I've been teaching- either in front of a classroom or one on one with individual students- since 2003. Teaching is something I truly enjoy and a part of my life from which I derive a great deal of fulfillment and inspiration.
My enthusiasm for teaching is definitely grounded in my passion for learning. Reading, writing, and language learning are three of my favorite pastimes. Through my own learning experience and my time as a teacher I have developed a great respect for the unique learning process of each individual. I've had the opportunity to explore this process through teaching reading classes (which covered everything from basic phonics to university-level study skills and speed reading) to ESL instruction (including conversation, business English and TOEFL test preparation classes), and finally to Mandarin tutoring where I have the opportunity to share my written and spoken Mandarin skills as well as the cultural understanding and experience I gained from having lived in China for over three years. Through these diverse experiences I have taught students between the ages of 4 and 92 from all over the world.
Along the way I have also benefited from knowing and having been taught by many great teachers. One of the most lasting lessons I have taken away from them is the importance of a good rapport between teacher and student to the learning process. Through establishing a good rapport with my students I strive to get to know them and gain an understanding of their learning strengths and challenges.
One of my strengths as a language tutor definitely comes from the countless hours that I have invested in studying languages- predominantly Mandarin Chinese, but also German and Spanish. The process of successful language acquisition is something that is never far from my mind as I continue to hone my own language skills and plan lessons to best facilitate my students' continued success.
While reading, writing, and language studying are three of my favorite pastimes, I also enjoy getting away from my desk to go on long jogs around Chicago, play basketball with my Monday night pick-up crew, and- weather permitting- get my cross-country skis waxed up and hit the trails.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: North Park University - Bachelor in Arts, English Literature/ Philosophy
Graduate Degree: Valparaiso University - Master of Arts, Chinese Studies
Sports: Running, Basketball, Swimming; Traveling; Cooking; Reading; Writing