Tutoring Writing Lesson

Posted on 23rd September 2009 in Tampa English Tutor

I tutored one of my favorite New Tampa writing students today. He is a wonderfully talented student. We’ve been working in a book that I found at the Friends of the Library bookstore at the Temple Terrace library.

Image created by Martin Kingsley. See more of his photos on Flickr. Image licensed under Creative Commons

It’s called The Lively Art of Writing. So far, it’s been a reasonably good textbook, although it isn’t a new one. The problems that students face in writing good essays have not changed much since the text was published in 1969.

I’ve struggled to find a really good writing book for gifted students in the middle grades. I’m not sure that I have the best one. Is anyone using a textbook to teach or tutor writing to gifted 7th and 8th graders that is especially good?

Posted by Tampa English Tutor at 9/23/2009 11:19 PM

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Private Tutor in Tampa, FL Learns a “Now I do” Lesson

Posted on 3rd March 2009 in Tampa English Tutor

On my step daughter’s birthday, I learned she had been doing poorly in PreCalculus. She’s always been an A or B student and a gifted math student. When she first mentioned that she was finding her homework harder, I offered her an encouraging word about her better-than-average math skills.

She was totally lost in the class. She has been bringing home “refrigerator door report cards” for so long that my wife and I stopped monitoring online grades. But the missing progress report came up in conversation at my step daughter’s birthday party.

“Hey, I haven’t seen your last progress report, have I?”


“You’re doing okay, I mean there isn’t anything I need to know, is there?”

“I’m getting a D in Pre-Calculus. It’s hard. Really hard. The cheerleader next to me gets it, and I’m lost. Can you get me moved out of there?”

Not really. Not in the middle of the third quarter.

I was angry when I overheard this conversation. I ask about my step daughter’s schooling every day.

I had asked about her classes, but I wasn’t tuned in to the answer she gave. Having never really struggled in a class, she was ashamed to tell us that she wasn’t getting an A or a B. I’m not sure what she imagined we would do, but we hired a private tutor immediately. ( I know a very good math tutor for any readers in New Tampa or Wesley Chapel.)

Today, the school’s online system shows that she has a B!


She got the one-on-one academic help she needed to get her bearings in Pre-Calculus in two 2-hour sessions. Hiring a first-rate math tutor for my daughter has helped deepen my understanding of the emotions that my Tampa, FL tutoring clients feel when they bring in a private tutor.

It’s also reminded me to listen more carefully and to use the online grade tracking resources that most schools offer parents.

One of my favorite IB American Government tutoring clients complained that he had been telling his son the same things about study habits that I was teaching his son as a tutor. His son ignored him, but listened intently to the same advice from his college admission’s adviser and his Tampa, FL Private Tutor. I thought I understood his frustration at the time. Now I know that I do.

Posted by Tampa English Tutor at 3/3/2009 3:16 AM

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