I have been successfully tutoring students on all aspects of the ACT for nearly seven years. In terms of English, my writing background includes 8 years of reporting for the Daily Southtown Economist in Chicago, now the Southtown Star, as well as news copy editing experience.
I have been successfully tutoring students on all sections of the ACT, including Mathematics - which is my favorite - for nearly seven years. In addition I hold a mathematics endorsement, and served as a Mathematics Coach to make math teachers better at what they do. As a result, I have become very proficient at teaching math and particularly good at helping students that are having trouble. I am not, in other words, that nerdy math teacher that doesn't understand why students simply don't "get it." You know the one!
I truly enjoy helping students to master the Reading portion of the ACT test. These passages often seem very different, even obscure, to students - based upon what they are used to reading in high school. I help students to break the passages down into understandable parts, and how to approach the often subtle, and nuanced questions - where often two answers can both seem completely correct!
The Science section of the ACT is its own unique animal, so to speak. Because there are 7 passages in this section to process in a mere 35 minutes, this section can be particularly challenging. I have developed strategies that are very effective at helping students to efficiently process these sections, as well as to develop their skills at correctly interpreting the many charts, tables, and graphs that appear in this section. It is a beast that can be tamed!
I particularly enjoy tutoring students in Algebra I, since it is a subject that I had trouble with myself in high school! For that reason, I am very good at identifying the areas that students are having trouble in, and I really appreciate their successes. I thoroughly enjoy, and excel, in Algebra now - but I can still remember when it was a struggle in high school, and am therefore better equipped to help students struggling with the subject now.
I thoroughly enjoy tutoring students on Algebra 2, which comes up fairly often on the ACT - including those occasionally annoying logarithms! With practice, I find students become particularly good at those, along with the more enjoyable, conceptual aspects of Algebra 2.
I thoroughly enjoy teaching English at all levels, following an extended career as a reporter and copy editor which truly improved and enhanced my appreciation of good writing. I enjoy helping students to develop an appreciation for writing themselves, which also comes with correctly applying numerous rules of grammar - which is a subject that has definitely gone by the wayside in education. As a result, many students feel they were never properly taught all the rules of grammar they need to understand in order to be effective writers. I can teach them those rules and, in turn, help them to enjoy writing more!
I have experience successfully tutoring students to pass the GED, including my own daughter who passed her GED to enter Mass Bay Community College in Boston, did well in community college, and was recently accepted to Wellesley! I am also good at working with adults who are going back to take the GED after being out of school for a while, and may feel self-conscious or even embarrassed about their skill levels. I can make definitely help these students feel comfortable with what they know, and then develop their skills to be able to successfully tackle this test!
Geometry is definitely my favorite subject to tutor in math. I love all the visual aspects of it and, in turn, showing students how you can combine Geometry with Algebra to solve numerous real world problems - to make their study of Geometry more interesting.
As a teacher I can attest that the instruction of grammar has truly fallen by the wayside in education, from elementary school all the way through high school. As a result, through no fault of their own, many students find that they haven't sufficiently mastered the rules of grammar to write effectively. I actually enjoy grammar and find that students truly enjoy learning the rules and how to apply them to become better editors and writers.
I am particularly qualified to tutor students on the ISEE because, as a teacher, I am quite familiar with the test. In addition, I actually created a complete diagnostic test that encompassed elements of the ISEE, HSPT, SSAT and ISAT - for 8th grade students seeking admission to top private schools or to CPS Selective Enrollment high schools. I created the test, I mentioned, for a tutoring agency I formerly worked for.
I think that an appreciation for the classic works of literature is really essential to being an intelligent, informed adult - since these works are made reference to so often in conversation and in writing. I believe that when students feel comfortable that they have the gist of these works, and build on their knowledge of them, that they appreciate how useful this knowledge is. I can help students to build that appreciation.
I had an experience proofreading, editing, and writing headlines for news and sports for a newspaper in Colorado Springs. That experience helped reinforce the idea that good writing comes from good proofreading and editing, and great writing doesn't typically just spring from that first draft. I can help students to appreciate how proofreading can really improve their writing.
I'm convinced that the most important life-long skill that anyone can possess and continue to develop is reading. It's fascinating to me that our reading skill continues to develop over the course of our life, and becoming a strong, critical reader comes with time. I truly enjoy helping students to develop their critical reading skills that can be so readily applied to all subject areas. I view critical reading as the number one academic survival skill!
The SAT math section is curiously different than the ACT math section. Although the SAT math test does not test trigonometry as the ACT does, the test is in some ways conceptually more difficult than the ACT math test. I have been tutoring students successfully on both of these tests for nearly seven years and and I have a definite appreciation for how the math tests are similar, how they differ, and which test a given student should take - based upon their own skills in math.
The SAT critical reading sections can be tricky because of the vocabulary demands involved, as well as the needed ability to detect subtle, nuanced meaning in a given passage or comparative passages. Becoming comfortable with the vocabulary as well as the idiosyncrasies of the passages are critical skills needed to excel on this portion of the test. I have definitely had success in helping students to acquire these skills.
The SAT writing test is unusual because it tests students rhetorical skills considerably more than the ACT writing (English) test does. Rhetorical questions can be tricky, and even subjective. I've developed an approach to these types of questions that make them considerably easier for students to tackle.
I truly enjoy teaching Trigonometry, which is typically what students need to have a really good grasp of as they proceed to pre-calculus and calculus. I particularly enjoy the real-world applications of Trigonometry, such as applying the Law of Sines and Cosines and Trigonometric ratios. Helping students to understand these key concepts can definitely make this topic in mathematics much more concrete, and not so abstract!
Developing vocabulary is a vitally important component in developing critical reading. My approach to developing vocabulary is through word study, to help students better identify common suffixes, prefixes and root words.
My experience in writing comes from writing papers in college and graduate school, writing educational news and trend stories during my first career as a reporter for the Chicago Southtown Economist (now the Southtown Star), as well as what I learned from a brief stint as a newspaper copy editor. I truly love writing and have been able to help students develop their own style and voice which, in turn, helps them to gain an appreciation for the craft.