I'm a native Texan who has lived in the Houston area for a total of nearly 14 years. I have a well-rounded education, having studied engineering, government, journalism, technical writing, and linguistics. I enjoy using my education to help people discover how smart they are and can be. I am an applied linguist by profession, specializing in English as a Second Language, which involves teaching reading, writing, and grammar to people from all over the world. However, I have successfully tutored English-speaking college students taking university Spanish who otherwise might have failed their classes. Because I am an advanced Spanish speaker, I have been consulted by translators in Peru on English-Spanish technical translations. I am connected to the Spanish TV and theater community in Miami, who consider my Spanish to be advanced. My linguistic skills in general are highly advanced. I have provided proofreading and editing services to graduate students pursuing Master's degrees and Ph.Ds. So, I can cover a wide range of needs in English and Spanish.
I enjoy reading, playing guitar, riding bicycles, and spending time with my dog, a Cocker Spaniel.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Houston - Bachelors, Journalism
Graduate Degree: Texas Tech University - Masters, Applied Linguistics /Technical Writing
Playing guitar (rock, blues, funk, classical); playing tennis; riding bicycles; reading books
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that learning is an active process, so I encourage students to discover their gifts through working through problems with my help. I can't do a student's learning for him/her, but I can support that learning to the best of my ability. I do that by using dynamic tools to facilitate learning, e.g., graphics, web pages, YouTube, etc.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I think it's best to determine what a student's expectations and needs are. So, I think it's best to talk with the student first to make sure that tutoring goes in the direction that the student wants it to go, namely toward a goal he/she wants to achieve.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I encourage independent learning by the use of critical thinking, asking questions to prompt students to discover answers on their own, thus giving them a sense of pride and ownership.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I like to share stories about people who have been where students were at one point in time and who now have attained a certain level of success, i.e., take them to the mountaintop and give them a view of the other side.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I like to use as many tools as possible to help a student learn. So, I would use whatever tool would work for a particular student, e.g., graphics for a visual learner.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I teach them basic skills such as skimming and scanning, which are valuable in developing efficiency in answering questions on tests. I use graphics to augment textual information as well.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would show them the benefits of working through the struggle. I once tutored a student taking a Spanish college class whose future job depended on his passing the class. I would remind him that he would have an exciting future ahead of him if he passed the class. I'm happy to say he did. I might also share stories of former students, such as a Mexican tax professional who studied English under me who is now conducting international business in Mexico in English with people all over the world.