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Robyn

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I have been teaching (and have been an online learner) for more than 20 years. Online education is my favorite mode of teaching and learning because it allows such accessibility and opportunity to students. If you are interested in being tutored online, I am your go-to person.

I am supportive of students' learning; I make my lessons interesting and have bearing on what students know about their lives. This requires me to get to know my students, their likes and dislikes. I believe students should be respected for who they are and not belittled. I don't believe anyone should be forced to conform to a system arbitrarily or unnecessarily. It is okay not to fit inside a box. Students should be welcomed into learning, rather than cut down for what they don't know. If learning is presented as a grand opportunity, most students will embrace it.

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Robyn’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Linfield College-Adult Degree Program - Bachelor of Science, Business

Graduate Degree: Willamette University - Masters in Business Administration, Business Administration and Management

Hobbies

Running a business, blogging, reading, writing, watching crime shows, my dog, cats and husband

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

12th Grade Reading

12th Grade Writing

1st Grade Reading

1st Grade Writing

2nd Grade Reading

2nd Grade Writing

3rd Grade Reading

3rd Grade Writing

4th Grade Reading

4th Grade Writing

5th Grade Reading

5th Grade Writing

6th Grade Reading

6th Grade Writing

7th Grade Reading

7th Grade Writing

8th Grade Reading

8th Grade Writing

9th Grade Reading

9th Grade Writing

Adult Literacy

Arithmetic

ASVAB Prep

Business Enterprise

College Economics

College English

College Essays

Creative Writing

Economics

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

Essay Editing

Expository Writing

Fiction Writing

GED Prep

Handwriting

High School Economics

High School English

High School Writing

Homeschool

Homework Support

Human Resources

Macroeconomics

Management

Marketing

Math

Microeconomics

Middle School Math

Middle School Reading

Middle School Writing

Public Speaking

Reading

Vocabulary

Writing

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Philosophy of Teaching Robyn MacKillop, Ph.D. A philosophy is several things, including an analysis and critique of fundamental beliefs as they come to be conceptualized and formulated; the synthesis of all learning; a system of fundamental or motivating principles, the basis of action or belief; and a general viewpoint. I have not put much thought into a teaching philosophy since writing one during my teaching program at Western Oregon University ten years ago. I remember being a little concerned with my ability to come up with a strong philosophy given my knowledge, skills and abilities related to educating students at the time. However, after six years teaching at South Salem High and Roberts High Schools, two years coordinating instruction, discipline, registration, etc. at Roberts High School, one year as a Talented and Gifted Specialist, and seven years teaching and learning online, I am delighted to see that the philosophy I came up with ten years ago still stands. 04/15/1999 I held and still hold certain beliefs about education, my role as an educator, and my responsibilities. For example, I believe all students should be able to read, and I mean read, to the extent that the student understands what the words say and can evaluate and analyze what they have read. I also believe that educational opportunities are to be available to all people, no matter their race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, orientation, background or socio-economic status. Labels have no bearing on achieving a solid, well-rounded and in-depth education. All students should be taught two languages. Students who do not speak English as a first language must be able to speak, read, write and comprehend English. Students who speak English first must be taught to speak, read, write and comprehend a second language. I believe this should be part of every public school curriculum nationwide. As a teacher, it will be imperative that I demand personal responsibility and excellence from students. Excellence can be broken down into the best work a student is capable of producing. Excellence is individual. While it will be my responsibility to see that students master the standardized tests, I also want them to show me what they can do (which is often great when students are given the chance to “show their stuff”). It will be my responsibility as a teacher to provide an environment conducive to learning. I will need to be able to assist students in building their self-esteem (how easy it is to tear it down). I will strive to develop a sense of purpose in my students, and give them the opportunity to be optimistic about their future. I will work hard as a teacher so that my lessons cause students to have to think critically. I will tell them to question everything, but to be able to back up their beliefs. My experience thus far shows me that kids in general will rise or fall to the expectations placed upon them. My beliefs may be idealistic, but all should be reality. It is my intention to make them so in my classroom. I identify with Alfie Kohn’s vein of thought about students participating in problem solving in the classroom. Whether my relation to this comes from my business background or my own nature is not clear to me. I believe it is a combination of both. As a business teacher, it is my intention that students learn how business affects almost every aspect of their lives. I think that the classes I teach will enable students to grasp concepts that will prove life-long and enhancing. Alfie Kohn says that teachers need to develop caring and supportive classrooms. Fritz Redl reminded teachers to give students a say in setting standards and deciding consequences, and to always keep students’ emotional health in mind. He also said to be objective, maintain humor and remember that every one of us is human. I compare what Kohn and Redl say about a classroom to a business setting. Good managers treat their employees with respect, understand that mistakes will be made, and don’t act like tyrannical buffoons. It has been proven again and again that a manager who makes a scene, yells and/or embarrasses employees does not retain many employees and is not well-liked. Employees who are in a work situation where the manager “goes berserk” have much lower productivity levels and are usually too busy looking for another job to accomplish work in a timely manner. These employees certainly don’t take on extra projects. It makes sense to me to treat students with respect, to hold them accountable for their actions and to use their input when developing classroom guidelines. Supportive and calm reactions from me will be necessary to correct poor behavior in my classroom. It won’t teach students anything valuable if I act aggressively, forcefully or punitively. I want to prepare students for the “real world” outside of education. It is to my advantage as a teacher, and their advantage as students, that I treat them as young adults and show what I expect of them. There are many benefits of group interaction as well, including the development of social skills, learning to lead, decision making (which is a process), building trust, use of communication skills and learning to manage conflict. These are integral parts of being an employee in most organizations. If an interviewee can show that s/he has these skills, that person has a distinct advantage over others in landing the job. I believe I would be doing a disservice to students not to provide them with the opportunity to be a part of constructing the classroom expectations, especially in my endorsement area. My needs as a teacher will be an administration who embraces the importance of business education. I want to be able to take students out of the classroom and into real settings, whether it be to a car lot to negotiate the best deal, to a grocery store to examine the many facets of a high volume, customer-centered business, or to the American Cancer Society to better understand the problems and successes a not-for-profit business contends with. I also want the freedom to teach my class in a style best suited to me. I know what the standards of learning are. I want free rein to show my students how to achieve those standards. I also need materials. My business classes will focus on many things, and student creativity is one. I want to be able to provide paper, pens, folders, scissors, staplers, computers, disks, paper punchers, copiers, fax machines, etc. Any item a person would deal with in a business setting needs to be available for students learning about the business setting. Students need to be able to build presentations, whether they are on PowerPoint, a flip chart, or on individual pieces of paper. Another need of mine is not having to enforce what I consider silly rules for the school I am working in. Gum chewing, drinking in class (except near the computer stations), and even eating are not issues I have. I chew gum myself, and I don’t want to have to enforce such a rule when I can’t follow it. I would like to be able to set up my room with a “lounge” area - a couch, pillows, large area rug, and comfortable chairs. I want to use this area for films, for discussion, and as a place for students to go when they need to “veg out” for a bit. Lastly, I need updated technology in my classroom. Students must be learning software that is currently in use in the business world. Teaching them software that is obsolete is ridiculous. In preventing problems in the classroom, I believe I must set the example through my behavior. Once the class and I have established guidelines, it is up to me to exemplify those guidelines. Thomas McDaniel said “values are caught, not taught.” It is my responsibility to be courteous, prompt, enthusiastic, in control, patient, and somewhat organized. I need to display these behaviors no matter who I am dealing with. One never knows who is watching. If I were to “freak out” at another teacher, who is to say that one of my students isn’t within eye- or ear-shot? I will have the guidelines posted where all students can see them. I will be open to revisiting guidelines if the class decides it is necessary. I will promote the idea that behavior is a choice, and if a student chooses to behave a certain way, that student is choosing to take the consequence. My students will know what behaviors are appropriate, what will be expected of them, and what consequences will be meted out for infractions. Punitive punishment will not have a place in my classroom. Students will only serve the consequence related to the poor behavior. But by giving approving feedback and reinforcement, I plan to encourage positive behavior. In being supportive of students’ learning, I will try to make my lessons interesting and have bearing on what students know about their lives. This will require me to get to know my students, their likes and dislikes. I believe students should be respected for who they are and not belittled. I don’t believe anyone should be forced to conform to a system arbitrarily or unnecessarily. It is okay not to fit inside a box. Students should be welcomed into learning, rather than cut down for what they don’t know. If learning is presented as a grand opportunity, most students will embrace it. That is my job, and if I do it right, discipline problems will not be at the forefront of my classroom. My corrective stance on classroom discipline is to first establish clear routines and procedures. Open communication will need to be maintained. My personal view is that rules are made to be broken, so I will only have a few, put together by the class. They will be general, so as to act as a safety net for behaviors not thought of. But I won’t allow stupid rules like gum chewing, that I am not in a position to enforce (unless I am forced by the school not to chew gum - then I will have to revisit my reaction to this rule). I will model the behavior I expect (see why gum chewing is a stupid rule from my perspective?), and I won’t yell. I’m not a yeller by habit, anyway, but more of a look-giver. I plan to maintain composure no matter what happens. This is important from a discipline point of view, and from an emergency point of view. I will model honesty (which I am, though possibly too direct at times), integrity (which I have a lot of, because it is an important value to me), and an enthusiasm for learning, which I hope rubs off on my students. Corrective behavior comes down to avoiding the adage “do as I say, not as I do.” As a former (current) student, I can say that students won’t go for this line. I plan to maintain a consistent environment for learning that is calm, fun, creative, and participatory. I plan to exude “with-it-ness” by knowing what’s going on, who’s doing what, and making sure that things are dealt with in a timely manner. It is important to me that I create a positive learning environment, encouraging students, helping them see their responsibility to themselves and classmates, and being clear in expectations. I took a test on classroom management styles. The four styles were authoritarian, on which I scored four points; authoritative, on which I scored 12 points; laissez-faire, on which I scored six points; and indifferent, on which I scored four points. I was satisfied with my results because the authoritative teacher places limits and controls on the students, but simultaneously encourages independence. This teacher often explains the reasons behind the rules and decisions, and is polite but firm in the face of a disruptive student. This style is open to considerable verbal interaction, including critical debates. One of my focuses is to have students think critically. An authoritative environment offers students the opportunity to learn and practice communication skills. I believe this is an integral part of education, especially in business. In summary, my plan for classroom management is to ultimately work with students to create the best environment for that class. My personal style of relating to people works well with my plan. I expect responsibility for actions to be taken by each person, and I expect respect for each and every person in the class. I will model these behaviors and will expect no less from my students. I want my classes to be a stepping stone for students into the world outside of parents and school. There is a great and huge world out there. My students will be prepared for it. Students should be respected for who they are, not belittled; and not made to conform to a system arbitrarily or unnecessarily. Also, students should be welcomed into learning, rather than cut down for what they don’t know. If learning is presented as a grand opportunity, most students will embrace it. Question everything, don’t take anything at face value without doing research, and children are not born to discriminate; it is a learned phenomenon based upon a lack of personal experience, fear of the unknown and a society that loves to categorize and count everything These theories conform to my beliefs that being able to read, think critically and speak well both publicly and privately are of the utmost importance. Presentation of self and ideas will take a person wherever they wish to go.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

Get to know them - what they like and dislike, how they feel about school, what they would change, how they prefer to learn.

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