I'm a professional artist and published author who has spent a lifetime learning about the world around me and hope to pass what I've learned on to others.
I especially enjoy history--especially 19th and 20th century European and American history--and know more about the great conflicts of the last two centuries than anyone should know. (I know that studying wars is a downer, but they are, whether we like it or not, the seminal events that have shaped the world we live in today and need to be understood for the impact they have on our lives.) I also know quite a bit about American politics (I can name all 44 presidents in order, the year they were president, their party, and the major events that occurred during their presidency, none of which has proven useful to me to date) as well as the major cultural and social events of the last 200 years. I'm less conversant on economic trends, but I'm always open to learning more.
Of course, as a published author I am also interested in helping others learn how to write better. It saddens me that so few people, children and adults, know how to construct a coherent sentence. Knowing how to express yourself in written form is a vital tool for success, and does much to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to looking professional. I'm also a graphic designer with thirty years industry experience, so if you can't figure out how to use Photoshop or Illustrator, let me know.
A few personal things about me. I'm a U.S. Navy veteran (1976-1984, back when there were only sailing ships and pirates to deal with), a husband and father of two grown boys (as well as the weary owner of three small dogs, who shall remain as nameless as they are clueless). My hobbies, besides the obvious art and writing, include, but are by no means limited to, reading, watching science and history documentaries (when I'm not watching American Pickers), karaoke (don't ask), playing the guitar, hiking, biking, and tennis. I'm also a coin collector (numismatist to be more precise), and a paranormal investigator. (Check out my website to see authentic ghost photos people have sent me over the years). Other interests include religion, spirituality and philosophy, though I'm far from an expert in any of them.
My personal style of teaching is more conversational in nature. History comes alive through anecdotal stories, which I enjoy telling. Dates and places are important, of course, but without context history can be pretty dry stuff. My goal is to make it fun as well as educational which, I believe, improves the chances that the student will retain the information. You also like to show how events correlate to each other and that they are not just a series of random occurrences that have nothing to do with each other. That's the approach I believe works best, and why I believe I can make a difference, especially to a student who is struggling with history.
Well, that's about it. If you think I'd be a good match for you, let me know and we'll get together. Thanks!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Rocky Mountain College of Art Design - Current Undergrad, Commercial Art/Illustration
Art, writing, history, hiking, biking and the paranormal.
AP Studio Art: Drawing
College Level American History
College World History
High School English
High School Geography
High School Level American History
High School World History
High School Writing
IB World Religions
Technology and Computer Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teaching isn't a profession. It's a way of looking at the world and trying to learn from it and, hopefully, being able to instill upon others those lessons that you learn.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Learn their interests, what motivates them, what excites them and impress upon them the value of a well-rounded education.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By modeling independent and critical-thinking skills to them. Students learn best by example.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By following up on a consistent basis, applauding their successes, and pointing out their progress.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Find alternate ways of demonstrating a point, either through illustration, metaphor, or examples.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Use other examples of how a particular word is used so they can appreciate the basic meaning behind it better.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Presenting yourself as personable, friendly, funny, and approachable, but also caring, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic about the material.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
With history, it's a matter of making the information relevant to their lives...to illustrate why events in the past have a bearing on the world they live in today and how it might benefit them to learn from the past. Storytelling and anecdotes are often very helpful in getting this across.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Ask a lot of questions. Teaching is 30% telling and 70% listening.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By being excited about their progress and showing pride when they perform above and beyond expectations. Continual positive reinforcement is the key.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By learning what the student already knows and then filling in the gaps.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By assessing their comprehension and retention levels, and then adjusting the curriculum accordingly.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I will sometimes incorporate my drawing abilities, if I believe it will help the student get a better idea of what is happening.