Hello, I am Shawn, nice to meet you! I am a certified, highly qualified K-12 Language Arts teacher from New Jersey. Before relocating to Alameda I spent many years working as a previously tenured K-12 Language Arts classroom teacher in the Trenton Public School District at various grade levels. Over the years I have built a reputation for helping even the most challenged students achieve their goals and fostering a positive attitude toward education. In recent years (to January 2013) I have worked with both mainstream and inclusion students, many of whom were placed in mainstream classrooms for the first time after having completed ESL programs and who were often living in bilingual home environments. Due to these factors, my lessons have always had a multifaceted approach and can always be differentiated based on the learning levels, challenges and talents of each individual student, with a focus on a mastery of the English language as well as retention of that knowledge when they are not necessarily always speaking English at home. Beyond Language Arts, I have had experience teaching Social Studies, World History, American History, and African American studies at the adult level. In addition, I have enjoyed watching many of my students become successful in the mastery of both effective study skills, and the lost art of memorization and public speaking. My strength lies in my passion for formulating lesson plans that encourage my students to push their limits academically by building confidence while retaining a sense of adventure toward the journey of learning.
In addition to my teaching career, I have a unique armory of life experiences outside of the classroom that often provides an advantage in my abilities to relate to students of varying ages and demographics. I have a long and notable history as a recording artist, spoken word performer, and author. Concurrent to my career in teaching, I also owned and operated High Scores Interactive Arcade Museum, a showroom for classic arcade and pinball machines that proved to be very successful on the East Coast and is currently in the process of relocation to Alameda. These hobbies and business ventures have kept me abreast of trends in music, youth culture, and video games which has always served as a point of connection with my students.
As you can see in the photograph taken on my last day teaching in New Jersey, I approach instruction in a way that is not only effective in helping my students achieve their academic goals, but in a fashion that builds trust between student and teacher. My primary goal is to serve your child as more than an instructor, but also as a mentor and a positive influence on their lives and in shaping their attitude toward education- which may be very sensitive but vitally important for future successes in life! Whether your child or teenager needs extra help with meeting their academic goals in my focus subject areas, counsel through difficult academic transitions, or motivation to take their education or study skills to the next level, I have the methods, infectious energy, persistence, and understanding to join you as their guide.
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