After a 35-year career as a professional writer and editor, I am now semi-retired and devoting most of my time to passing my knowledge and skills on to others. I can help you or your child improve your reading, writing, and other English-language abilities, whether you are a native speaker or just now learning English. I can also help you or your child prepare for tests on these subjects, including the MCAS, ACT and SAT.
Since earning a Master’s Degree in English from Western Michigan University in the late 1970s, I have pursued a rich and varied writing, editing and teaching career. On the corporate side, I have managed hundreds of writers and editors as Vice President of Editorial Services at a New York City publishing company. I have served as Senior Editor for the Robb Report luxury magazine and Copy Chief for the J.Crew fashion company. I have written and edited content for dozens of multinational clients, including Google, AT&T, American Express and Sears. At this point, thousands of pieces that I have written or edited can be found on the Web.
On the educational side, I currently help teach college courses in writing and editing at Boston University. I have created customized training programs and taught writing, grammar, editing and proofreading to hundreds of young professionals in Dublin, Ireland. I have given classes in English literature to retirees and college students. And I have taught English as a Second Language to elementary school students (second to sixth grade) in a village in Malaysia.
As a tutor, I adapt my approach to each student’s learning style. For kinesthetic (tactile, task-based) learners, I fill my lessons with relevant, real-world examples and challenges. For mental (linear, analytic) learners, I rely more heavily on drills and workbooks. I am not a proponent of any teaching technique. Rather, I assess a student’s learning style and then try different approaches until one emerges as a winner.
As an ESL teacher, however, I favor the total immersion technique, in which only English is spoken. And as a reading teacher, I don’t typically start with hoary “classics” that may hold little relevance for modern times. Rather, I begin with texts that may intrigue and excite students and move to classics only when the reading “bug” is deeply set.
Many people engage tutors because they want to do well (or want their child to do well) on a particular test: MCAS, SAT, ACT, TOEFL, and the like. I’m familiar with these programs and am happy to “teach to the test.” I’m not fond of relentless drilling and repetition, however. I’ve found that a student who is excited about a subject will probably test well, while one whose interest has been deadened by drilling is less likely to excel.
My main goal in tutoring is to help students both master and ENJOY the subject matter. Once enjoyment begins, mastery follows.
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