I was a high school teacher of German for more than 12 years. My responsibilities included beginning through advanced levels of the language. 4th and 5th year Advanced Placement students performed successfully on relevant national exams, receiving grades ranging from 3 to 5. My students also participated for several years in oral competition sponsored by the County and were highly successful in those endeavors.
During my years as a teacher, I also sponsored student trips to Europe, with major focus on Germany. Working through American Leadership Study Groups (ALSG), I traveled with 10 students to France, Germany and the Netherlands. In addition, I coordinated a German/US exchange program: I traveled with my students to Germany where we stayed with German families and took part in classes and activities of the local Gymnasium (upper academic school); subsequently, my US students' families hosted German students from the same area.
With the goal of immersing myself in German language and culture, I applied for and was accepted to a position with the Dependent Schools of the US Department of Defense. I was assigned to a US military base outside of Stuttgart, Germany. During the year that I spent on that assignment, I taught English to middle school students. My family and I made our home in a small German village with few other American families. The year in Stuttgart gave me the sustained opportunity to use the language on a practical and every-day basis.
After a number of years in the classroom, I made the decision to change careers and entered law school. My German language skill played a major part in my success at finding employment during and after law school. During my first year of law school, I was able to find work at the US Department of Justice in an office that had ongoing international ties in combatting transnational crime. My work was primarily with German speaking countries. I continued in the same office after passing the Maryland bar and remained there for most of my legal career. I traveled frequently to the countries of my responsibility and developed close collegial relationships with my counterparts overseas. Though no longer teaching, the German language remained a central part of my professional life.
In my view, my background and experiences will greatly enhance my effectiveness as a tutor. I expect students to be deeply engaged in the study of language, as I was. I expect them to understand the need to devote time and focus if they are to be successful. I expect them to be motivated by the knowledge that languages link us together in a world of communication without borders or boundaries.