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I'm a licensed teacher (CT) with a wide variety of passions and skills. I call myself The Practical Tutor because my focus emphaizes real-life application of academic and theoretical skills. My educational background is in English Secondary Education (B.A., Metro State, 2004) and Business Management (M.S., Minot State, 2010). I teach all High School Diploma subjects to online learners at the Hartford Job Corps Academy and practice my arts and avocations, including songwriting and performance, photography, entrepreneurial business, fitness and nutrition, and ornithology.
Academics, especially in the traditional sense, can sometimes become quite frustrating. Have you ever thought of math as a foreign language? Have you ever felt as if there was no connection between speaking and writing? Have you ever wondered what a test-maker was thinking? Have you ever felt as if the subject matter or the method was simply not fit for real world use? Then you feel like I once felt. With the help of some great authors and teachers--and a little bit of hard work--I came to "speak Math," to "write what I could say," "get inside a test's head," and much more. If these or other similar academic questions have plagued you in the past, let me be the practical key that opens the impractical lock.
Sometimes the trouble isn't in academics. Have you ever wondered why one song sticks in your head while another one won't? Have you struggled with finding your stance or swing at the plate, or with maximizing your arm or your defense? Have you ever wondered why someone else's physical training regimen seems to do so much for them but yours doesn't seem to do the same for you--even though you're spending more time with your system than the other person does with his/hers? Do you have trouble getting and staying healthy and effective on the job or on the team? Have you ever wondered why you didn't get the job or didn't make the sale, but felt like you could have or should have? I provide available, research-based, time-tested, and--naturally--practical solutions that are as intellectually engaging and fun as they are effective. You are probably much closer to writing that great song, finding your swing, hitting a new level of fitness, getting the job, and making the sale than you believe. Let my experience become your primer today!
I learned to throw when I was four and began to pitch. When I reached my teens, I switched positions and began to play the outfield, which let me utilize my speed defensively. Offensively, I worked with a hitting coach and went to baseball camps regularly, which brought my game up to an entirely new level. In college I played recreationally and learned how to catch--including knuckleballers. My fascination with the position bloomed into full-on signing and communication systems for better game management and great relationships with several gifted pitchers. While player-managing in the Job Corps league, I played first base and consulted with a personal trainer to maximize my strength.My coaching experience has taught me more than my playing experience ever could, and while I remain an avid student of strength and fitness, I also have experience forming and managing a lineup, running practices and drills, and making game management decisions.
My mother and I read from the Bible for half an hour every day until I left home. My familiarity with scriptural studies increased through church, where I took and taught church school. In high school, I took Religious Education courses every semester and ended with ten credits in that area. When I attended Taylor University, I took Biblical Studies courses including Old Testament Literature I and II, New Testament Literature I and II, and Wisdom & Poetic Literature. I also gained a more secular perspective by taking The Bible As Literature at Metro State College of Denver. From comparative scriptural studies to pure exegesis, I have many years of experience in reading and analyzing the Bible.
I graduated from Minot State University with my M.S. in Business Management in 2010. My coursework covered many vital areas of corporate enterprise, including strategic positioning and planning, market analysis, advertising and marketing, human resources management, financial analysis and planning, virtual teaming, proposal writing, and knowledge management. In terms of practical business, I also have outside experience. During my undergraduate years, I ran a shoe repair and care business as a sole proprietor. After my college years, I participated in the budget and operations planning of Metro State's Writing Center. Today, my wife and I are Market America Unfranchise owners and collaborate with six other business partners in that enterprise.
From the time I started in Job Corps, I taught Career Preparation. It was a good fit because I had come through some hard times and undertaken several job searches in order to land that job, and the techniques that had worked for me served as a jumping-off point for teaching my students. I read books, developed curricula, studied with a professional job coach at CT Works! centers, participated with my students in skills sessions (for instance, interviewing, dress for success, government funding seminars, and resume review sessions) and self-knoweldge exercises (such as Myers-Briggs Inventory batteries, teamwork challenges, and career transition courses), and continued to apply what I learned by becoming an itinerant opportunity hound. To this day, I continue to promote myself in a variety of areas and to expand my value.
Total fitness encompasses several areas of study and proficiency. While I was always involved in team sports, the individual aspect of training and adopting a "three hundred sixty degree" healthy lifestyle rounded out my knowledge of and experience in maintaining excellent fitness. Through a wide variety of physical exercise regimens including calisthenics, weight training, resistance training, plyometrics, and cardio training, I gained thirteen years of experience in using stretches, body weight, and fitness equipment to achieve great results for baseball, football, and hockey training. Studying basic nutrition, undergoing diet analysis and making appropriate adjustments, employing focused daily stretching routines, and adjusting posture, though, have all become part of achieving complete fitness for me over the past five years, and I would relish the chance to share with you the myriad benefits of combining all these practices.
Flute was my primary conservatory instrument. I studied at Hartford Camerata Conservatory of Music for ten years, graduating at sixteen at Grade VI. My time there included weekly one-on-one lessons, group ensembles, reading, and theory. I am very familiar with a wide variety of flute music and, while my skills are not what they once were, can demonstrate and teach the performance and study skills needed for the instrument. I played in every middle school and high school instrumental group that I could, including band, orchestra, and pep band. In college, I studied as part of a flute octet at Taylor University (noted as "flute choir" on the transcript) during each semester, which was where the bridge to modern music became complete.
I taught GED preparation for one year and became very acquainted with the test format, the frequently included topics, and the strategies for test-taking and topical study.
I have played guitar for over sixteen years now. Starting with acoustic and moving into electric, I established a solid foundation in rock, blues, metal, folk, and alternative acoustic music. Over the past ten years, I have written over three hundred songs, performed as the house artist for It's A Grind coffee house for three years, recorded an EP and a full-length home-produced demo, and worked in a variety of group settings. If you're looking to learn backing, lead, songwriting, vocal performance with guitar, studio recording, group practice, and modern music theory, I am an excellent resource.
For a while, I used only Windows and PC products, but after banging my head against that wall for quite some time, I dove into the world of the Mac OS and all the programs that thrive there. The best part of my background is that I have all the knowledge of a PC user and can apply it to the "front of house" and "back of house" in the Mac environment. Now, three years after taking the initial plunge, I am proficient in a wide variety of Mac programs and patterns. I specialize in photo and video processing and production, use Microsoft Office for Mac heavily, and can find and apply solutions for almost any problem an end user can solve without disassembling the system.
I have several sources of music history knowledge that predispose me well to teach in the field. My conservatory training (12 years) taught me about the evolution of woodwinds, particularly the flute (my primary performance instrument). I also had input from my parents, who gave me as many cassettes and books on music of all eras as I could possibly want. I read and listened to these voraciously growing up, which interfaced well with my other musical training (choral, 19 years). Now I teach a unit on music history and appreciation to my high school students, and I have learned even more through the extensive survey provided by our textbooks and listening lab selections. From the first stirrings of the Baroque to postmodern sounds, I have a solid knowledge and appreciation of music in all its forms.
I have practiced photography since I was seven, when I first learned on a film SLR. Through the explosion of digital photography I followed the SLR to its current format. Experimentation and exploration of not only the camera and my lens collection but also of editing software has given me a solid foundation from which I continue to develop my portfolio. I have over two hundred shots in my general showing portfolio, including portraits, sports photos, landscapes and natural close-ups, still lifes, black and whites, nighttime scenes, weddings, architecture, and natural phenomena. I recently took third place in the professional category at the Through The Looking Glass Photo Contest and had work displayed at the Bushnell in Hartford, CT from September 5 through December 17, 2010.
More than anything, being a teacher has made me, by necessity, a public speaker. My ability to hold my students' attention and to convey my message cogently yet powerfully partially determines their level of performance. Therefore, I command an excellent presence and have plenty of daily practice in addressing and interacting with groups. Formal public speaking was also a passion of mine during my schooling. In eighth grade, I took third place in the state finals of the Modern Woodmen of America public speaking competition. In high school, I served as the vice president of my sophomore class and the leader of a student organization known as The Silent Majority. I have often been chosen by employers at the Job Corps Academy to moderate disagreements, mentor new teachers, head focus groups, perform trainings, and address the assembly. My writing ability and my extensive vocabulary provide that I can write a good speech as well as deliver it.
I have written over three hundred songs since 1996, when I penned my first. While I have not attended songwriting classes or gotten formal instruction in songwriting, I continue to emulate the best modern acoustic and electric songwriters, as detailed in my guitar certification request. Through my three years as the house artist at It's A Grind, I had to keep the rotation fresh and make sure to write about two or three new songs per week to integrate into my standing material. Constant live performance has taught me how to refine my songs and to write them not only as a whole but as an evolving body as well.
In college, I taught many differently abled learners at the college's Writing Center. I am familiar with Dragon Naturally Speaking software, audio books (some of which I recorded), and assistance from other tutors at the Adaptive Learning Center to bridge the gap with several dedicated students. My most profoundly affected student worked through dislexia, PTSD, epilepsy, environmental allergens, and limited mobility as cerebral palsy took its toll. However, over the course of two years, she completed her college degree in history and anthropology with my help. I also coached soccer and supervised other recreational activities at a summer camp for children with affective needs including ODD, ADD, ADHD, and the Autism spectrum.
Different learners have different study methods, and I have used a variety in my day. I seek to pair students with the methods they find most effective. I teach and practice many classic and contemporary techniques, including memorization, mnemonic design, structural analysis, SQ3R, flash cards, verbal training, group study, keyword & definition-based learning, rephrasing and rewriting, practical application, research, and more.
I was a Varsity letterman when I walked on with the cross country team in my junior year. The team were conference champions both that year and next; I was ranked all-conference during my senior year and the team came in second place at the state open. In addition, I also began to run distance and moderate relay events with track and field. While my specialty is distance running and training, I also have experience with the shot put and the discus.
Metropolitan State College of Denver
Minot State University (Master's)
Very Skilled and An Expert — Andrew is quite extraordinary. He is a skilled professional, who explains things expertly- a great tutor! I was very impressed how patient and skilled he was. He also goes above and beyond to help his students. He is excellent! Thank you, Andrew! ...
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Andrew will travel within 40 miles of Hartford, CT 06106.
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