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I began my college education at the College of St. Teresa in Winona, Minnesota. I took several literature courses in addition to some required courses. Even though I enjoyed the beautiful bluffs and snow, this was not a good fit. I decided to pursue journalism, and the college offered none of those courses and did not have a school newspaper.

After working for over a year to save money, I discovered there was a surplus of journalism students. I finished my education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, acquiring a BA in English and a minor in Education. I was married at this time, taking classes and waitressing, for the good tips and free meals. I also learned quite a bit about human nature, when I received excellent tips from construction workers and poor tips from many high paid executives. I practiced not assuming things about people.

For several years I delivered all day classes at Computer Workshop, where businesses sent their employees to learn various word processing and spreadsheet applications. The saying; "If you enjoy your job you won't work a day in your life," definitely applied here and to all future teaching jobs. I only quit to stay home and raise a baby who my husband and I adopted.

For one year I delivered GED classes in language arts and introductory math, part-time, at Triton College. I supported students by using various teaching methods to accommodate different learning styles. Even though my major was English I enjoyed the math classes more than I expected.

For several years I delivered in-class and online training at Triton College, part-time, in Introduction to Computers, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. The student body was very diverse, which presented challenges that I enjoyed, and made classes more interesting. I frequently provided one-on-one tutoring after class during all the years at Triton. This was done mostly for math, Word and Excel.

I have been at Logic One robots since 2006, providing training in robot use for different levels of staff in manufacturing plants. This work has alternated between full-time and part-time, which is what I am currently doing, due to a decrease in business.

My favorite subjects to tutor are language arts, Word and Excel. I enjoy language arts because that was my major. I love to craft succinct yet descriptive writing pieces, and help students understand how important grammar is. Word is the perfect companion to language arts, because I can show students how much help Word provides. And I enjoy Excel because it is so versatile. I have found many uses for Excel in my personal life. I would also like to teach public speaking, however have not done so yet.
The basis for my teaching philosophy is to assume nothing. During the course of explaining concepts, I check in with the student to ensure they are getting as much information as they need. However, I also refrain from expounding on concepts they do understand, so as not to waste their time or bore them. A method I like to use is: "Tell them what I'm going to tell them, Tell them, Then tell them what I told them." This sets the student's expectations and reinforces what they learned.

I like to occasionally add some humor. When teaching language arts I used examples from the book Eats, Shoots and Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference! I also remind students that they can ask any question and I always am patient and treat the student with respect.

Outside of academia I participate in a book club and church group, each on a monthly basis. I like to attend live theater productions, mostly at local colleges and smaller venues. And I work out at the local YMCA.

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Mary’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Illinois at Chicago - Bachelor in Arts, English


Book club, church group, seeing live theater & working out

Tutoring Subjects

Adult Literacy

American Literature

College English

College Level American Literature


English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Office

Public Speaking

Technology and Coding


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