re qualified, attach their resume to back it up, and offer to give more examples if needed. This tutor shows an openness that will put any student at ease. A little wordy, but it works great!

 

Amazing:

Tutor Reply: Hi Angela, there are a few theoretical gaps and shortfalls I’d like to address with you. However, you’re off to a nice start. (This tutor attached a file with feedback)

 

You’re probably thinking, “That’s it?”, and you’re right. It’s a very short message, but it does so many things well! The tutor addresses the student by name—remember to be personable! The message shows that they have seen the paper, read it, and thought of several ways to fix it. The way they wrote it makes the student curious and wanting to reach out for their input, creating a specific demand for their specific skills! Clever, right? The ending is very reassuring to the student and can make them feel confident in their own skills while they seek improvement. This tutor has done in one message what it takes other tutors several sessions to do: proven their worth, taken steps to solve the problem, and established trust and confidence. Bravo!

 

And that’s it! Marketing yourself to potential students doesn’t take much. Be friendly, take initiative to solve their problem, show that you have the answer, show that you care, and keep it as short as you can. Follow these guidelines and students will come back to you time and time again! For more tips and tutoring jobs, visit StudyGate.com!

 

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