Jeff’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Jeff’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
I am a licensed social studies teacher in the state of Indiana. One of my endorsement areas is historical perspectives. This includes both American and world history.
My coursework at Ball State University included many American history classes including: U.S. History 1492 - 1877; U.S. History 1877 - present; World War II in the Pacific; History of the Vietnam War; History of the Civil War; and History of the New South (to name a few).
Before being allowed to take the Praxis II Social Studies test, I passed two separate History Department exams to ensure I had mastered all history - related content. (I was required to pass both exams with high scores before being allowed to student teach.)
I was the winner of the Ball State History Department's "Outstanding Social Studies Teaching Methods Paper" award at the 12th annual Student History Conference. My contest entry was related to research completed on the United States' response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. As a contest winner, I was given the honor or presenting my paper during the History Conference.
Prior to graduating from Ball State I passed the Social Studies General Knowledge test (0081) in order to be eligible to receive my teaching license. I scored in the top 18% of all test takers on this exam (U.S. History was one of the sections on this test).
I also have 3 years' classroom teaching experience teaching U.S. History (1492 - 1877) to 8th graders here in Indiana.
I am a U.S. Navy veteran. I studied for and successfully completed the ASVAB test prior to enlistment. I took several electronics classes my senior year of high school to prepare for the test and my navy career!
I played baseball from ages 6 - 17 in various summer baseball leagues. This included attending a 3 - day baseball camp sponsored by the Pittsburgh Pirates (batting, fielding, conditioning, and base running skills instruction were taught). As a player, twice our team won the Anderson (Indiana) city baseball tournament. I was also selected for the All-Star Team in Babe Ruth and Senior Babe Ruth leagues. I played 1st base and was a relief pitcher during most of my baseball career, although I played right field in several All-Star games.
I have been playing Chess since 5th grade. In middle school, I joined the chess team and became the captain of "team 2" to represent our school at chess tournaments. During that time, we had weekly chess lessons taught by experienced tournament players. I have been a member of the United States Chess Federation since then. (My current USCF rating is 1241.) I have also played in several USCF rated chess tournaments in Indiana and Ohio as an adult.
I welcome the chance to teach chess lessons to individuals or groups!
As an undergraduate student at Ball State University, I completed an academic minor in Ancient Studies, which primarily required me to successfully completed many Classical Cultures courses. This included "Introduction to Classics", "Cultural Life Ancient Rome", "Classical Literature in English Translation", "The Ancient City", and "Development of the Roman Civilization". I also successfully completed the History department's "Development of the Greek Civilization" course and the Anthropology department's "Archaeology" course. Professionally, I taught middle school Social Studies at several schools, which included ancient history and classics instruction for my 6th graders.
I began taking private drum lessons at age 8! (Both of my parents are music teachers.) I joined the middle school band as a member of the percussion section and continued private drum lessons. I also attended the annual Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) solo and ensemble contests in both middle and high school. (I played snare drum, drum set, and tympani solos and percussion ensembles at each contest.)
I continued playing drums in high school. I was a member of the summer marching band's drum line (two years playing quads/ tenor drums and two years playing snare drum) and was selected as the drum line captain my senior year. I also played in the school's Concert and Blues bands.
I began teaching snare drum and drum set lessons to children and teens ages 8 - 18 as a college student. (I taught each student the "26 Standard American Snare Drum Rudiments", various drumming techniques, and sheet music reading skills.) In total, I taught private drum lessons for 8 years including 1 summer as the Summer Drum Line Instructor at Anderson High School (Anderson, IN.).
I am experienced in music composition as well. One of my duties at Anderson High School was to compose snare drum, quad/ tenor drum, and bass drum music for the summer marching band's show.
I am a licensed secondary level Social Studies teacher in Indiana. (This includes students in grades 6 - 12.) I also earned my Masters degree in Secondary Education from Ball State University. I took several classes related to middle level teaching techniques during my course of study. I earned a graduate certificate in Middle Level Education after obtaining my Masters degree.
In addition to teaching methods courses, I also took graduate level Child Development and Child Psychology courses. These covered development from "birth to death".
Aside from being a parent to a 6th grader, I have several years' experience working with students from grades 1 - 5. I was a substitute teacher for students in grades 3 - 8 for one semester before taking my first full time teaching job. I have tutored students in 1st - 5th grade, too.
While earning my Bachelor's degree in Sociology, I took several college level Math courses including Math 125 ("Everyday Math"), Statistics, and Sociological Research (this class involved using the Scientific Method to create and test a hypothesis and calculate statistics to evaluate the relationship amongst data). I also tutored a college student in Statistics during one summer school semester (her grade went from a "D" to an "A" in three weeks!).
I also served as a Homework Help tutor at Yorktown Middle School (Yorktown, Indiana) assisting students with all core classes including Math, English, Science, and Social Studies.
While earning my Master's degree, I took Advanced Statistics and earned an "A" in the course. I also took a graduate level research methods course that required the use/ application of the advanced statistics I had learned.
I have also helped my daughter with her Math and algebra homework (she is now in 6th grade).
While attending Ball State University, I tutored middle school students in English (among other subjects) at Yorktown Middle School's Homework Help after school tutoring program for one semester.
During teacher preparation, I received instruction on various methods for teaching English/Language Arts content to middle and high school students.
As a middle school teacher, I assisted students with their English/Language Arts homework during homeroom as needed. I also taught 6th grade Remedial English for one school year.
I always worked closely with our school's English/Language Arts teachers to inform them of the various writing assignments students were completing in my social studies class. I stressed reading and writing skills in my classes and required all students to complete daily writing assignments.
In the Spring of 2012, one of my 7th grade students won the Daughters of the American Revolution essay contest in the 7th grade division for Delaware county (Indiana). I required all of my students to complete a creative essay on the assigned historical event each year.
One of my subject endorsements on my current Indiana teacher's license is Historical Perspectives. (This includes both U.S. and World History courses. Several of these were specific to Europe.)
Prior to graduation from Ball State, I successfully completed both the Ball State History Department teaching exams. (2) and the Praxis II Social Studies General Knowledge (0081) test. All of these included European history questions. I scored in the top 18% of all test takers on the Praxis II test!
As a middle school Social Studies teacher, I have three years' experience teaching World/European History to 6th and 7th graders. Sixth grade students were required to complete a castle building assignment to assess their knowledge of daily life in Medieval Europe. Many students also choose topics from European history for their Middle School History Day project (a program I created for all of my middle school students).
I also organized field trips for my 7th graders that included European history content.
I was an Aviation Electrician's Mate in the navy. My training helped me quickly learn how to diagnose and repair computer systems. I also have extensive knowledge and training in computer software and applications. I'm fluent in Microsoft Office software: Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, for both PC and Mac.
As a teacher, I try to use as much technology as possible in my lessons. This includes using SMART boards, projectors, and classroom response systems.
As a teacher candidate at Ball State University I took several Geography and Natural Resources classes while training to become a secondary level (middle and high school students) Social Studies teacher. I successfully completed both of the Ball State History department's Social Studies teacher examinations. I also successfully completed the Praxis II Social Studies content examination and I am now licensed to teach Social Studies to middle and high school students in Indiana.
Professionally, I created and taught Geography lessons to middle school students at several schools. This included content ranging from cardinal directions and basic map reading skills to more advanced material related to climate and weather, biomes, and global weather events.
Government & Politics
I completed an academic minor in Political Science as an undergraduate student at Ball State University. This included courses in state and local politics, American national government, international politics, international relations, comparative politics, and political philosophy. As a Graduate student, I completed the Political Science department requirements for teaching licensure in Government and Citizenship at the secondary level (middle and high school). This included passing the department's teacher subject mastery test. I also successfully completed the Praxis II Social Studies content exam and am now licensed to teach Government and Citizenship to Indiana middle and high school students.
Professionally, I taught Government and Citizenship content to middle schoolers (grades 6th - 8th) here in Indiana.
I have both professional and academic training in grammar instruction. As a teacher candidate at Ball State University, I took several teaching methods courses that included grammar instruction techniques. As a classroom teacher, I included daily grammar and weekly subject - specific vocabulary instruction in my lessons. I have also taught 6th grade remedial English/ Language Arts classes, which included grammar instruction, to help students improve their reading and writing abilities and bring them up to "grade level". (I used Indiana Academic Standards to create lessons for this class.)
I have been using Macintosh computers for 10 years. As a Ball State University student, I took Business, Educational Methods, and Educational Technology courses where Macintosh computers were used exclusively.
I am proficient in using the following Mac applications (both personal and professional uses): iPhoto, iWeb, Mac OSX (operating system), Entourage, iCal, Photobooth, Spaces, Expose, iMovie, and iDVD.
I also have experience using the Mac versions of all Microsoft Office suite of applications including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
I have both professional experience and academic training in Microsoft Excel. As a Ball State University student, I took Educational Technology courses that included lessons on creating Excel spreadsheets to track student test scores and other data. Professionally, I used Excel to create employee payroll and "man hours" for administrative purposes. I am able to use drop down menus and personal knowledge to create formulas for cells, rows, and columns in Excel.
I have extensive experience and training using Microsoft PowerPoint. I took college level courses in Educational Technology at Ball State University that included PowerPoint and effective ways to use it as a classroom teacher. I have created PowerPoint presentations that included embedded video clips, various photos and format options, hidden buttons with hyperlinks to websites, photos, or other slides in the presentation, .wav sound effects, and animations.
I have over 20 years' experience working with Microsoft Windows computer systems (PC) for both business and personal uses. I am fluent in the Microsoft Office suite of applications (especially Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel). I also have experience using Microsoft Publisher to create newsletters and brochures, including computer generated graphics and user photos to add interest.
I have experience with many versions of Microsoft Word. This includes professional experience and academic training. At Ball State University, I completed classes in Keyboarding (Miller College of Business) and Educational Technology (Teacher's College) that both included Microsoft Word instruction, activities, and tests. Professionally, I used Microsoft Word to type documents as both a Social Worker and Teacher daily. I am familiar with both PC and Mac versions of MS Word and I'm proficient using either the mouse/ track pad or keyboard shortcuts as well.
As a Secondary Education major at Ball State University, I successfully completed both the Pre - Professional Skills Test (PPST) and the Praxis II Social Studies Content Knowledge (0081) tests. (Both are requirements to obtain a Social Studies teaching license in Indiana.) I scored in the top 17% of all test takers on the Praxis II test, just missing an award for scoring in the top 15%!
I have successfully completed pre-algebra, algebra I, and statistics classes at the high school and college level. I also have experience tutoring middle school students - including my daughter - in pre-algebra. Additionally, I occasionally used algebra on the job as an aviation electrician's mate in the U.S. Navy.
As a licensed social studies teacher in Indiana, one of my teaching endorsement areas is psychology. I am licensed to teach the subject to students in grades 5 - 12.
As a Ball State student, I took many courses in psychology. Some of these included: General Psychology, Social Psychology, Biopsychology, two Educational Psychology courses, Learning, and several others. As an education major, I also completed two semesters as a teaching assistant for General Psychology courses.
Before student teaching, I successfully completed the Ball State Psychology Department's Teacher's Exam as well. In order to earn my teacher's license I completed the Praxis II Social Studies General Knowledge (0081) exam., which contained a Psychology and Sociology section. I scored in the top 18% of all test takers on this test!
As a classroom teacher, I was a member of the school's RTI team. We reviewed student records and assignment data for reading, writing, and math. We then identified areas students were struggling and created an individualized program to help them improve. As part of the team, I taught remedial English classes to students who needed extra help. This included reading, writing, and grammar lessons.
I also started a book club for 6th and 7th grade students at one of the schools! I really enjoyed reading the books the students read and discussing what they liked and didn't like about them.
I also completed two Educational Readings courses as part of my Masters degree program.
* As a teacher candidate at Ball State University, I took several teaching methods courses that included standardized testing administration and SAT question format instruction. I have experience teaching reading and comprehension techniques to students from ages 8 to adult. I have also tutored students to help them improve their SAT reading/ comprehension scores and have created practice questions for them that were formatted in the SAT style.
As a classroom teacher, my lessons included daily writing instruction. I taught my middle school students skills ranging from sentence and paragraph basics to how to write complex research papers, including APA and Chicago style source citation formats. I also coached several students in creative writing so they could enter the annual Daughters of the American Revolution creative writing competition. I have experience tutoring students to help them improve their scores on the writing/ essay portion of the SAT test as well. This includes creating practice essay prompts formatted in the SAT question style.
I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Ball State University. I completed 39 credit hours (13 classes) of undergraduate course work with a 3.3 GPA. I also have completed 16 credit hours (4 classes) of graduate level Sociology course work earning an "A" in all 4 courses!
I also successfully completed the Ball State Sociology Department teacher's exam and the Praxis II Social Studies General Knowledge test (0081) to become licensed to teach Sociology to students in grades 5 - 12.
As a Secondary Education major, I successfully completed Educational Methods courses which included study skills instruction techniques. I was a volunteer study skills tutor at Yorktown Middle School (Yorktown, IN.) for one semester. I also taught a Study Skills class to students in grades 6 - 8 at Hoosier Academy Muncie (Indiana).
Vocabulary instruction was part of our daily routine in my classroom! We used Word Walls, several types of graphic organizers, and games to learn vocabulary words. I also used several Internet based educational software applications to help students reinforce vocab. when they were at home.
As a licensed social studies teacher in Indiana, I completed many World History/World Civilizations courses before being allowed to student teach. Some of these courses included: World Civilizations I & II, Ancient China, Ancient Greece, and Ancient World Literature.
I also completed two Ball State History Department examinations covering both U.S. and world history before being allowed to student teach. I also passed the Praxis II Social Studies General Knowledge (0081) exam., scoring in the top 18% of all test takers. (The test included World History/ World Civilizations sections.)
As an undergraduate student, one of my minors was Ancient Studies. This included courses in Ancient Greek and Roman Literature, Ancient Greece, Ancient Roman Cities, and several others.
As a middle school social studies teacher, I taught world history content to students in 6th and 7th grades for two years.
I stressed writing skills as a classroom teacher and still do! My students wrote in Social Studies journals every day at the end of class. I taught students the differences between writing informally in their journals versus writing academic papers. I teach all of my students how to come up with topics for research papers and narrow them down to a manageable size. We reviewed the research process and practiced a lot! Every spring, students turned in a year long research paper and project and presented it to the class.
Last year, several students entered the Daughters of the American Revolution history essay contest and one of them won first place in the 7th grade division for our county!
I teach students how to start writing assignments using different brainstorming techniques. Then they learn how to combine ideas to come up with unique topic ideas. I teach students how to review and refine their writing and accept and receive feedback about their work.