I grew up in a Boston neighborhood. It was there and then that I learned from my father and my observations of those around me that the only chance I had for a better life would be a good education. I attended Boston Latin School, the oldest and one of the finest high schools in the country, graduated with honors and was a letter-man in track and swimming. After that I earned my BA in English from the University of New Hampshire and later an MA in Reading at the University of Evansville in Indiana.
As a career teacher in the field of English Language Arts and Reading I have extensive experience in private, public and charter high schools in New England, California and New Mexico. I have worked with general education, college prep, ELL, SPED, at-risk and gifted students. One of my strongest assets as a teacher is my ability to connect with students from every walk of life.
In my most recent teaching experience working in an all-inclusive charter high-school for at-risk students, we developed a rigorous online curriculum, meeting National Common Core Standards, from which students could complete work from home as well as in school. Tutorial sessions with individual students supported the online curriculum, giving me the ability to help students in all their required subjects: Language Arts, Social Studies, Math and Science.
My goal as a tutor is to impart my passion for language to my students and to help them understand that reading and writing skills are the cornerstone of their education and their personal lives.
Undergraduate Degree: University of New Hampshire - Bachelors, English
Graduate Degree: University of Evansville - Masters, Reading, American Literature
Wilderness hiking and backpacking; weight-training; my dog, Kobe; reading and writing.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that any language's academic instruction must contribute to one end goal: To acquire the verbal and written skills to communicate powerfully and passionately.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In my first session, I will introduce myself, learn a bit about my student and ask how I can best help him or her.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I can help a student become an independent learner by helping them discover their learning style and how to work to their strengths.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student stay motivated by creating a purpose for our lesson and how it fits into the big picture.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student is having difficulty understanding a skill or concept, I would chunk down the lesson to the level the student grasps and move forward from there.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
If a student is having difficulty with reading comprehension, I would do an assessment to determine strengths and areas of weakness.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The best strategy when I begin to work with a student is to impart to them my belief that what we do together is about what they need. The student has to believe that they are a part of the process.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would help a student get engaged with a subject they are struggling with by sharing my enthusiasm for the subject and helping them understand how this knowledge would enhance their lives.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Direct questions, written responses and "teach me the skill" are all best practices to ensure a student understands the material.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
A student needs to understand what his present skill or knowledge level is and where he or she would like to go. The student needs to understand that I will lead him or her to that next level.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
There are several informal and formal ways I use to evaluate a student's needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
In order to adapt my tutoring to my student's needs, I need to create a plan/do/study/act model.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Over my years of teaching, I have created a portfolio of strategies that include written materials, visual aids, and video content.