Thursday, August 23, 2012

Guest Blog Post: How the Internet Can Be Your Friend in Tutoring

How the Internet Can Be Your Friend in Tutoring
By John Surico,

In an earlier post, we mentioned that you should bring your laptop or some sort of computer to the lessons, strictly for research purposes. But, in an age where education is rapidly being digitized, a tutor must embrace the Internet as an academic ally, not a distracting pest. In that sense, the Web can be great for your lessons. Here’s why:


No matter how much you argue it, it’s indisputable at this point that the Internet has the answer to pretty much every question in the book, sans “what is life?” Whether it’s Google, Wikipedia or even AskJeeves, that awkward moment when your student asks you something you are unsure of the answer to is now easily erased. Also, it makes for a great dictionary and thesaurus.

       2. FUN

FYI: we’re not talking about Angry Birds. To supplement your lessons, games can be a great way for your student to learn the material in an unconventional way. Sometimes, that is the best method to learn. Just make sure your student doesn’t get too comfortable; all that fun can take away from the main lesson at hand.


One amazing way to transmit a lesson plan on a specific subject is to watch a video on that area of study. Enter YouTube. Here’s a great example: for tutoring lessons in history, there are countless time lapse videos to watch, like the ‘Rise and Fall of Rome,’ ‘History of Europe in 60 Seconds,’ and a whole bunch of others. These can be wonderful graphics to get a snapshot of your lesson in visual form.

So, do not be weary of the Internet. But keep in mind that the Internet cannot be your be-all and end-all in lessons; you are a tutor, after all. For any lessons, instructors or other tutor-related activities, check us out at HeyKiki. Now, time to start learning!

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About John Surico
Hailing from Long Island, John is a recent transplant to New York. On a typical Wednesday night, you can find him walking around, staring up at the skyscrapers.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Guest Blog Post: Four Rules to Adhere To While Tutoring

Four Rules to Adhere To While Tutoring
By John Surico,

As we mentioned before, the role of a tutor is a huge responsibility in terms of the learning process: the student looks up to one for academic guidance and encouragement. With that being said, there are a couple of guidelines to keep in mind when you’re one-on-one with your subject. They tend to be more on the “Don’t Do” side but, nonetheless, they will make your experience that much more productive:

      1.   Keep your Cell Phone in your Pocket – Why? Because no one wants to glance over at a tutor and see him or her busy texting friends about dinner plans. When you’re in the classroom, it’s just you two. Facebook, Twitter and whatever else is going on in that smart phone can wait until after the get-together.

      2.  Attire Should be Somewhere Between Professional and Casual – Here’s the fashion side of tutoring. A person’s wardrobe is important for impressions so try to maintain a line that doesn’t under or overwhelm. Completely casual can make a tutor come off as way too laid back and overly professional can do the opposite. Neither extreme are good for a comfortable session. Find the gray area.
      3. Bring the Proper Supplies – Pen, pencil, paper, laptop (for research purposes, strictly), calculator, paper, paper, and, oh yes, more paper. There will always be a lot of scrap.
4.  Stick to Kind Gestures – This was mentioned in the last post. Kind gestures encourage the student to remain determined and inspired, thus leading to a more efficient learning process. Try not to interrupt as well.

By adhering to these four rules, we can guarantee that your time with the student will be much more enjoyable. For tutoring lessons and instructors, check us out on HeyKiki. We hope to see you there soon.

[Image via]

About John Surico
Hailing from Long Island, John is a recent transplant to New York. On a typical Wednesday night, you can find him walking around, staring up at the skyscrapers.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Guest Blog Post: The Importance of Tutoring Encouragement

The Importance of Tutoring Encouragement
By John Surico,

One of the most vital parts of tutoring is the relationship one has with his or her student. Teaching creates a special kind of kinship; the student trusts that you have the answers to his or her questions, no matter what they pertain to. Although this might seem overwhelming at times, it helps that the student knows you’re there for them when they don’t understand something. In this case, encouragement and compliments given when necessary are extremely important during lessons. Here’s why:


If your student doesn’t feel determined, they will feel threatened by the course material and give up much more easily. And that can’t happen – never let the student feel like they can’t answer something. This can be done with kind gestures or incentives to reach an answer; a clue or loophole should be condoned if they help the learning process. Make sure your student knows you’ll get them to the finish line no matter what.


A major part of a student’s understanding is how he or she feels about herself. A wrong answer will bring the student down so, when that happens, remind the student that practice makes perfect. No answer is ever wrong and they should know that. Encourage them to continue by stating that they’re doing fine. Your presence in that situation will help build that kinship mentioned before.


Regardless of the answers, a tutor is a role model as much as a teacher is. With that being said, performing the past two jobs is vital in making sure the student always looks up to you. It’s essential that you’re constantly boosting and never bringing them down. Keep their hopes high and they will execute.

These three steps are what make tutoring so much fun. Putting yourself in a role where the subject relies on your guidance is a self-fulfilling prophecy and will help your self-esteem as well, trust us. For tutoring lessons, buddies and instructors, check out what HeyKiki has to offer.

Image via

About John Surico
Hailing from Long Island, John is a recent transplant to New York. On a typical Wednesday night, you can find him walking around, staring up at the skyscrapers.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

2013 Tutoring Conferences: Where are They?

Enhancing your tutoring techniques and learning more about your industry are important when you have a tutoring business. Of course, the best way to learn more about what's new in the tutoring industry is to attend conferences. These conferences also allow you to get together with other tutors so you can learn how they are handling their businesses. Think of it as a great learning opportunity not only to improve how you deal with your clients, but also how your competition does. This keeps you in the game and your tutoring style innovative.

Planning the year ahead is something you should be doing, so what are some of the conferences that are coming your way during 2013? Here is what you need to know.

The Association for the Tutoring Profession - This organization is responsible for holding conferences that enrich tutoring through professional development services. They offer a wide array of talks and workshops that will allow tutors from all over the US to learn a thing or two about how to become better tutors. Check the website for more information on future conferences.

Student Coalition for Action in Literacy Education - This offers an annual virtual conference that allows you to access innovative tutoring information from the convenience of your home. This is an effective way to catch up with the tutoring industry if you're too busy to physically attend conferences. 

Teaching and Learning Conferences Worldwide - This popular directory gives you the overview of what conferences are being held and when - worldwide! You won't miss out on an important conference with the readily updated list to keep your tutoring drive on the go to further improve your business practices.

Your Local Community – Why, you never know when a conference is being held nearby. Tap into bulletin boards or ask around at local colleges or universities if they are hosting a tutoring conference that you can attend. 

The abundant tutoring conferences available nationwide can give you that necessary kick start you need to get your business back in mix, especially if you feel that you need to improve in certain parts of it. It is always important to stay up to date with what's happening in the tutoring business because it constantly changes. 

Tutoring conferences are important for any tutor, especially with the opportunity at hand to learn more how to improve your overall perspective in your business. Another important aspect of tutoring conferences is that you get to make connections with other tutors. This can be very helpful if you want help in any form, as tutors do help each other despite being competitors. Share ideas and you can boost each other’s careers. Take the chance and make the most out of it because these conferences give you valuable lessons that last you a life time, indeed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

8 Thinking Maps to Use in Your Tutoring Sessions

For any tutoring sessions, you may need your students to come up with a brilliant topic for a story or perhaps analyze a certain event based on different factors. The right course of action to do this smoothly is through thinking maps, visual aids that are structured to aid in the idea generation and analysis. Check out these 8 thinking maps to stimulate your student’s brain into developing that brilliant idea of his or hers that he or she is itching to share to the world.

Circle Map

A circle map is constructed by two circles, a small one at the center. A word is placed at the center for the student to define in terms of context. Different words or phrases are then placed around that explain what the word at the center means. This approach is useful for explaining events or words depending on contextual factors. As a descriptive tool, the circle map is suitable for essay development.

Bubble Map

This map is constructed by many bubbles connected to a central one to be described. The purpose of this map is to describe the word at the center using adjectives. This is very useful for giving flavor or character to a certain idea in that the student may associate with. This enhances creativity and allows the student to expand his or her imagination.

Double Bubble Map

This is an expanded version of the bubble map, but it contains two central ideas. Other descriptions are placed which may be connected to one another to illustrate the comparison or contrast of these two central ideas. The goal of this thinking map is for the students to develop connections that may indicate similarity or difference among two given ideas.

Flow Map

This diagram involves different geometric shapes to indicate a process. This kind of thinking map is very useful for illustrating historical events or scientific processes. This is also a very good tool in designing narrative essays. The intensity of the flow map will enhance the procedural thinking of the student in the process.

Multi-Flow Map

An expanded version of the flow map, the multi-flow map illustrates a connected pattern of causes and effects, which may stem due to the processes and their given results. Through this map, a student is able to identify the many possibilities, especially in the venue of cause-and-effect relationships.

Brace Map

Constituted by enlarged braces, this thinking map specializes on the relationships between a part to that of a whole. This allows students to utilize associative thinking in grouping elements to a given category, enhancing their skills in connecting different objects by a common factor.

Tree Map

This kind of thinking map is derived from one common idea that is branched into smaller ideas. The goal of this map is to relay different classification and grouping possibilities. This is very useful in outlining different disciplines of a certain science or perhaps illustrating the different parts of a computer. This helps students realize the categorical aspect of things.

Bridge Map

A bridge map is constructed in the manner that of a bridge to illustrate the analogy. This is helpful in relating to different ideas by a factor that is relevant to both. This enhances critical thinking because it lets student decide the governing connection among ideas.

These eight thinking maps show you the different ways to encourage idea generation. Make sure to use the right one for the specified purpose so you can get optimal results. Students need to think outside the box a little bit and with these thinking maps, that journey is surely made smoother and more pronounced.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tutoring Certifications: Are They Worth It? You Betcha!

With your degree, supplies, and marketing strategy intact, tutoring certifications will top everything off and give you that flair that you mean real business. This is not just simply business, but business that provides your clients with the results that they deserve. They will trust you more since you've received specialized training.

As a tutor, credentials are great because they give your clients the impression that you are an official authority in the subject matter you teach and you are competent enough to tutor. Although you may think that you have the skills needed to do a great job tutoring, you should always focus on what the client needs. 
Tutoring certifications show your clients that you have received the additional training and this gives you a strong edge over other tutors. In this tightly knit business world, you should engage in this additional support to your tutoring credentials. Here's what you need to know.

Professional Tutoring Certifications through Professional Associations

To get professional tutoring certifications, you could look into the Association of the Tutoring Profession and the National Tutoring Association for more information. They have different kinds of tutoring certification that will focus on the subject matter or level you're teaching. They also offer online courses that provide specialized training before you get your certification. Also, for a more specialized certification for working with college students, the College Reading and Learning Association provides you with the right facilities you need.

Association-based certification is usually respected nationwide because of the flexibility and the wide accreditation these associations are known for. This is almost a must if you plan to get a tutoring certification, so keep this in mind.

Campus-Based Tutor Certifications

Alternatively, you can check out nearby colleges and universities whether online or not as they can provide you with the certification you need. This venue of certification allows you to delve into high level courses that are specialized so that you can become a certified expert in your field.

Campus-based certification is ideal for tutoring services that cater to local communities. Being a prominent tutor respected by a university or college in your community will boost your market value. This will let them know you have the capacity over other tutors who do not have such credentials.

Certification is very much worth it if you think about it. It adds more value to your tutoring services and it allows you to learn more about how to convey the subject matter more fluently. Overall, tutoring certifications are important in tutoring businesses because they provide the supplemental proof that you are a professional. These give you the quality assurance that clients for and this is necessary if you want to get real business.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Message from Alise--Expected Regular Blog Schedule

Hello Readers,

I just wanted to take time to wish each of you a Happy Sunday!

You probably have noticed that I did not post anything this past week.

My mother-in-law passed away at the very young age of 58 and have been out of town with our family in Louisiana.

As you probably could imagine, I have not been able to adhere to my normal schedule of doing things both personally and professionally.

I want to apologize for not being able to write last week. However, I will have new content posted next week starting on Tuesday, August 14, 2012.

Thank you for your patience with me and hope that you are gearing up for the new school year!

As always, happy tutoring!