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I come from a family of teachers, especially English! I grew up in an environment committed to clarity in both oral and verbal communication. I also have to credit my eight brothers and sisters for teaching me the virtue of patience and learning how to deal with a wide assortment of personalities.
After earning a BA in English from Columbia University, I received my Masters in Education at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
I have taught from the third grade up to senior level subjects, from basic grammar and composition courses to more specialized courses such as journalism and public speaking. In my many years of teaching, I have come to appreciate that effective writing is about the most difficult --and most worthwhile -- skill to master.
My experience ranges from underprivileged urban students to college-prep suburban students. Acting as a personal and academic adviser for 10-15 students annually over the past 18 years, I feel as though I have a good sense of the numerous non-academic pressures adolescent life brings with it.
I have extensive experience in helping students with the research paper process. I just completed a a one-year sabbatical to complete a Masters in Liberal Arts at the University of Chicago.
During my 22 years of teaching, I have explored other interests, coaching debate, developing an a capella group, moderating school newspapers, drama productions and yearbooks.
Although my main experience stems from writing and composition, I love working with word problems and algebraic challenges. I actually appreciate the occasional break from my usual share of tutoring tasks in writing, as much of algebra presents one intriguing puzzles to solve. I often find that I have a unique perspective on algebra as a humanities person that allows students greater confidence step by step.
I have taken several courses in Old testament studies -- with specific reference to Salvation history. I also have taken extensive courses on the Synoptic Gospels, as well as the Epistles of St. Paul and St. John. Finally, I have taught Sacred Scripture on the high school level, which i believe is the best preparation of all!
My experience with elementary education stems mostly with 3rd grade, as I taught for an entire year in a self-contained classroom in a private school in Washington, DC. My focus that year was fundamentals in reading, public speaking, geography and composition.
I also have experience with 1st, 2nd and 4th graders teaching CCD in a local parish, including some students who did not yet know how to read, which presented some exciting challenges!
Over my past 22 years of teaching English to middle and high school students, I have often had the opportunity to work one-on-one with students who have recently arrived in the United States.
My emphasis for ESL/ESOL students has been to master grammar and reading comprehension, as these form the foundations for effective communication.
I first began to study film at Columbia University, where I took two courses with the famous film critic Andrew Sarris. I have since developed my own elective at my school, entitled The Art of Film, which takes the students through the history of the film from its beginnings. My special interests are in silent film, as well as the films of Kurosawa, Billy Wilder, Frank Capra and John Sayles.
The specific section of the Praxis I would be most helpful with is Language Arts. I have taught grammar and usage for middle and high school students, so I am thoroughly familiar with the types of questions the Praxis aims to test.
Having dealt with helping hundreds of students with their writing, I would also be able to indicate how to write for a specific audience and assist with revision techniques.
I have coached debate at my high school for the past 18 years. In fact, I started the team! Since then, we have had students compete in local and national contests.
I have had to work with students on content and delivery. I have also taught a public speaking semester-long class at my school.
I have taught a variety of subjects within the discipline of religion, particularly in the Catholic Faith. At the high school level, I have taught apologetics to seniors, Church history to juniors, moral theology for sophomores and Sacred Scripture to freshmen.
I have just completed a quarter-long course on all the biggest names in sociology -- namely, Durkheim, Weber, Marx, Freud, Levi-Strauss and Douglas. The professor who designed the course provided special insights regarding the role of the unconscious in society. I am also familiar with a number of other more recent names in the field -- in particular, Charles Taylor and Neil Postman.
Having taught middle school students for over 15 years, study skills have always been a mainstay in my curriculum. In fact, if students at this age do not adopt a system that works for them, they will encounter significant difficulties in high school.
I have acted as an academic adviser for dozens of middle school and high school students, which has frequently involved pinpointing pitfalls in the students' study habits. Finally, I have a study skills curriculum available that can prove handy to those students struggling in this area.
Tom provided much needed support to us. — Tom was better than great - he is very committed to teaching and my son related easily to his quiet style. I think Tom conveyed the larger concepts as well of details to my son in preparation for his final in Theology. Tom is a very dedicated educator and was very communicative leading to and throughout the study sessions. Tom went "over-the- top" to review my son's teacher pages, semester grades, ...
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