Tutoring during Covid and Wildfires

At the end of June, the Marin County Department of Health gave me permission to resume tutoring as long as I do it in outside with masks and distance. At that time, I started working with a new high school student to help him with his writing. I also started working with two adult caregivers, one from Zimbabwe and the other one from Haiti. I am helping them study to take the GED. Now that the fall semester has started, I am also working with 4 middle school students and one high school student.

With the nearby fires, working outside in the smoke has been worrisome. I almost cancelled some appointments. I have been using the website https://www.purpleair.com/ to see what the air quality is like at different locations. Fortunately, each day, at each time and location, the smoke was not too bad for us and we were able to have good sessions.

I am very happy working with all of my students. For me, as a Sir Francis Drake High School graduate, the most interesting thing that I did this week was help a student research and write an essay on Sir Francis Drake. The most exciting thing for me this week has been teaching math to a sixth grader whose school is not offering a math class to him this semester. One of my other students is in the same predicament. The schools have decided to teach half of the subjects this semester and the other half next semester. I believe that it is a mistake to not have math every semester. I believe it is the same for foreign language studies. Perhaps for other subjects, the every other semester approach is ok. The exciting thing has been discovering how smart at math the sixth grader that I am working with is. Since, he did not have any homework yet. I spent my two sessions with him on Science and math. For science, we have been learning about wildfires For math, I quickly checked his multiplication. He seemed to have his times tables memorized. So we went on to fractions. He needed a little bit of help and quickly was able to add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions. Since he was doing well with the fractions, I taught him how to solve simple equations with one variable. He mastered them quickly, so I added a second variable and gave its value. At the end of our first session, I felt I could teach him all of middle school math in one year, depending upon how much time we have after completing weekly homework assignments. In our second session, we reviewed fractions and the variable equations that I taught him on Monday. Then I taught him how to find the area of a triangle. We read a little bit about Pythagoras and I taught him the Pythagorean Theorem. He was able to use the theorem!

My schedule is almost full; I do still have time to help a few more students. If you know anyone that I can help at this time, please have them contact me. You can also tell them to visit my website www.marinhomeworkcoach.com