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Joyce Y.

Experienced and Engaging Writing, Reading, and Test Prep Tutor

Berkeley, CA (94705)

Travel radius
20 miles
Hourly fee
$55.00
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Joyce Y. passed a background check on 9/24/13. The check was ordered by Joyce through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

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I love clear, concise and effective language, whether it be written or spoken. When a message is clearly conveyed verbally or in writing, the language just zings! That's why I have worked with passion and excitement over the past 20 years as a teacher, tutor, writing coach, manuscript consultant and professional writer. I have taught and tutored language arts and English in elementary, middle and high schools, charter schools, universities, and art museums. I currently teach online and hybrid courses at universities, and in the past I taught online legal and news research classes in the private sector.

I have a Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Consciousness Studies, which is an integration of Philosophy, Psychology and Religion, from John F. Kennedy University. This degree has served me well as I have used my keen critical thinking skills to discuss and analyze issues from all three academic disciplines in writing and in presentations as well as in working with students and colleagues. I completed additional graduate coursework in Psychology at New School University. And I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Smith College. I received a passing score on the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) in 2007.

I have been a college professor for the past 6 years. I teach Critical Thinking and Writing, Research Writing, Introduction for Academic Writing, Introduction to Philosophy and Culture and Society. In addition, I have been an instructor in the writing center at John F. Kennedy University for the past 7 years. I have been a curriculum developer and writer for education research projects for the past 20 years.

I taught Shakespeare and composition courses for 3 years in the Upward Bound Program at Mills College. At the same time, I was the writing coach for high school seniors who were applying for scholarships and writing personal statements for their college applications. I have tutored students in middle school, high school, undergraduates and graduate students for the past 17 years.

I have tutored the reading, verbal and writing skills for the ACT and SAT college entrance exams for 5 years. I have also tutored the reading, verbal and writing skills for the high school entrance exams, the SSAT, ISEE and HSPT for 5 years. I have supported my students with strategies and skills for each test subject area and also with skills for dealing with managing nerves, managing time, and recognizing question types. We have also worked on choosing effective strategies for each test section, question type and the test as a whole. I’ve helped many students strengthen their skills, manage their test anxiety and raise their test scores.

We all have patterns that appear consistently in our writing. I enjoy teaching students the strategies they can use to work with their writing patterns and improve their writing. For example, disorganized ideas can spell disaster for an essay or paper. Readers must be able to follow the flow of a writer’s ideas from one paragraph to the next, from beginning to end. That is why it is important for students to approach writing as a process which begin by pre-writing, deciding on a thesis statement, then crafting a first draft, reviewing their draft papers, and revising their draft essays and papers. Proofreading is the final step in polishing an essay or paper, but often writers begin to proofread before they have a solid draft paper and the result is an unfinished piece of writing.

In addition, it is absolutely essential to integrate source material and give credit to the authors student writers mention in their papers and essays. And it’s important to learn how to effectively evaluate the sources you plan to use in your paper.

I am very happy when my students learn to use the tools and strategies that I teach them because it means that they are motivated and working toward success. Those tools include confidence building exercises, brainstorming, outlining, grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure, paragraph development, crafting a solid thesis, APA Style, Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) and other critical thinking and writing skills.

I work with students from elementary grades through graduate and professional school. And I enjoy tailoring lessons to fit the needs of each student. That's the beauty of tutoring - I can develop lessons that are a personal fit for each of my students. I challenge my students, yet I am able to make our work together interactive and interesting.

I will schedule sessions with you at a mutually agreeable time and on a regular basis. I do require 24-hour notice for cancellation, but I also am willing to schedule make up lessons when appropriate.

I look forward to hearing from you and to supporting you on your journey to academic and professional success through language arts, English, writing and oral presentation.






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Joyce’s subjects

ACT English

I have helped students prepare for the ACT English and Writing sections for 5+ years. Students need to know how strong their skills are for grammar, usage, sentence structure, and essay writing in order to succeed. Each question type requires students to use a specific strategy as well as to rely on strong skills. The reading sections are often really challenging parts of the test for students. Students need to have strong grammar skills in order to do well on the grammar and usage questions. Students need to do focused reading, use sharp comprehension strategies and rely on strong time management skills in order to succeed. The fact that the test is timed means that time management is key. My students' skills and abilities have consistently improved with their hard work during each of our lessons and through the time they put into studying and practicing their skills for the test in between.

ACT Reading

I have helped students prepare for the ACT English and writing sections for 5+ years. Students need to know how strong their skills are for grammar, usage, sentence structure, and essay writing in order to succeed. Each question type requires students to use a specific strategy as well as to rely on strong skills. The reading sections are often really challenging parts of the test for students. Students need to have strong grammar skills in order to do well on the grammar and usage questions. Students need to do focused reading, use sharp comprehension strategies and rely on strong time management skills in order to succeed. The fact that the test is timed means that time management is key. My students' skills and abilities have consistently improved with their hard work during each of our lessons and through the time they put into studying and practicing their skills for the test in between.

CBEST

I studied for, took and passed the CBEST examination in April 2007.

I have been teaching English skills for the past 14 years to students ranging in age from 4th grade through high school.

I understand the focus of the test and how to best prepare for it through personal experience.

College Counseling

For three years, I taught English and served as a writing coach to H.S. Seniors in the Mills College Upward Bound Program, a college prep program for first generation college students. As a writing coach, I worked with H.S. seniors on their college and scholarship application essays.
For the past seven years, I have taught English composition, critical thinking, research writing, intro sociology and intro philosophy courses at local universities to graduate and undergraduate students. In addition, I tutor graduate and undergraduate students in a university writing center, so I have first-hand experience with the requirements of college level scholarship across the curriculum.

My experience working with H.S. students and college graduate and undergraduate students positions me to work with students who are preparing for college in an effective and professional manner.
Since I have direct experience with student retention and college success, I know the skills that students need to succeed in college and in graduate school.

Elementary (K-6th)

I taught for 6 years in the Poetry off the Page program at the Oakland Museum of California. In this program, I visited classrooms in elementary schools in the SF Bay Area and taught writing based upon art using Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS). Prior to the beginning of the school year, I chose artwork from the museum’s permanent collection that was then made into laminated posters for me to take to each classroom. I showed students anywhere from 3-5 artworks per class session and shared background on the artists. Then, I engaged students in a discussion about the artwork as I taught them VTS ways of discussing art by asking them open-ended questions. I also taught them one or two literary devices and/or poetic forms through which they could approach writing a poem or several about the artwork of their choice. At the end of our class session, I would invite students to share their work with the group on a voluntary basis. The classes became quite lively through discussion once the students realized that their ideas about the art were valid, interesting and informative for everyone.

In addition, for 3 years I taught in the Poet in the Galleries program at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, in which I led K-8 grade classes through the permanent exhibitions in the galleries of the Palace of the Legion of Honor, in which students viewed art work as I taught them history and background of the art and artist. At the end of our tour, I introduced writing strategies to the students and then asked them to choose an artwork that they wanted to write about. They were given time to go back to their chosen artwork and sit by it as they wrote. Afterwards, we gathered at a designated location and students read their work aloud to the group.

With both of these programs, I taught literacy skills, classroom discussion skills, writing skills, poetry, art, communication skills to elementary school and middle school students in their classrooms.

English

I teach undergraduate and graduate students writing and presentation skills in the writing center at John F. Kennedy University. In addition, I have taught courses such as Introduction to Academic Writing, Critical Thinking and Writing and Research Writing at the university for the past 5 years.

In the past, I worked as a staff developer and curriculum writer for several literacy projects such as the After-School Literacy Project and the Community School Literacy Project. My writing for these projects has been published in the form of teacher's guides.

In addition, I was a volunteer reading tutor with Literacy Volunteers in New York City.

I am a published and award-winning writer.

ESL/ESOL

I have been tutoring students in the Academic Support Center at John F. Kennedy University (JFKU) for the past 7 years. I teach students strategies to help them successfully write papers, complete assignments and give presentations in their classes.

In addition, I have been an adjunct instructor at JFKU for the past 5 years. I teach Introduction to Academic Writing, Critical Thinking and Writing, Research Writing and Introduction to Philosophy.

Many of the students I work with are multilingual and I provide them with strategies that are specific to their needs.

Grammar

I am a bit of a grammar nerd and have often been requested by students who are challenged by grammar and are studying for the SAT. I taught grammar as an English Instructor in the Mills College Upward Bound program for 3 years. I have been teaching Introduction to Academic Writing, Critical Thinking and Writing and Research Writing over the past 5 years to undergraduate and graduate students. In addition, I have tutored students in a university writing center with a focus on academic writing for the past 7 years.

ISEE

I tutored students for the ISEE for 5 years through a test preparation company. I understand and have worked successfully with students of this age. I understand the focus of this test and have administered practice tests with all of the students I have tutored. I've worked only with the verbal/language arts/English portion of this test.

Literature

I have been a college instructor at John F. Kennedy University for the past 7 years. I have taught Introduction to Academic Writing, Critical Thinking and Writing and Research Writing as well as workshops on APA Style, the writing process, paragraph development, revision, and proofreading to graduate and undergraduate students. I tutor students in academic writing, time management and study skills at the university’s writing center.

Since most of our students are in Psychology, Health Science, and Business (MBA and BA) programs, the literature reviews that they write are for those academic fields. However, in the past, I taught Shakespeare and English in a college prep program, so I am familiar with writing critically about English and American Literature as well. I also taught creative writing and art history at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and The Oakland Museum of California.

I am a published poet, former freelance journalist and a fiction writer who is currently at work on a novel. I have written and developed language arts curriculum based on children’s and young adult literature for an educational think tank. My curriculum has been published in the form of teacher’s guides that are being used in schools around the country.


Macintosh

I have been a Macintosh user for the past 30 years. I am a writer and educator who uses my laptop on a daily basis for my work. I am also proficient with Windows computers as I have had to use them in the workplace, so I know the similarities and differences between the two platforms. I prefer using a Mac and am quite comfortable doing so.

Martial Arts

I have studied and practiced T'ai Chi, Yang Style, Long Form for 27 years. I maintain a personal practice. I have a background in teaching dance and movement. I studied movement principles as they relate to stress management in graduate school.

Microsoft Word

I have been using Microsoft Word (Word) for the past 30 years for both Windows and Macintosh platforms. I have used Word in business settings in the private and non-profit sectors. I have used Word for reports, correspondence, grant proposals, creative writing, editing, proofreading, tutoring and other purposes. I have used the Track Changes function to provide students with feedback on their research papers. I have worked with columns, charts and style sheets in many different settings. I currently use Word in my professional work.

Proofreading

I have been teaching high school and college students strategies for proofreading for the past 11 years.

Students often don’t realize that writing and proofreading cannot be done at the same time. Both are part of the writing process, but writers need to be strategic in order to get all of their ideas on the page, take a break from the writing, and then return to what has been written in order to proofread and revise the work.

Writing and proofreading each require a different state of mind, and that’s why taking a break between each task is so important. Of course, this means that writers need to give themselves plenty of time to write, proofread and revise. I have helped many writers learn how to do this with skill and success.

Public Speaking

I have been a poet, writer and master of ceremonies for literary events for the past 30 years. I have given presentations on college campuses, in high school auditoriums, at conferences and in classrooms of all grades. I am at home in front of an audience and I have had to conquer my fears and nerves in order to reach this point in my development as a public speaker. I can teach what I have learned to anyone.

Reading

I have loved books and reading ever since I can remember. It's no wonder that I am a university instructor, and that I have been teaching critical thinking, reading and writing in college courses and at a university writing center for the past 7 years. In addition, I have worked in the field of literacy development for grades K-12 as a program director, curriculum developer/writer and research assistant.

SAT Reading

I have helped students prepare for the SAT Reading and Writing sections for 5 years. The passage-based reading sections are often really challenging parts of the test for students. Students need to do focused reading, use sharp comprehension strategies and rely on strong time management skills in order to succeed. My students' skills and abilities have consistently improved with their hard work during each of our lessons and through the time they put into studying and practicing their skills for the test in between.

SAT Writing

I have helped students prepare for the SAT Writing sections for 5 years. Students need to know how strong their skills are for grammar, usage, sentence structure, and essay writing in order to succeed. Each question type requires students to use a specific strategy as well as to rely on strong skills. For example, a student needs to have good grammar skills in order to identify errors in sentences or to write a strong essay in 25 minutes. The fact that the test is timed means that time management is key. My students' skills and abilities have consistently improved with their hard work during each of our lessons and through the time they put into studying and practicing their skills for the test in between our lessons.

Spelling

I have taught and tutored students in grades K-12, undergraduate and graduate students in the subjects of language arts, English, developmental reading, grammar, usage, etc. over the past 20 years.

I have found that many secondary and post secondary students struggle with commonly misspelled words. Elementary school students are developing their knowledge of and familiarity with language through listening, reading and speaking. Spelling is a necessary part of this process, and it is integrated with language arts and developmental English curriculum. There are strategies that I can teach students to help them overcome any challenges or barriers they are facing in these areas. The key is for students to consistently read, write, listen speak, learn to discuss and practice the strategies.

SSAT

I have tutored elementary and middle school students to help them prepare for the SSAT for six years. My students have improved their confidence once they have learned to apply strategies for approaching each question type and managing their time. Vocabulary is key for success with the analogies, reading comprehension, synonyms and the essay (which is not graded, but shows prospective schools how well each student writes). Students need to be well prepared to tackle arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and word problems for the quantitative sections of the test. I have found that when students are ready and willing to practice during and between tutoring sessions, they have the best chances of being successful when taking the test.

Study Skills

I have been teaching and tutoring elementary through university students for the past 20+ years. More specifically, I taught at the Presidential award-winning program Project YIELD (Youth in Education and Leaderships Development), a program of the Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA) in an after school program at Cole Middle School in Oakland, CA for 5 years in which Homework help and supervision were the required first hour of each of my classes. In my classes I focused on reading, writing, vocabulary, sentences, grammar skills as well as public speaking and performance skills. However, I also taught study skills, interpersonal skills, conflict management skills, and communication skills to my students and helped them with their math, science, social studies and other homework topics. If students do not have study skills, the homework and the classroom work fall apart.
In my work with undergraduate and graduate students, study skills are part of my work with them in the Academic Support (Writing) Center at John F. Kennedy University. For example, many of my students have come from colleges and universities that were on a semester academic calendar. JFKU is on the quarter system. So, I work with students on time management as well as critical thinking, reading, writing, presentation skills and skills that allow them to navigate the terrain of the university as a whole and more specifically their colleges and programs.

Vocabulary

The key to developing a strong vocabulary is to read a variety of sources on a regular basis. I am a voracious reader, and I have taught and tutored students in grades K-12, undergraduate and graduate students in the subjects of Language Arts, English, Developmental Reading, Grammar, Usage, etc. over the past 20 years. I have the gift of being able to share my love of reading with my students and to find materials for my classes and tutoring sessions that are varied, interesting, compelling and relevant to each student I tutor. The most important thing that I can do as a tutor is to develop a rapport with my students, get to know them and then provide them with the avenues and strategies that can help them to strengthen their reading and comprehension skills.

Writing

I have 7 years' experience tutoring and teaching Critical Thinking and Writing and Research Writing courses to undergraduate and graduate students. Many of my current students are and past students have been multilingual and English language learners. I currently teach English Composition and Research Writing at John F. Kennedy University. I also tutor students in the university writing center. In addition, I taught and tutored high school students in English for 5 years. I am a professional writer whose work has been published in teacher’s guides, English and Language Arts curriculum, book reviews, film reviews, feature articles, course descriptions, poetry, and more.

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Education

Smith College (Psychology)

John F. Kennedy University (Master's)

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $55.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

I offer discount rates for small groups and special pricing for multiple hour lessons and students who sign up for a series of lessons with me.

Travel policy

Joyce will travel within 20 miles of Berkeley, CA 94705.

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