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Learning to write is like learning a new language. It can be done by breaking tasks into small manageable chunks. With a bit of help and patience, new skills are acquired and the essay form is mastered.
I am a certificated high school English teacher, but earn my living by writing. I understand the frustrations students face -- narrowing a topic, constructing a thesis, organizing material, and creating compelling transitions and conclusions. Learning to write clearly can make you a better thinker, a better reader, and a more successful student.
Even though I love to read, I understand that many students struggle. Reading with someone to help explain vocabulary and understand themes can help in preparing for class, reviewing for tests, and earning good grades.
In addition to having a Masters degree in Education and English, I also have an MBA. I have been a Management Consultant at Booz Allen and Hamilton, and worked in Corporate Communications with Fortune 500 company clients. I have also taught a Business English class in the Czech Republic, "Thinking and Writing in Business English."
I am a certified teacher for high school English, with a Masters degree in English and Education from Columbia University in New York. I have long experience teaching all kinds of students basic strategies to read effectively. I can also help students learn how to prepare for the next day's English class, so they feel confident and are ahead of the material. I also enjoy helping young people understand books that are assigned.
Tackling "great works" and other assigned literature is a challenge for many. But children can be helped to appreciate and enjoy books they think will be difficult or boring. Finding the connection between the child and the book is the first critical step. After that, students can learn strategies that help them understand the story and then the "big ideas."
I am a professional writer, but got my start editing other people's articles. Working for a corporate communications company gave me extensive practice and an appreciation for the downside of submitting manuscripts with proofreading errors.
Proofreading is a matter of understanding the structure of English, knowing proofreading notation and conventions (including knowledge of various style sheets), having the editorial experience to suggest rewrites, and most importantly, being able to explain proofreading errors so that your writing improves.
To become an effective public speaker, the speaker must analyze the audience's interests and needs, develop and organize appropriate content, create suitable and compelling language, and be able to deliver the presentation and answer questions in a confident manner.
As Vice President for a corporate communications think tank in New York City, I wrote numerous speeches for corporate executives, and rehearsed with them until they felt secure in their ability to wow audiences. I have also prepped numerous volunteers to make fundraising pitches -- perhaps the most challenging public speaking of all. I regularly meet with students to improve job interview skills. Last year, I began rehearsing students for their all-important college interviews.
I received a perfect score on the vocabulary portion of the SAT. Even if you do not take Latin, vocabulary can be learned, although most students do not learn new words solely by looking them up on their own.
How I teach vocabulary depends on your reading interests and learning style. Some do best when words encountered in reading assignments are defined and discussed; others learn most readily when they can distinguish among related words ("bravery" vs "courage" vs "mettle"); or by learning words in areas of interest. Sometimes, students simply need a partner for "drill and kill."
Whether you are studying word lists for a standardized test, or are just interested in word-a-day improvement, I can set you on the path to a livelier, more varied vocabulary.
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