I have many years of experience preparing high school students to successfully qualify for college, including test taking, composition and comprehension.
I have many years of experience as a credentialed teacher helping students of diverse learning styles and backgrounds to successfully prepare for college, including required standardized tests. I emphasize comprehension as well as skills.
As a credentialed teacher, I've taught Civics, American History, and World History, as well as specific topics (such as the contributions of various ethnic groups to the development of American culture and and innovation). While History is difficult for many students when taught as a series of dates and unrelated events, I believe it is the drama of personal stories and the human search for a better life that makes the study of History both important and exciting.
My B.A. at Cornell University was a joint English/Anthropology major. In addition, my performing arts background includes many years of studying the performing arts of Indonesia and Africa in their cultural context. I lived in Western Java twice for several months, studying mask dance and music.
Part of my academic responsibilities for six years at New Vista High School in Colorado was to be an advisor for a group of 20 students each year. This meant training in college advising, applications for admittance, personal essays, career path planning, and grade point assessment. The Advisory met weekly with the entire group, but also involved weekly individual meetings, as well as parent graduation committees. Ongoing training for the Advisor role was provided through the school. Later at Millennium High School in Piedmont as part of the English Department, helping students prepare college entrance essays was considered part of our academic role.
Initially I earned both both multiple and single subject teaching credentials. Although in the past several years I've focused on high school students, I have many years of classroom experience in elementary and middle school. My areas of expertise are language arts and social studies, but I've also taught and developed curriculum for "hands-on" science programs.
I have many years as a credentialed teacher, helping students of diverse learning styles and backgrounds successfully complete graduation requirements and prepare for college. My emphasis in tutoring English is on comprehension and engagement as well as skills, including techniques for test taking. Most importantly, however, I want to find out what each student needs and respond with lessons designed specifically for that student.
Much of my teaching career has been spent working with special populations. I spent the last eleven years teaching in a school that had a very high percentage of students for whom English was not their first language, and developed many effective strategies for helping these students become proficient speakers, readers and writers in their new language. As someone who has lived in countries where English was not commonly spoken, I've also had personal experience with the challenges that presents.
In addition to my California Social Studies credential, I have many years of experience teaching World History. I've also tutored many students in both AP and honors European and World History courses. It is my experience that students have difficulty with this material because it covers such broad events and so many countries, with little context. By providing more contextual background, more detailed explanation of terminology, and frameworks for organizing information, I can help a student grasp and retain the essential content of these classes.
Government & Politics
In addition to my California Social Studies credential, I have taught Civics and American History at the high school level. My goal is to bring these subjects alive, make them relevant to the students I teach, and use the material to develop critical thinking skills. For many years I taught and coached the Mock Trial, a very powerful and effective learning activity.
As a credentialed English teacher, I have spent many years helping students to gain mastery of grammar, punctuation and usage conventions. While these are specific skills, they also make it possible for young writers to effectively express their opinions and creativity. Knowing the parts of speech, being able to identify dangling modifiers, and understanding the relationship between predicate adjectives and objective complements are skills that develop both better writers and clearer thinkers.
As a media teacher, I've introduced many students to MicroSoft Word, Excel, InDesign, Final Cut (and IMovie), and other MAC applications. They have used these skills to write papers,create websites, formulate budgets and produce videos, yearbooks and literary magazines.
My skills are in photo editing, primarily using Photoshop, and in graphic composition. In addition to studying video and photographic editing at Red Rocks Community College in Colorado, I've produced yearbooks, brochures and posters utilizing these skills.
My professional background includes many years of theater performance as well as teaching theater classes and producing plays with k-12 students. In addition, I have extensive experience preparing students for public presentations to a range of audiences.
I have extensive experience helping students to successfully prepare for the SAT Reading. Both in the classroom as a credentialed California English teacher, and as a tutor, I believe it is essential for students to develop their critical thinking skills, ability to read for context, identification of key words or phrases, and sensitivity to tone and attitude.
I have spent much of my teaching career working with special needs students, including those with learning as well as physical disabilities. In addition to getting to know the student as an individual, and assessing his/her strengths and weaknesses as a learner, I also utilize a wide range of teaching strategies, ranging from kinesthetic to visual stimulation and support. I really enjoy working with this population and helping discover a sense of self confidence and competency.
With 25 years of teaching students in grades k-12, supplemented by in service training, I have developed an extensive repertoire of study skills techniques. These include those based on specific learning styles or learning disabilities (ADHD, etc.), use of active and collaborative learning, guided reading and notes,and an index study system. I really enjoy helping students find ways to be successful and confident learners.
In addition to working as a professional performing artist (theater and dance) for many years, including being reviewed in the LA Times and SF Bay Area newspapers, I have been Managing Director of the Curtain Theater in Mill Valley, CA, and have taught theater at the high school level for over 20 years. I've appeared in lead roles with the College of Marin. My theater studies have taken place at Berkeley Rep, the College of Marin, and Cornell University, as well as in West Java, Idonesia.
Through my background in the performing arts, I became interested in both the production and post production aspects of video. After studying video production at Red Rocks Community College in Colorado, I am now a member of the Community Media Center of Marin, and I have created and taught an accredited video production class for high school students.
My production credits include short documentary/promotional pieces for several non-profit organizations. I am also proficient in using Final Cut Pro (and IMovie) for editing.
In addition to teaching English composition to elementary, high school and college students for many years, I've also written and edited for professional publications, including curriculum guides, grant reports, program proposals, and company newsletters. I love to write, both fiction and nonfiction, and enjoy helping students discover their own "voice" and ease in written expression.