Aug 2, 2014

Beginning of the Year Tutor Pep-Talk

The tutors in our Classical Conversations community recently got together to share first-semester plans. It was a very fun and productive evening, but I kept thinking about one thing -

boy, have I mellowed out!


My weekly plans for last year were soooo detailed; they were even typed up! This year, life has changed for us, so my energy is not focused on CC right now.

(did I really just say that?!)

Still friends?

I mean, we're doing CC, I love CC, but it's not my life. And I feel at one time that it was.


My tutor plans for this year are actually (and ironically) more 'stick-in-the-sand' then they were last year. Ha!

Take a look!

(click the picture to enlarge)

Since I'll be tutoring 4-6 year-olds, I want them to be moving as much as possible. Stand up for one part, sit down for the next, stand up, sit down, etc (that's what's highlighted). The songs are the ones on the Memory Work Audio CD, but I plan on singing them without my phone or iPad. I will still use puppets to help with Latin (this was a class favorite last year - click here to see more), and then I listed on the bottom of the page the hand motions documents that I'll use from CC Connected (C3), and I'll use these motions ALL year.

Click here to download your own weekly planning guide. I think I first got this from my tutor trainer Sarah Minnon a couple of years ago, and I love it!

That's my Week 1 for Cycle 3! And guess what? My week 2 is almost identical, and so is my Week 3. I'm going to keep it simple this year. Bells and whistles do not make a great class. They make a stressed-out tutor who tries to outdo herself week after week (and the only person I'm callin' out here is myself - this was me last year, and not on purpose, either; it just sorta happened).

Tutors, as you're getting ready to start a new year soon, let me tell you a secret:

your kids will like your class if they like YOU.

Are you likable? Will you welcome your kids to class each week with a big smile and let them know that you're glad to see them? I was honored to be a Foundations Tutor Trainer this year (more about that here), and getting this particular point across was a big deal to me personally (until I got the stomach virus of death and missed the last day). Tutors, it's not about us. And I know you know that, but just take a second and really tell yourself that. It's not about the duct tape on your portable white board. It's not about the coolest review games. It's about the kids and their families. It's about relationship and community. It's about God working through our weaknesses. Be prepared, certainly, but don't try to do it all in your own strength.

Love on your families this year. Pray for them. Be there each week with a smile and a word of encouragement. In short, be a blessing, friend. :)

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ,
if any comfort of love,
if any fellowship of the Spirit,
if any bowels and mercies,
Fulfil ye my joy,
that ye be likeminded,
having the same love,
being of one accord,
of one mind,
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory;
but in lowliness of mind
let each esteem other better than themselves.
Look not every man on his own things,
but every man also on the things of others.
Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:1-5 (emphasis mine)

Have a wonderful first day, friends! Enjoy every minute because, as you know, it passes by so quickly.

Find the blessings, and pray to be one, too.

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  1. This is great! Thanks, Melody!

  2. Is this planning sheet on CC connected? This is great by the way!!! :)

    1. Hi Katie! I just added the downloadable planning sheet to this post. :)

  3. Thank you so much! Your example is so helpful

  4. Amen to everything you said! I especially appreciate the reminder that we are there to be mentors and friends through the grace and strength of the Lord. It's going to be a great year! :)

  5. Love this so much, Melody!! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thank you so much! This is my first year in CC and being a tutor as well. This does feel a little scary but seeing your lesson plan reminds me that it doesn't need to be over complicated. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Thanks for this encouragement and the helpful tips! I'm preparing to tutor for the first time this year, although my family has been in CC the last two years!

  8. Melody, I'm tutoring the little ones too and plan to use puppets with Latin. Are you going to add anything to help them remember the Latin other than saying it with the puppets? The Latin this cycle is especially hard because it is vocab and not just endings. I'm making my plans for the first 6 weeks and trying to decide how to connect the Latin to their minds. Any tips?

    1. Hi Dianna! I just finished up tutoring Week 1, and for Latin I used the puppets to introduce the words, and then we did 'echo' or 'copycat' over and over. I said, "in, in," and the kids repeated. Then I said, "apud, with," and the kids repeated. We did this down the list and said it faster and faster. The princess puppet just mouthed the Latin word, and the pirate mouthed the English word, but after the first few times, I put them away and just pointed to myself and then to them when I wanted them to echo. It was great!!


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