Tutoring ESL: How to Teach The Perfect Trial Lesson

Finding an English as a Second Language (ESL) student to tutor is as easy as placing an ad online and then waiting for your phone to ring.
The difficult part comes when it’s time to meet your student face to face for that first lesson. What questions should you ask? Is it necessary to create a detailed lesson plan? And how do you convince your potential student that you’re the best person for the job?

It’s not as difficult as it may seem. Here are five tips to follow.

1. Dress the Part

That doesn’t mean that you have to wear a suit, but dress professionally. No jeans, wrinkled shirts, flip flops or anything else that would give your potential student reason to believe that you’d be a waste of money. A good first impression means that half the battle is won and if you look like a capable and intelligent teacher, they’ll be more likely to think of you as such.

2. Sell Yourself

Just like you would at a job interview, explain (briefly) why you’re qualified for the job.

After you’ve shook hands and introduced yourself, tell the student about where you went to University, what you studied and any relevant work experience you’ve had teaching or tutoring English. Talk a little about where you’re from and your hobbies. Personalize yourself as a likable person; a ‘friend’. Because the truth is that most students won’t know enough about teaching methods to be able to form an opinion on your tutoring skills. If they chose to hire you, it will be because they like you.

3. Ask Questions

Now here’s your chance to gauge their ability and level. Ask them simple, open-ended questions about their hobbies and backgrounds and mentally note how quickly and confidently they respond and which errors they make. Smile encouragingly and give them a lot of time to answer.

Some Sample Questions:

What is your job?

Did you study English before?

Why do you want to learn English?

What are your hobbies?

The answers to these questions can be very telling! It’s important to assess whether your student is serious about learning English or not. Sometimes students treat tutoring sessions as a dating service or as a means to gain an English-speaking friend (which means that once they’ve discovered that you don’t share the same agenda, they’ll drop you).

4. Offer Them the Choice of Three Different Teaching Methods

It’s extremely important to ask your students which teaching style they’d prefer. They may not know, but they’ll certainly appreciate being given the choice, as well as control over how their lessons are taught.

While there are a variety of teaching methods you could use, it’s best to keep your lessons simple and straightforward. Save the creative games and activities for a traditional classroom setting, as most adult, ESL students are too pressed for time to indulge in a game of hangman or Pictionary.

Give Them the Following Three Options:

– Lessons Taught with a Textbook (make sure to bring a few sample textbooks for them to flip through)

– Free, Unscripted Conversation Practice

– Conversation Practice based off a magazine or newspaper article

5. Give them a Contract to Sign

In the last 10 minutes of your trial lesson, show them your tutor contract (a typed outline of your rates and cancellation policy). Don’t have them sign the contract right then, because no one likes to feel pressured into making a decision. Rather, give them a copy and tell them to bring it back with them next time.

It’s important to go over the contract in the trial lesson because that way it gives the student a clear outline of your expectations. It also shows that you’re a professional and that you take your lessons and your commitment to them as a client, seriously.

Final Note:

It’s important to remember that students chose to not hire a tutor for one of two reasons.

1. The tutor doesn’t correct their English often enough and the students find the lessons to be a waste of time.

2. The tutor over-corrects their English and the students feel frustrated, discouraged or ashamed.

It’s therefore important to remember to correct their grammar or vocabulary mistakes as they speak but not to overdue it. How will you know where to draw the line? That’s why it’s so important to interview them in the beginning of the lesson and accurately gauge their comfort levels.

As a general rule, it’s better to rule on the side of over-correction. Just make sure to keep your voice light and smile. Always smile.

Tips For Making A Comfortable Mattress Out Of Foam And Carpet Padding

Sleep, it’s as important to life as food and shelter. If you don’t have a comfortable bed your life as a Van Dweller will be very miserable, indeed. An over night camping trip is a whole different situation than long term living in a van. When you’re looking at how your going to sleep for weeks, months or even permanently, finding the most comfortable arrangement becomes pretty darn important.

The first step is to find a happy medium between your standard sized mattresses and the space available for your bed. My first attempt was a bed cross ways in the van but even though it was only 2″ to short the inability to stretch out made it a completely unworkable arrangement.

The new bed is 30″ wide and 72″ long. Not a standard sized bed by any means so the best approach was to build my own mattress to fit the situation.

At 240 lbs and rapidly approaching 60 yrs of age it was important to find a combination that was both soft enough to be comfortable on my creaky old bones yet offered some level of support to avoid bottoming out.

For the soft portion I used a 3″ thick mattress topper from Sam’s Club. For the support I used ½” carpet padding foam. Like many things in life it took a few failures to come up with something that finally was workable.

The first bed was 48″ wide by 68″ long. Cut down from a Queen sized mattress topper which cost me $120 I wasn’t going to discard the failed attempt and start form scratch. As I had carefully kept all scraps from the original mattress topper I decided to glue things back together and re-cut to form two single mattresses each 30″ wide and 72″ long.

Off to the home center I went and purchased what was labeled a spray adhesive capable of adhering foam to foam. This amounted to about $9 wasted as anything in a spray can won’t hold for any length of time. Over night the joints separated and I was back to square one.

The only glue that will work is Contact Cement in a bulk container. I bought a 1qt can hoping it would be enough to glue up two mattresses. As it turned out two 1qt cans wasn’t quite enough. If I had originally gone with the two single beds 2 cans would have done the job. I used a cheap throw away 2″ paint brush to apply the cement. I tried a small paint roller but it just wouldn’t transfer the glue to such a soft surface. Don’t go for 100% coverage with the glue. Around the perimeter and an “X” pattern in the middle will do well enough.

My first thoughts were to place two layers of the carpet padding on the bottom to prevent bottoming out. This seemed ok, but the softness of the mattress topper seemed to allow you to sink in substantially. My final design had me gluing one layer of ½” carpet padding to both the top and bottom of the foam. By doing this your weight is spread out better and the soft foam is less apt to collapse under weight.

If you don’t care for the more grainy feel of the carpet padding you can make a mattress cover from an old blanket.

Yes this size mattress is somewhat smaller then a twin sized mattress. The difference is small enough that when you go to buy bed linens sheets for a twin mattress will be loose but still will fit well enough that there is no real need to modify them. I found a couple of complete sets at Walmart for $7.50 each.

One concern to remember, Contact Cement has strong vapors and off gassing will be an issue for some days after you glue your mattress together. It’s recommended that you work out doors and when done allow plenty of ventilation until the odor subsides. It will probably take a week or two before the smell will allow you to sleep on the mattress.

Team Building in a Small Business

Team building is the process by which helps in the establishment as well as development of the feelings of collaboration as well as trust among the members of a team. Team assessment exercise, interactive exercises as well as group discussions can enable the groups for cultivating the sense of team work.

Essential features of team building:

1. The level of interdependence among the members on a team should be very high.

2. The leader of a team should have good interpersonal skills as well as should have commitment towards the team building process.

3. Each of the members of the team should have a sense of contributing willingly for improving the efficiency of the team.

4. The team building process should ensure that the climate which exists in the team for proper communication should be a relaxed one.

5. The mutual trust among the members of the team should be present.

6. The team as well as the members of the team should be prepared for taking risks.

7. The goals as the target set for the team as well as its members should be clear.

8. The roles of the members of the team should be defined clearly to avoid role conflicts.

9. The team members should have a clear idea for examining the errors which is performed by the team or by any other member of the team.

10. The level of creativity should be high within a team.

11. The level of influence a member can exert on other team members should be defined clearly.

Team Effectiveness

The following are a few factors which can be used for the evaluation of the performance of the team members during the team building process:

Team goals – These are developed by the interaction among the members of a team. Team goals are agreements where each of the team members displays his willingness for performing a certain part of the job assigned to the team.

Participation – This is yet another golden rule of team building. Active participation by all the team members will facilitate the accomplishment of various tasks. This will also facilitate the generation of a feeling of togetherness in the team.

Feedback – This is an unavoidable part required in the process of team building. The members are given the feedback about how they are performing as well as their interaction with the other members of the team. In the same manner, the team members are requested to evaluate the performance of the other members of the team. Feedback must given in a positive fashion to ensure that the process of team building develops further.

Team Decision Making – This s a process which involves the active participation of all the team members for making a particular decision fro a certain situation.

Leadership – The level of leadership should be distributed among the members so that people will not have a tendency to develop a superiority as well as inferiority complex.

Some other features which characterize the team building process are:

1. Problem solving skills

2. Adequate level of conflict for improving the creativity

3. The level of talents, skill, experiences as well as knowledge of the team members will be high.

4. The risk taking process is enhanced during the team building process.

Signs Your Teen is Using Drugs

Does your intuition tell you that your teen is using drugs? Would you like to confront your teen but are unsure in how to do so? Have you identified your teen as a drug user but don’t know what type of help is available for your teen? To help answer some of these questions I have interviewed psychotherapist Robert Myers.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

“I am a Masters level psychotherapist in private practice. I have been in private practice since 1999 and also have a history of having been a free lance musician, composer, and performing artist, a middle manager for social service agencies, and a life long surfer (we’re talking ocean here). Additionally I have as one of my specialties being a substance abuse counselor. I have worked in inpatient and outpatient settings and have assisted many individuals and families in negotiating the difficult terrain of familiarity with the all too familiar and debilitating pandemic of substance abuse and dependence.”

What are some signs that a teen is using drugs?

The first thing to look for is if your teen is missing from home, school, and life with good friends and loved ones. It goes without saying that the role of any teenager is to “burn down their parents house”, but when they have gone completely absent, substance abuse is always a possibility. Also, take note of the friends they keep. If as a parent, you are not allowed to meet members of the crowd they are running with, then you should suspect the worse. And please, do not get caught in the trap of thinking, “not my kid”. Substance abuse is so prevalent in teens today, that anyone’s child could be engaged in experimentation or worse, up and to including dealing to support a habit.”

What can a parent do if they have the feeling their teen is using drugs?

“Ask questions. Be involved. Confront them directly. Let them know you care. If they talk to you, you will be able to get a sense of the level of openness and vulnerability they have when sharing with you. If they refuse to share with you, then this should be a red flag.”

What type of help is available for a teen that is using drugs?

“There is a veritable industry'”inpatient and outpatient addiction services, group support'”both professional and non-aligned (such as AA, NA, Alanon), and independent professionals with expertise in addictions (counselors, therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists)'”that has emerged to address substance abuse and/or dependence. The under belly of our free wheeling and substance using culture is that there are many who cannot use substances without getting into grave difficulty financially, legally, and/or emotionally. Many persons can handle their drink or drug, while many cannot.”

What can a parent do to help prevent their teen from using drugs in the first place?

“Be a role model. Whatever is in the environment of your child will be readily available to them. If you do drink, do so with full regard for the laws and conventions. Do not let your children see or experience you impaired. If substance abuse or dependence is your challenge, then get clean and sober. Let your children know that this is something that can happen. The worst message is to be enslaved by substance abuse or dependence and allow your children to believe that there is nothing that can be done about it. Never act out when impaired. This is frightening to young persons and absolutely reprehensible behavior.”

What last advice would you like to leave for a parent who is dealing with a teen who is using drugs?

“Never stop loving them no matter how severe their difficulties become. There is nothing that will stop the love that flows between you and your children. That being said set real boundaries between yourself and the behaviors of a substance abusing or dependent teen. Do not suffer abuse from a teen, which is impaired by substances. There is no specific line for parents, but whatever the line is in your family, it should be a firm one. And do not hesitate to consult professionals early'”for your teen or for yourself. Avoidance and delay are not your friends when you suspect that your teen is engaged in the use of substances. Move quickly and make your message clear. Your child will be grateful that you did. And in the worst event, that they become estranged from you let them know that they can always return. They will come back if your love and your messages are strong and clear.”

 

Rooster Teeth Drunk Tank Podcast

In order to understand why you need to begin listening to the awesomeness that is The Drunk Tank right thi s very second, you first need to understand the parties involved:

Burnie Burns is aggressive, but fair. When he begins speaking, the others stop talking and listen to him-something that can’t always be said of the other contributors. He has a fantastically dynamic voice, of which he uses the full range. In most popular opinions, he is a stand-out contrarian. He seems to hate virtually every movie he sees and is often severely frustrated by the video game industry-the very existence of which makes Burns career possible.

Geoff Ramsey served five years in the military, but you wouldn’t know it by the way he talks. Or looks. At the same time, he’s also a skater punk who grew up, got married, had a kid, and settled into a pretty comfortable lifestyle that-although he does put in the hours-allows him to drink… Every. Day. When he quit cold turkey in November, Burnie seriously worried that Geoff’s body would seize to function.

Gus Sorola sounds like the nerd you went to high school with. And, with the exception of a super cute wife and one of the largest corners of the online video market cornered, he is. He is also “in charge” of the podcast, so he threatens the use of his ability to delete portions of the recording-if he doesn’t like where the conversation is going.

Joel Heyman often says things that are incredibly enlightened. He also says things that are incredibly retarded, a fact that he is reminded of in most of the user-submitted theme songs. He shares this seemingly idiot savant-like condition with the character he plays in the groups’ hugely popular web series, Red vs. Blue.

At least three of these four, often with some combination of guests including other members of the Rooster Teeth office, record an hour(ish) long Podcast weekly that they refer to as the “Drunk Tank.” It’s a bit of a misnomer, as the group usually records on Tuesday mornings. There have been exceptions.

If you’ve ever seen Red vs. Blue, you already know that these guys are seriously funny. The humor is geeky enough to appease the original nerd fans but incorporates enough dick and fart jokes (which is what the series was founded on) to give the masses something to enjoy. So I was not at all surprised to find that all of them are in fact very funny in person. Probably funnier.

Topics on the Drunk Tank steer from the nerdiest of the nerd – World of Warcraft – to discussing college football. A mention of what might be THE nerdiest thing to discuss led to Burnie unhooking his microphone and storming away. Geoff often unspools tales of his days in the military, which seems to appeal to the Rooster Teeth online community. A constant source of amusing discussion is the achievement point meta-game that exists in every Xbox 360 game.

The broadcast contains explicit language, so don’t expect to play it for your mom. But anyone even slightly plugged into the internet and/or the gaming community should be listening to this Podcast, posting it on Facebook, Twittering about it, and…whatever else the kids are doing these days, as Burnie Burns might say.

Quick Tips to Losing Some Weight For The Summer

OK summer is coming up soon and you managed to let yourself go throughout the winter, here are few quick tips to get you in shape for swimsuit season.
1. Cardio- Do not neglect this ever, even if you are not trying to lose a lot of weight cardio is very important to maintaining a healthy body and good metabolism, if your already doing cardio go ahead and try doubling the amount your doing at least every other day, so if you do 15mins a day now try for 30 mins tomorrow then go back to 15 then 30 the following day. If you are not doing cardio, then following your workout hop on a elliptical for a few minutes 10-15 and see how you feel, do this every day and gradually build up to a healthy 30 mins a day.

2. Weight Training- Always do it, Always even if you are a girl, I know that many females say I don’t want to be buff, and even a few guys are afraid to lift because they don’t want to look like a professional bodybuilder. Here is the truth you are not going to buff out if you lift a few days a week, you are going to gain healthy muscle and a lean physique, unless your eating 6000 calories a day. If you really are afraid your going to gain to much muscle or don’t want to look weak lifting small weights in the gym, then either use machines or better yet find out the max weight you can lift and do big reps of half that, so say you can curl 30lbs, then grab a 15lb dumbbell and do about 5 sets of 20 reps. This will build lean mass and help you burn calories with your new found lean muscle.

3. Nutrition, and finally its time to eat right, first thing is first no more fast food, I know if your in college this will be hard but learn to live with it go to the store get yourself some meats and veggies and cook your own meals. Not only is it much cheaper but you can control whats in your food. Next up no more soda,energy drinks, or lattes/cappuccinos, or any other sugar enhanced coffee contraptions I know many people think coffee drinks are OK because they are coffee and coffee speeds up your metabolism, however basically any coffee drink except regular coffee or espresso are loaded with calories, sugar, and ab blocking fat. Same with soda and energy drinks, if you really want them stick to diet versions of your favorite soda or energy drink. The third step, no more bread/pasta/pizza/wings/tacos or anything else that is your standard “drunk munchies”, furthermore you have got to drop the alcohol out of your diet, I know this is hard (I am in college too don’t worry) but if you still want to get a little rowdy stick to liquors and tonic water they have less calories then beer, and if you must drink beer limit yourself to 4-5 drinks and only drink once or twice a week.

Well that about does it, not really a workout guide here just some tips to help you slim down for that summer vacation.

Nutritional Facts for Your Webkinz

Webkinz are the rage for the younger set. Here are a few pointers to get around feeding your animal and keeping him happy.
Each animal has a hunger, health and happy rating. You must interact with your pet in their virtual room as well as purchase items to assist your pet. Food items are the quickest way to boost your hunger.

Thinking your animal would eat as the creature would in reality will not gain the desired results. You must think that Webkinz eat like humans do. They drink chocolate milk and eat blueberry cheesecake. And similar results happen. For example water doesn’t help with hunger necessarily but it is healthy for us, same for Webkinz.

The hunger rating is indicated at the bottom of the screen near the image of your pet. It is the last slider bar with the silverware and the word “hunger”. When this number gets below 40, your pet will begin to feel ill, it is suggested you purchase food and feed your virtual pet. Once done, the indicator numbers will improve.

So what are the best food purchases for your money? Typically those with a higher price point will bring a higher hunger boost. Some suggestions would be a Burger, it costs 12 Kinzcash but it brings 10 Hunger boost points. Carrot cake is very expensive at 25 Kinzcash and brings 10 hunger boost points. Chicken nuggets cost 13 and bring 9. Fish sticks cost 12 and bring 10. Hot Dogs cost 10 and bring 7. Macaroni and cheese cost 10 and bring 9. Spaghetti costs 16 and brings 12.

Not all high priced food items bring the best results. Pancakes, which cost 10 Kinzcash only bring 6 hunger boost points. Sushi is another example where it costs 15 but only brings 6 points.

Not all food gives positive results. While most food brings some level of hunger boost. A few do not. Those are marshmallows, candy canes, phantom pops, pumpkin pops, ramen noodles, and vitamins. Some of these items do boost happiness or health.

Beware that some foods bring a negative result. While not in the hunger category, it is present in the health and happy categories. Broccoli costs 5 Kinzcash, gives 2 hunger boost, 4 health boost but take away 1 happy boost. Chocolate bars cost 5 and give 2 hunger, -1 health and 3 happy points. Those additional food items that take 1 away from the health boost are cream soda, fudge, marshmallows and toffee. The food item that takes away from the happy boost is broccoli -1. There are many food items that add nothing to health or happy points.

Foods that don’t add to the health boost points are cake, candy cane, cherries, chocolate milkshake, chocolate pudding, cola, cookies, cupcake, French fries, fruit punch, honey, hot chocolate, hot dog, ice cream cone, jelly, lemon meringue pie, licorice, licorice bats, lollipop, orange pop, peppermints, phantom pop, pink lemonade, popsicle, potato chips, pretzels, pumpkin pop, ramen noodles, root beer, super Mega Toothbuster and Webkinz crackers. You’ll notice a trend here. These items are mostly junk food. There are lessons to learn while having fun in Webkinz World.

Those items that do not add to your happiness boost points are apple, asparagus, baked potato, bread, candy cane, carrots, cheese, granola cereal, milk, mushrooms, oatmeal, orange, orange juice, papaya, peach, pear, phantom pop, pumpkin, pumpkin pop, ramen noodles, salad, spaghetti, tomato, tomato soup, vitamins and white rice. These seem a little more subjective than those that don’t benefit the health boost but still good to know if you are trying to make the best purchases with your Kinzcash.

Lou Gehrig’s Disease – The Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment Options, And Prognosis Of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis:

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a progressive, neurodegenerative, fatal disease, named after the famous New York Yankees baseball player Lou Gehrig who died from the condition in 1939, affects both the upper and lower motor neurons, causes atrophy of the muscles, voluntary movement losses, bladder and bowel structure deficiencies that do not allow the normal maintenance of natural body passages, replaces healthy nerves along the sides of the spinal cord with hardening or scarred tissues causing muscles to lose their nourishment, become smaller and weaker, damages motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord that control muscle movements, generally spares the patient’s eyes, and normally does not affect their cognitive functions.

Neuromuscular System:

Consisting of the brain, muscles, and nerves the neuromuscular system controls many every day functions such as walking, running, breathing, lifting, and more that Lou Gehrig’s Disease, over the course of time, prevents from occurring, gradually paralyzing the body.

Risk Groups:

According to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association of America Lou Gehrig’s Disease typically affects adults from forty to seventy years old, with men more likely to be affected than women, and approximately five thousand new cases developing a year, up to ten percent of who contract the disease through hereditary means.

Symptoms:

The symptoms of Lou Gehrig’s Disease may include such things as muscle weaknesses in the arms and legs, excessive falling, speaking difficulties, muscle cramps, eating, swallowing, and breathing problems, the inability to not drop objects held, muscle atrophies, slurred speech, manual dexterity problems, monomelia, or one affected limb only, amyotrophies, voice volume losses, dysphagia, hyperreflexia, Babinski’s Sign of the toes, pseudobulbar affects, or emotional incontinences, with uncontrolled fits of laughter, smiling, or crying, the inability to stand, the loss of the use of the arms and hands, weight maintenance difficulties, depression, profound frontotemporal dementias, severe personality changes, nocturnal hypoventilations, respiratory failures, and pneumonia.

Causes:

While the exact causes of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis remain unknown they may include gene mutations of the superoxide dismutase enzyme that protects the mitochondria, oxidative stress, programmed cell deaths, cellular organelles damages, caloric restrictions, DNA defects, immune system abnormalities, toxic exposures, spinal cord surgeries, A4V gene defects, the leading mutation in North America that may cause Lou Gehrig’s Disease with rapid progression to death, heredity, glutamate neurotransmitters in the brain that kill neurons, autoimmune responses, microglia defects, brain and spinal cord non-neuronal trauma, and smoking.

Diagnosis:

Diagnostic measures for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis may include patient and family histories, x-rays, spinal taps, electromyograms to detect damaged nerves, blood tests, nerve biopsies, neurological examinations, Nerve Conduction Velocity Tests, urine samples, diagnostic biomarkers, Cystatin C Tests, and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Tests.

Treatment Options:

Treatment options for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis may include physical therapies, assistive technology equipment, low-impact aerobic exercises for unaffected muscles, range of motion exercises, wheelchairs, ramps, walkers, braces, speech-language strategies to improve talking, voice amplifiers, alphabet boards, suction devices to remove excess fluids from the throat, feeding tubes, ventilatory assistance devices, pallative hospice care, bilevel positive pressure ventilatiion, or BiPAPs, to support breathing, tracheostomies, Riluzole and Ceftriaxone to treat glutamate transporters, and medications for symptom relief of such things as fatigue, muscle cramps, pain, sleep disturbances, and depression.

Prognosis:

According to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association about half of all patients with Lou Gehrig’s Disease will survive for three years after being diagnosed with this ailment, approximately twenty percent will live five years, and about ten percent will survive for ten years or more, with respiratory failures being the leading cause of death for these patients.

Lou Gehrig:

Henry Louis Gehrig will always be remembered for his batting skills, long standing consecutive games played record of 2130 games, that stood for fifty-six years before Cal Ripken Junior broke it on September 20, 1998, earning him the name the Iron Man, the record for the most career grand slams hit in a career, having three of the top RBI seasons in baseball history, playing in all of the first seven All-Star Games, winning the American League’s Most Valuable Player Awards in 1927 and 1936, winning baseball’s Triple Crown in 1934 for having the highest batting average, hitting the most home runs, and the most runs batted in for the season, being the first player in Major League Baseball history to have his number retired, election to the Baseball Hall of Fame, being voted the Baseball Writers Association Greatest Firstbaseman of All Time, being the leading vote getter for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team, producing a fifteen season career from 1925 to 1939, his famous farewell speech after Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis prevented him from playing any longer, and still considering himself to be “The Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth”.

Media:

Media that has been made about Lou Gehrig’s life includes the The Pride of the Yankees, the My Luke and I autobiography written by Eleanor Gehrig and Joseph Durso, and the television movie A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story. In 1938 Gehrig also appeared in the motion picture Rawhide playing himself.