I have 36 years’ of teaching experience teaching AP US History and Special Education. Yes, it is a broad stretch, but a very compatible one. As a US History teacher it is important to organize your thoughts, analyze information critically, write and read well, and manage your time. As a Special Education teacher I concentrate on skill development that includes all of these topics. The primary avenue to success in education and life is to develop the ability to think critically, manage time, and present yourself well. Writing, reading, and conversation skills are crucial for this. The ability to read and write well, organize tasks, argue a point, and think critically are all skills a Special Education teacher strives to develop. Those same skills are what is necessary for success in the academic world and certainly US History courses.
I have an expression – “Learn to Learn.” Students are taught information, but are rarely taught how to learn. I strive to develop learning strategies that can be used in a wide spectrum of real life situations, and in a variety of courses. Throughout my career I have taught every subject in the High School Curriculum. The majority of my experience is in the Social Sciences. My experience is not limited to the former discussion on AP US History and Special Education, but also includes World History, Politics, US Government, International Relations, Study Strategies and Time Management.
At present, I am an Educational Consultant at a college in St. Petersburg, Florida. I help students to improve their writing and study skills. I also teach an online course in AP US History and organize a variety of educational workshops. I have an international program in which I run student tours each summer to Europe as well. Education takes place everywhere. I am passionate about helping young people improve their skills and abilities, and prepare for success.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Secondary Education - Bachelors, Social Studies - US History
Graduate Degree: Adelphi University - Masters, Education - Special Education
Music - I play saxophone in a Jazz band. I enjoy cycling and Scuba Diving
College Level American History
High School Geography
High School Level American History
High School Political Science
IB Global Politics
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Many teachers teach content. Many students try to learn that content without knowing how to learn it. I believe that if I can teach someone to learn, they can learn anything. My motto is 'Learn to Learn.' If we can understand how we learn, it makes the process of learning much more enjoyable and productive.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The first session is both an ice breaker and demands productivity. It is important to get to know each other. It is equally important for the student to leave with a specific skill or strategy that he or she can use to improve their performance. Both are required for development.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Nothing helps create motivation like success. Each person is different, but I strive for each student to leave a session with a concrete strategy for success.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
There are many approaches to consider. To answer this question with any reasonable substance, I need to know the student and have specifics.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
One tactic I use is to have the student explain the reading selection to me. If they can explain it, they comprehend it. If they can't explain it, we need to break it down further. There are many variables depending on the content and reading level.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I use positive energy. Students who work with me are usually struggling with a skill or content area. If I can teach a strategy that they can immediately apply, they are motivated to listen to other ideas.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Humor, relevance, and practical application of the content help a student internalize the importance of what they are trying to learn. Excitement comes from success.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
If a student can explain the material to me, then there is a good chance for comprehension.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Success - useful strategies that build success fosters confidence.