Aside from having my master's degree in information technology and game design, I have taught kids and adults in some form or another for most of my adult life. I've taught in school, homeschool, and informal settings, large classes and one-on-one coaching. I've developed curricula and lesson plans both for my classes and for others'. I love teaching, and students have said that I'm fun, funny, nerdy, passionate, and creative.
I've been programming since age ten, and developing web sites for as long as there's been an Internet. I have my master's degree in information technology and game design (4.0 GPA) and continue to learn devotedly, even as trends in technology rapidly change. I have my own web design business, specializing in custom sites.
I ran a print/web marketing business for ten years, advising clients on designs for their marketing. I understand layout, composition, eye pathing, communications, color theory, typography, fontography, and design history. I also use PhotoShop and InDesign almost every day, frequently creating custom art and graphics for my web design clients.
All of my areas of expertise are highly marketable in today's IT job environment. Let me know how I can help you out.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: New York University - Bachelors, Drama
Graduate Degree: Southern New Hampshire University - Masters, Information Technology and Game Design
Game design, cooking
College Computer Science
Computer Game Design
High School Computer Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Knowledge comes in two forms: either you know what to do, or you know how to get the information that will direct your action. There's no shame in looking up an answer on Google!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first step, no matter the subject, is to establish objectives and expectations, then allay any fears about that newly defined path.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Know your resources! Answers are all over: the Internet, libraries, mentors. Not knowing the answer shouldn't stop you from finding one!
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Lots of tasks are tedious, but the goal is a job well done. The feelings of satisfaction and pride outweigh everything else.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Comprehension of many computer and technology concepts requires more than simply talking about them. There are always videos, metaphors, pictures, graphs, mnemonics, and even songs, if necessary!
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is too often taken for granted. Asking relevant questions about the text may reveal the need for explicit explanation, summarization, demonstration, or simply more repetition.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Almost every student is nervous about something: subject comprehension, passing the test, meeting the deadline. I find that listening to these fears, then providing meaningful and realistic goals, reassures the student enough to begin with confidence.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
The sudden burst of understanding is, of course, its own reward, but some students dwell on the struggle or tedium. For them, I reinforce the positive end result: respect, accomplishment, a finished project, perhaps a good grade.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I find that sometimes the best tutoring happens when I'm silent. If I present a challenge, then watch the student have a go at it alone, I can usually know which areas produce confidence or guesswork.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Nothing boosts confidence like conquering a challenge! Even small skill tests can produce giant leaps for pride in one's work and effort.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
There's no one answer for evaluating a student's needs. The common denominator, however, is intuition based on communication and observation. Often, the way a student communicates says more than the words themselves.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Some students respond to visuals, some to reading text, and some can just hear about a concept and comprehend. I stay sensitive to how well a student responds throughout the session and adjust accordingly.