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James P.

Writing Teacher, Linguist, and History of World Thought

San Francisco, CA (94109)

Travel radius
5 miles
Hourly fee
$50.00
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With the 2010-2011 school year, Mr. P celebrated his twentieth year as a teacher with the Alameda Unified School District and twenty-two years in the profession, having taught in both high school and middle school. A former Teacher of the Year, now retired from the Alameda Unified School District, he is so glad to be able to continue working with students as a private tutor.

He currently holds four valid California Single-Subject Teaching Credentials in French, History, English, and Latin, as well as an elementary Multi-Subject Credential.

His philosophy of education maintains that feeling like one is an equal part of a Community of Learners with a teacher is how learning takes place. Feeling safe enough to risk doing something outside each one's safety zone is how learning takes place best.

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James’s subjects

ACT English

ACT English is about understanding the basics of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. It's about understanding how "particles" of language like adverbs and conjunctions help create transitions from one idea to another as we express ourselves in logical and subtle ways.

Art History

Holding a valid California single-subject credential in history I have taught European history and history of thought, linking the various art epochs from medieval times through the Industrial Revolution to and with historical events, with extensive knowledge of the history of photography

CBEST

I have just retired from teaching in California after 22 years, having passed the CBEST myself. In addition, I worked for several years as a Mentor teacher on various projects. As well, I served as a BTSA Mentor for first- and second-year teachers who were fulfilling their clear-credential requirements. I have also worked as an Alameda County Mentor for an intern teacher who was working and studying simultaneously. All this serves me well for CBEST-based knowledge and experience.

Classics

I have a BA in Classics with a major in Latin and a minor in Greek from the University of Michigan. I hold a valid California single-subject teaching credential in Latin. I have taught Roman art and history for many years.

Elementary (K-6th)

I hold a valid California multiple-subject credential which is required for elementary education. I have just retired after a 22-year career in the schools of Alameda, California. I am very knowledgeable about paragraph writing, as well as grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

English

English as a course of study involves both grammar, punctuation, and spelling, as well as techniques for thinking about and responding to literature in essays and other forms. Appreciation of our language as reader and writer and speaker makes up a complete English student.

ESL/ESOL

Learning a second language is part knowledge and part comfort level with taking risks--in making mistakes and yet just keeping going. My knowledge of world languages, my expertise at grammar, punctuation, and spelling in English make me someone who appreciates how hard English is to learn and to speak colloquially.

European History

Well versed in ancient and early modern European history well though the Industrial Revolution, also in history of ideas relevant to these times.

French

I am excellent with beginning students. I have a knack for getting good French pronunciation from beginners and have fun with those who are just exploring their knowledge of the language since I offer much information on French history, art and music.

GED

A GED is the ticket to many higher levels of success, including higher education or entrance to the world of work. Certain basic skills are necessary for success in either realm. GED prep relies on your whole education to fine tune those areas where you are weaker and to polish your strengths. No one needs to score 100% to pass this test. No one cares--only that you have received the certificate!

Geography

Knowledge of how weather, water, and land masses interact is the basis for understanding why and how much of history as taken place. Knowing the correct names for places is the basis for knowledgeable discussion. Political geography helps us to understand the effect of humans upon the planet. I have taught history and geography for over 20 years and have many tricks and games for learning what is necessary to be competent in this field.

Grammar

Grammar makes sentences "work." Without it, we cannot make our points, get our ideas across, or make a reader understand our meaning. This is really why grammar is so important. I have taught writing to high school and middle school students for over 20 years, using a variety of approaches for arriving at both understanding and correct usage.

ISEE

I have four valid California Single-Subject Credentials in English, history, French and Latin, as well as the Multiple-Subject Credential for elementary school. I have just retired as a 22-year veteran in middle school and high school. I have served on Writing Testing committees within my school district, both scoring tests and writing prompts for testing. I have administered Princeton-based tests in my younger days through UCLA.

Latin

Latin is a complex but rewarding language to learn. Like computer programming, it requires every word to be correctly in place for sentences to work, to make sense. My global linguistics approach teaches students how the language "works" before getting into the details.

Literature

Literature is a vast field and involves both knowledge of the text, its historical context, as well as techniques for approaching literary form. As a retired teacher with over 20 years' experience, I have led discussions, helped students create writing prompts, created ways of entering long works of literature without stress, and taught ways to write about works of world literature.

Microsoft PowerPoint

PowerPoint is fun way to make clear and precise presentations of information of whatever kind. I have used this application hundreds of times in 20 years of education and social work. This more complex presentations can include music and text animations. I can help you make them full of impact yet not overly elaborate.

Music History

A former classical music DJ and holding a valid California single-subject history credential, I have taught world history incorporating the musical arts for many years. My students have heard everything from Gregorian chant to the call to prayer from the minaret. Now retired, I continue to try to understand the links between music and the history of thought.

Philosophy

I am both a writer and teacher well-versed in 20th-century philosophy. I have taught the rise of science in the Renaissance and its concurrent thought revolution in the Reformation. I have used the work of Heidegger extensively in my own work available on the internet. I am much more knowledgeable about continental philosophy than analytic philosophy. I can help frame the history of philosophy as its main currents have changed over the decades.

Proofreading

No one can catch everything about grammar, punctuation, and spelling in a work of writing. But knowing Latin and having taught English grammar for years in high school and middle school, I can scan a page and spot errors pretty quickly. Having worked for newspapers and having to face print deadlines, I can work fairly fast as well. Outcome: coherent, grammatical prose!

Public Speaking

I have been a practicing poet in San Francisco over the decades; I have also been a classical music DJ and appeared on radio and television representing the Independent Living Movement where disabled folks learn to help themselves. I just retired from a 22-year teaching career and have planned an after-school program on debate and speech making, everything from annunciation to speech writing style.

Reading

Reading is the basis of so much, once elementary education is left behind! It becomes a matter of reading "for" content, the basis for acquisition of knowledge by means of vocabulary and speed of access to the text. But reading fiction and non-fiction requires two different sets of skills. These can be taught!

SAT Reading

Careful reading can take time: test reading requires certain skills to understand how to reach comprehension in the least amount of time. As a now-retired teacher of high school and middle school students, I have trained several generations in techniques to achieve both speed and accuracy in tests of reading.

SAT Writing

A twenty-year academic professional, I was Teacher of the Year in the Alameda Unified School District. My students excelled in writing after completing their year with me. If anything, I know how to prepare writers, being one myself!

Study Skills

I currently hold four California single-subject credentials as well as a valid multiple-subject credential. I have just retired from teaching both high school and middle school. I can both plan a study skills program based on a first-meeting evaluation and also fill-in as necessary any deficits which appear in a student's profile--from grammar, punctuation and spelling to vocabulary.

World History

World history is knowledge of how the future and the present come out of the past. I have focused as a teacher for over 20 years on the period 500-1500 AD, all over the world: from the rise of Islam to the world of post-Han China, from the European Renaissance to the peoples of Meso-America. I have developed strategies to help students understand why events take place, beyond the mere facts and dates themselves.

Writing

Writing is 25% inspiration and 75% technique. I have taught writing in high school and middle school for more than 20 years. I can offer the how to as well as how to generate ideas for what to write about!

Read all subject qualifications »

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Education

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Classical Studies)

San Francisco State University (Master's)

California Teaching Credentials (5) (Other)

Efficient, enthusiastic tutor My son, a high school senior, needed work on his writing skills, primarily for the SAT but also in general. I wanted to prepare him for college level writing and a private tutor is very helpful to develop these skills. Jim was great working with him and his vast experience as an English teacher really shows. Jim began the first lesson with a solid assessment of my son's skills. Jim's lessons ...

— Eileen from San Francisco, CA on 10/7/13);

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $50.00

Cancellation: 3 hours notice required

Travel policy

James will travel within 5 miles of San Francisco, CA 94109.

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