Thursday, May 31, 2012

Intellectual Property 104: 9 Reasons Why I Can't Use Copyrighted Materials for Tutoring

Tutoring has grown into one of the most important service industry. Traditional school coaching is no longer sufficient to survive the cut throat competition of the world. An edge is essential to fare better and most students resort to tutors to help them gain the edge. This has lead to the mushrooming of tutors-both online and offline.

              Now a student has the luxury to choose from a spectrum of tutors. The presence of a large number of tutors has brought in the competition among the tutors. All tutors look for resources that will make them a better tutor. One common domain where everyone looks is the World Wide Web. But one just cannot use videos or articles in these sites. One has to be aware of the source and any copyright associated with its usage.

              Use of copyrighted materials in tutoring is completely discouraged as the law does not spare even if you were unaware of the consequences. Thus, it is necessary to know the punishments associated with the usage of copyrighted materials in tutoring.

Here are nine reasons that tell you why you should avoid the usage of copyrighted materials in tutoring:

1.      The main reason-illegal usage of copyrighted materials is punishable by a fine or imprisonment and sometimes even both.

2.    You cannot plead innocence.

3.    Many people will have to bear the brunt of copyright infringement. The tutor, the board of the tutoring agency and even the technician can be punished after gauging their level of involvement.

4.    It is also illegal to make a copy of the video you purchased in the store. But you can play a video that you rented from the store if it has Public Performance Rights (PPR).

5.     Use of copyrighted materials by students can also land the tutor in trouble. Thus you must teach your students to be careful when choosing content in the web.

6.    It is very easy to exploit ‘fair use’ and this will land you in trouble.

7.     Use of copyrighted materials in tutoring can sometimes be considered as ‘profitable usage’ and it is illegal.

8.    You can also not transfer copyrighted video to another country where you have a student as it is illegal.

9.    Prosecution due to copyright infringement could mar your reputation as a tutor.

Due to all these reasons it is logical to avoid the use of copyrighted materials in tutoring. You have spent so much time building your tutoring practice so it’s in your best interest to check out what is allowed and not allowed when using copyright material.

Also, if you have created your own content, you need to protect yourself and your tutoring business and file a copyright claim. It takes about 10-15 minutes.

For more information on U.S. Copyright Laws, please visit the following website:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Effect of Drugs on the Brain: Why People Who Use Drugs Cannot Remember Information over Time

As a tutor, you need to be aware of the effects of drugs on the brain. This is important because, at some point in your tutoring career, you will encounter clients who may be using drugs. While this does not typically occur with young children, but it does occur when working with adult learners. They do not always divulge this type of information, so please be careful. 

The last thing that you want is a bad reputation due to something that you had no control over, which is in your client’s personal lives. Therefore, you should definitely ask this question on your client intake form for adults and keep it on file. 

This will serve two purposes: (a) to better understand how to help the client; and (b) to protect your tutoring practice. Since this form is confidential anyways, no one will know about it except you.

Let’s take a closer look at what drugs can do to the brain.

Drugs have venomous tentacles that suck out the life of a person and do not let the person be in the right frame of mind. Some of the effects of drugs on the brain are:

  • Drugs like heroine make the brain cells addicted and control a person to such an extent that he starts depending on them for performing daily functions.
  • Drugs entice users by giving a pleasurable feeling and finally turning them into addicts.
  • Marijuana not only hampers short-term memory, but also prevents a marijuana user from retaining current episodes in the long term memory.
  • Drugs like cocaine makes a person lose interest in life, family, friends, and recreational activities.
  • Drugs can increase respiration, blood pressure, heartbeat, and even cause hypothermia. They also cause weight loss, anxiety, insomnia, dental problems, delusion, and violent behavior.

Why People Get Hooked to Drugs

As against the natural process, drugs increases the dopamine level to 2 to 10 times more than the normal amount. This effect motivates people to take more drugs in order to enjoy the euphoric feeling.

How Drugs Disrupt the Brain

Drugs attack the brain by bombarding it with dopamine. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls the emotions, movement, cognition, and feelings of bliss, when triggered in excess enhances the ecstatic feeling fooling people into taking them repeatedly. When the brain is continuously flooded by dopamine along with other neurotransmitters, the brain reduces the number of dopamine receptors. As excess of anything is bad, the brain identifies it as an abnormal activity and restricts the flow of these neurotransmitters.  Therefore, the pleasurable feeling reduces leading to depression in drug abusers.

Now the second phase kicks in where drug abusers take the drug to bring the dopamine  back to normal level, and in order to get the high euphoric feeling they take larger amounts of the drug.

The long-term effect of subjecting the brain cells to neurotransmitters like dopamine leads to reduced cognitive ability, uncontrolled longings, addiction, and makes the abuser incapable of making sound decisions. Contimuous drug abuse interferes with the critical functions that are carried by the brain. 

How do you handle such situations in your tutoring practice? 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Critical Thinking in Tutoring: How to Get Students to Think

Having a wide perspective is crucial for any person to gain a certain analytical way of thinking that allows him or her to solve problems he or she encounters. Gaining this perspective isn't as simple as memorizing a set of lessons or learning algebra rules. Gaining this perspective involves the development that is unique to each student, but there are key points to tackle in order to expand how students think.

Critical thinking involves the assessment of ideas in unique ways that expose different angles of how they are viewed. This kind of thinking is important not only in academics, but also in actual life experiences that students will encounter. Here are some techniques that you can use for students to develop a wider perspective on things.

Argumentation (Debates)

Probably the most important aspect of enhancing critical thinking is the use of argumentation. Argumentation can be in the form of debates or even just simple contrasting of ideas. When one topic or idea is up for argument, the result usually combines a different set of opinions about the ideas, widening the perspective of people involved.

Argumentation teaches the value of critical analysis because it describes how an idea can be viewed from different angles. These perceptions allow students to look at things from another aspect which allows an extensive form of development, especially in the course of understanding topics in open ended subjects such as History and Literature.

Root Cause Analysis (Getting to the Bottom of Things with Concrete Evidence)

Basically, you find the root cause of a certain event or idea. This kind of analytical thinking is very effective in enhancing critical thought because of how the student takes steps back into the origin of something. It makes him or her think about the possible cause of something by analyzing possible factors.

In most analytical thinking aspects such as science topics, root cause analysis is very effective. It allows students to explain complex cycles like the birth and growth of a frog or perhaps the motion of molecules affecting the nature of substances.

Exposure (Letting Learners Gain Hands-On Experience)

The last form of letting students enhance their critical thinking is to expose them to different settings. Whether by video or by actual visits, the exposure will allow students to gain a deeper understanding as they are present in the actual simulation or area of interest.

Exposure is very effective because it not only taps into the mind central of the student, but also the other senses are stimulated as well. This teaches students to understand events more easily. For instance, it would be much better to let your student tour a World War 2 exhibit than to narrate the events. He or she will grasp the intensity of the war much more readily through the exposure.

Critical thinking is important in making it in this busy world, especially when your students will deal with problems that require extra effort in analysis. By widening their perspective, students will be at ease when dealing with problems that seem difficult, because they have the confidence to tackle them.

How do you employ critical thinking skills in your tutoring sessions?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

10 Reasons to Have a Tutor Mentor to Help Your Business Grow

Risk exists in any business venture. All you can do is reduce the quotient of risk. The best of doing that is being guided by a mentor. This is mandatory if you are a novice businessman. Mentors may help you in many ways and the reasons for appointing them are:

1.      Most important decision as an entrepreneur is choosing the correct mentor because he or she will be the key to the success or failure of your business. He or she will inspire you as well as the others with the expertise in that particular field of work.

2.       Answerability: business owners are often known to have overlooked some minute details. A mentor helps you set real goals and help you achieve it in terms of marketing or finance or advertisements.

3.      Strategy building: he or she will be aware of the common mistakes and will avoid them while formulating the business plan thus helping your venture.

4.      Objective: you as the owner may get emotionally attached and will refrain yourself from taking important decisions. The staff is like your family but the mentor doesn’t have these limitations. Necessary decisions shall be taken on time.

5.      Maintenance: mentor will detect the problems and find the solutions along with you to support and maintain the business. Without the right maintenance it would collapse.

6.      Expert opinion: mentor is the one who has an expert knowledge of that line of work as well as a pro as a businessman due to past experience. Thus he being a part of your core team is an asset!

7.      Insightfulness: you are the owner of the business. You finance it with the capital. But the in-depth knowledge of the business and how it can do better lies with the mentor.

8.      Networking: the mentor shall have a name for himself in the market so along with him you get to exploit his contacts. Thus he or she becomes the representative of your organization. Thus an instant marketing strategy.

9.      Feedback mechanism: through the mentor you can get an outsider view of the situation. It would be unbiased along with necessary suggestions to perform better.

10.  Communication: mentors have capability of reaching out to the employees and customers of all strata thus his communication techniques can be observed and should be benefited from. Like in marketing and sales firms techniques of convincing is an important aspects of training at all levels

If you are looking for a tutor mentor to help you grow your business, I am accepting a few clients in June 2011. Please email me at

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How to Plan for Summer Tutoring Sessions

Summer is one of the most lucrative moments for tutors because students aren’t going to school, but most of them want to start their next school year right. Parents want to improve their children’s performance, so the possibility of a busy tutoring session is very much possible during the summer. As a result, you should know how to plan for summer tutoring sessions in order to maintain a schedule that you can manage and keep your clients happy at all times.

Step Up on your Marketing

Since summer is going to be a busy season, step up on your marketing tactics by advertising even more rigorously. It is important to put your business out there and explain the benefits of summer tutoring. Make sure to keep marketing throughout the season as it may help you during slow months later on.

Offer Discounts

Summer is also a competitive month, so keep your business at the top of your prospective clients’ lists by offering discounts of the kind. These discounts can help you gain the needed client base you want for summer, especially with an appealing offer to the mix.

Offer Summer Camp Tutoring Sessions

You can also enhance your tutorial services by providing summer camp tutoring sessions. This provides a fun and interactive learning opportunity for your students, especially with the activities that you should prepare for the summer camp.

Expand Your Tutoring Business

If you’ve planning all year round to expand your tutoring business to other venues of service, summer is the perfect time to gauge the potential of that specific area you want to venture in. With a wide client base, you can really check out which services are in demand, helping you optimize your business capacity and management scheme.

Summer is full of business opportunity, especially for tutors. Take the chance and engage your business in full mode, because you will be expecting a busy season ahead! Market, offer discounts, summer camps, and expand your tutoring business as you see fit to truly maximize the potential you can attain the busy summer months for tutors.

If you are ready to take your tutoring business to the next level, be on the lookout for an announcement from me sometimes this month.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Why You SHOULD NOT Waitlist Your Clients?

Having a lot of clients can be difficult to manage because of the attention you must give to each and everyone. It may be tough for you to handle your tutoring business at times, especially before exams, but you should avoid one important thing in the process. Never waitlist your clients. Waitlisting them increases their worry because obviously they're looking for immediate attention, especially parents with children who are nearly failing in a certain subject.

Here are important reasons why you should never ever waitlist clients.

It Makes You Seem Unprofessional

The trade of the tutor is that he or she immediately provides attention to students in need. Although, yes, you may have a schedule that the clients must respect, waitlisting means that you are not available for them for a given span of time. Waitlisting entails that they you aren't present at an immediate schedule timeframe which may be difficult for clients, especially those who are anxious to lift up their academic performance.

It slows Down Academic Improvement

Waitlisting clients may result in lower academic performance because their readiness decreases as they are waitlisted further and further in. They have to unnecessarily wait until you are available to tutor them and this isn't how things are supposed to work. Their academic development comes to a halt, especially if they need immediete attention. Through this, clients may face bigger burden, especially as the pressure looms in for the final exams that they have to wait for you to tutor them.

It May Let You Lose Clients

As much as it hurts, wait listing clients can prompt them to find immediate attention. You lose business in the process and this won't look too nice on your performance if word gets out you do not attend to client needs immediately. Be wary of the consequences that may arise, especially in terms of your business.

You do not want your business to wane because of having a tight schedule. It may be tough to hear but you must learn to balance your time no matter what. Instead of wait listing your clients, why don’t you try hiring some extra help? A tutor’s job is to help students gain the knowledge that they deserve to know at a quality they also deserve to have. Do not waste the opportunity for the thirst of knowledge because you know much it matters to them.

Keep your business secure by attending to their needs immediately so you can set up a schedule without much hassle. The bottom line is: never waitlist clients if you don’t want to lose valuable business. After all, they are the lifeblood of your tutoring business, so you should embrace the opportunity as a challenge and not a burden.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Message from Alise--Happy Monday and an Interesting Article!

Happy Monday!

Hope that each of you had a beautiful Mother's Day! I just wanted to drop a few lines to let you know that new content will be available tomorrow on the blog.

I hope that you have found what you needed to help you with your tutoring business. We have a few weeks left before the school year ends. What are your summer tutoring plans?

As for me, I plan to start tutoring sessions again in the middle of June to give students a little break.

I came across an interesting news article regarding the SES Tutoring in Chicago Public Schools. Check it out here:,0,885437.story

It is definitely interesting and feel free to leave any comments.

Happy Tutoring,


P.S.  I hope to share some great news with you very soon; the time is almost near. Remember, the first group of people that will know are the ones that have signed up to receive updates regarding this blog. Oh yeah...I forgot to tell you...this is not a practice for me to get you to sign up, but I do have some really important information that will definitely help you with your own tutoring business whether you are looking to start or take your business from good to great. Stay Tuned and Many Blessings to You and Yours.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Filing 102: Five Ways to Organizing Your Tutoring Resources

Organizing your tutoring resources is important when it comes to allowing you to access them effectively. You never know when you need an important file and you are faced with the hassle of searching through a pool of documents that can hinder your search. With these five ways, you can surely organize your tutoring resources effectively, which can save you a lot of time in the process.

Labeled Folders

One way you can organize your tutoring resources is to have folders labeled for specific portions like lecture materials, client data, financial documents, and other important information you may have. This light weight form of organization is useful if you are starting out in the tutoring business.

Labeled Drawers

Once you have things settled, like an office, you can now use drawers for specific organization of your tutoring resources. It may be bulky, but it is effective in separating documents, especially once your tutoring business has grown into a working office. With your drawers, you can incorporate specific client files in a pattern of your choosing, whether alphabetical or by date.
Some tutors like to keep soft copies of their documents in their tutoring business, so here are three file management software programs that you can use for your file organization.

Drop Box

Although it does not contain a specific file organization medium, you can easily organize files into folders. It comes free with 2 GB of space and it can sync over different devices, allowing you access to your files on the go!

Paper Tiger

This online-based file management system is relatively easy to use and incorporate your files with. It provides you with the organizational amenities with a trusted service for your data management scheme.


For your document management solutions, this is a program that aims to provide convenience for your business documents through an interface that suits your liking. With the professional style for your file management solutions, you can surely keep your files secure and safe.
File management is important in tutoring businesses, and with the prospective means of obtaining such organizational pattern, you can guarantee your success in organizing your business files properly that way.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

10 Strategies to Use an iPad for Math Tutoring

iPad is as revolutionary as the other products of Apple have been. There are a number of reasons why iPad can be a perfect companion for those who want to get tutoring in any subject. Math being one of the most common subject for which a huge number of people take tutoring, we are covering some apps that can help you a great deal in your math tutoring.

The apps mentioned below would be a great help when working with elementary math learners:

1.      Math Board: The basic tasks of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, cubes, square root etc. can be carried out easily with this app.

2.    Math Ninja: This is a game app that makes you use your math skills to win the game. It can be played by all age groups as such from 9 to 99.

3.    Ace Kids Math Games: If you are looking for the basic app that can let your child learn the very basics of math in a fun way, Ace Kids Math Games is for you.

The apps mentioned below would be a great help when working with middle school math learners:

1.      Mastering Mathematics Grade 6: This is a great app for grade 6 students. This app gives you an interesting way to look at mathematics in life.

2.    Mastering Mathematics Grade 7: This is a similar app to Mastering Mathematics Grade 6. But it is, as the name suggests, for Mastering Mathematics Grade 7.

3.    Quick Graph: This app is a great app for those iPad users who want to master their skills at graphs.

The apps mentioned below would be a great help when working with both high school and college level math learners:

1.      Math Formulas - Reference Guide: This app gives you all the important formulas that you would require during your high school studies.

2.    PocketCAS pro: This cool app helps you do the advanced high school level math on your device.

3.    Geometry Designer: This is a high end app for high school students who want to improve their geometry skills. It lets you draw a familiar geometrical figure from your lessons.

4. Geometry High School & College Math Practice Problems: This app gives you access to some really helpful math practice problems, which can help you in improving your math skills.

5. Algebra High School & College Math Practice Problems: This app seeks to give you a better understanding of Algebra.

What are some iPad apps that you have found helpful when working with students in your tutoring practice? Please share with us.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tutoring Reflections: Why You Should Reflect on Your Tutoring Practices?

Tutoring is tough to carry out if you don't set your mind to it. If you feel burdened by giving out a tutorial or perhaps unclear about your overall objective, it's time you reflect on your tutoring practices. Even if things are going well, you still need to reflect so that you can replicate what you are doing and refine some of your tutoring strategies to do even better.

As you may already know, It's quite tough when your performance affects client relationships, especially if you feel that you are not doing satisfactory work or perhaps your student fails to capture your message. These are some of the most common issues tutors are facing, and the only resolve to these issues is to redefine how you see tutoring itself.

Understand Yourself

Ask yourself: what are you doing right and wrong when tutoring? Knowing where you're strong and weak is crucial for being a good tutor. You will be able to understand where you need to improve that will help your students in the long run. Of course, this kind of reflection is important for the sole reason is that you get to know yourself better. If you list your strengths and weaknesses down, you will get a clearer visual of how you can improve.
Self-assessment is vital in realizing your capacity as a tutor because it provides you the conditioning you need that reflects your actions when conveying your service to students.

Strengthen Strengths, Weaken Weaknesses

Your own personal development is important when you are a tutor. You not only teach students academic information, but you also provide them life lessons to live by. Your strengths and weaknesses affect your character, which is what your students witness when you tutor. Enhance what you have that livens up your tutoring so that your students will see an even more professional side through positive actions. This step may be the most difficult because of the self-conditioning, but it is the most fulfilling.
Taking into consideration your strengths and weaknesses is vital because it allows you to pinpoint areas of improvement and enhance those you are strong in, for the benefit of the students.

Keep Things Personal

Reflection involves personal thought and the interaction between yourself and the client should involve the personal level. Know that you are dealing with people because you instill the value of self-confidence through your tutoring. Having that personal connection allows you to realize what your students need and with that, you can modify your teaching style. This kind of connection is important because it fuels the environment that involves better interaction and understanding.

These three principles explain why you should reflect on your tutoring practices. It is growing as a tutor that makes a tutor effective, and through the internal reflections and the external realizations, you can continue the passion as a tutor with a clear goal in mind. That goal is to enlighten the minds of those you teach.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Message from Alise--Join Our Group on LinkedIn!

Hey there, Readers,

Happy Monday!

I just wanted to drop a few more lines to let you all know that we have started a group on LinkedIn that discuss various aspects of tutoring. It's a great way to collaborate and help each other learn and grow.

If you are interested in joining our group discussions, please join us at the group “Becoming a Better Tutor”.  

We do have members that have already joined and look forward to you joining us as well.

As always, please know that we welcome any guest posts from individuals who have great tutoring strategies to help us grow our tutoring businesses.

Have a blessed week!

P.S.  New Content will be available early excited.

Happy Tutoring,