I am a former teacher of English and French at Boston area private schools: Belmont Hill School and the Fessenden School. I have also taught ESL at the Berlitz Language institute in Boston. I have a partnership-oriented approach to tutoring, working together with each student to advance his or her proficiency...I do not lecture.
I have studied Proto-Indo-European at Harvard Extension School and I majored in French and Russian in college. The combination of those three studies provides a deep understanding of the root words and prefixes and suffixes that are at the core of the SAT verbal exam. Etymology is a hobby of mine and I enjoy helping students to understand the basics of word formations that will enable the student to score higher on the SAT. I use various media to learn and practice solid reading, writing and grammar skills, such as newspaper or magazine clippings that illustrate improper usage (often by professional athletes!) crossword puzzle clues/answers and dictionary/thesaurus analysis.
As an athlete who has played football, hockey, baseball and competed in triathlon and bicycle racing, I can appreciate the demands that are placed on students today. I have two daughters who are rarely home because they work so hard in school. I approach my students with the understanding that they have a lot going on, and respect their busy lives.
My style and effectiveness could probably best be defined by an event that occurred at a Bruins game. One of my former students was sitting in front of me. He turned around and said "hi" and while we were chatting, and he said to me, "Mr. Johnson, you taught me everything I needed to know about writing to get through college, and you are the reason that I became a teacher, myself."
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