Saturday, January 19, 2008

GED Student Retention

Remember the student who received a 410 on math, but not enough overall points? This student needs to make up 80 points? Perhaps you have a student like this. Well...still have not heard from him.

How do you retain students, especially students who not only struggle, but also work full time and have a family?

I struggle with this all the time, but I believe the KEY to this is the relationship you develop with your students. This teacher-student trust must begin the first time you meet.

If I have not seen a student for awhile, I will call and sometimes send a card encouraging them to return. Eventually, most of them do.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

GED Orientation

Are you thinking about taking the GED? If you are, you need to contact either your state Department of Public Instruction or your local GED Center. Find out what you must do in order to get into classes and take the tests. I do know that in the state of Wisconsin you must first attend an orientation.

The orientation will explain the GED and the requirements, assess in the areas of reading and math, and have you complete required paperwork.

It is an important first step. It also connects you with someone who is concerned about YOU and your future. I see the GED as a stepping stone into your future. Once your GED is complete, it will open up a whole lot of opportunities for you!

For other GED Help

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

GED Math Help

School is back in session and it is becoming more and more clear to me that the majority of GED students have trouble with the Math portion. It is critical that you understand the basics of whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percents, basic algebra, and basic geometry. It is also important that you understand the formulas that go along with those areas.

Don't get frustrated with the GED Math test! My suggestion is to study math a little at a time. Do this with a good GED math book. It may also help to get a tutor or study mate to help you.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Spanish GED

Regardless of whether you are preparing to take your GED tests in English or Spanish, it seems like the two most difficult tests are math and writing. Of the two, math still seems to win out. Why is that? If you have an answers or suggestions, please comment on this post.

I was at my workplace this morning preparing for next week when my students come back when a Spanish speaking student came to see me. The student is taking his tests in Spanish and is just now beginning to prepare for the math test. They have elected to use the Steck Vaughn Spanish GED Math book. One nice thing about Steck Vaughn is that if you match up the English and Spanish GED books (those that take a look at one GED test at a time), for the most part they follow each other.

That way when my Spanish speaking student comes in with a question and their Steck Vaughn book, I can grab my English version and help them.

Not always a sure thing, but if you are helping someone with limited English and you have limited or no Spanish, it is better than nothing.

If you would like the ISBN numbers of the books I am referencing, please send me an email at I would be happy to forward them to you.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

GED Progress

I found out this afternoon that my student (see previous post) got a 410 on his math test! I was excited, because I knew how hard it was for him. He was not so excited, at least at first. In fact, he was real disapointed and down-heartened. He now has to focus on making up 80 points. Yes, it will be hard... but if he looks at each GED test separately and retakes one test at a time, he should be able to do it. We have a meeting set for this week to set a plan/timetable. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

GED Math Anxiety

If your students are similar to mine, you probably have one or two who have taken the GED math test more than once. I am currently waiting for the score of a student who has taken the math test four times over a period of 3 years. This student needs to score at least a 490 to get the required points for his GED. On the other 4 the average was 440. Part of the challenge is that the student works full time, has a second job, and also has a family. The family is very supportive, but after a long day at work it is obvious that he is tired. This student will admit that math is the last thing he wants to do and doesn't understand it. Between his third and fourth test he met with me five times. In my opinion.... not near enough time. I would have liked to work with him twice a week for at least 2 months. But he did not have the time and like many of my students, just wanted to try it one more time. Well, on Monday I will be back to work and will most likely have his score. Hang tight!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

GED Adult Learners

Soon I will be going back to work and tutoring/teaching adult students, mostly in math and the GED testing areas. As I reflect on my job and my students.... I am reminded that my job is important. Whether you are a tutor, student, or teacher you have gone through tough times where you think that you are not making a difference. Let me remind you that you are! Not only are you making a difference in the world around you, you are making a difference in yourself! You are important and your actions show others the person you are. Believe in that and believe in yourself.

I hope in 2008 to continue to help others get their GED.

Happy New Year!