I'm very excited to work with you on a range of different subjects, including writing, literature, and the social sciences. Whether it is for test preparation, or making sure you pass a class excellently, I'm here to help and will work capably and professionally to make sure your needs are met as a student and an individual.
I am a native Oregonian who has spent the last 12 years living and working in different parts of the United States, pursuing my interest in this large and complicated country. I received my Bachelor's in English at the University of Montana in Missoula, and more recently a Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. It was at U of A that I began my tutoring and teaching career in earnest, working first for the UA Writing Center, then more professionally as their instructor for Composition, Literature, and Creative Writing classes.
Between my educational endeavors I have worked passionately in the Not-for-Profit (what I like to call "Citizen") Sector. This work has been with a number of Americorps positions, including the American Red Cross (in Miami), the Montana Conservation Corps (Missoula), and Ashoka's Youth Venture (Brooklyn).
I am an avid reader, and while pursuing more formal education, I have taken many classes and courses in a range of subjects including philosophy, religion, American history, European history, and the Humanities. Non-fiction is my favorite genre to read, while poetry remains what I write. The two (not surprisingly) complement each other very well. I am also an amateur musician, having played the piano since I was 5, and studied music theory briefly under Mary Fields, a Portland jazz pianist.
I live in southeast Portland with my wife Jessica and our dog Lucy.
It has been said that becoming a teacher is just continuing your education publicly, and I couldn't agree more. Teaching is not a one-way street where the student gleans from the tutor, but a shared experience where the tutor can learn from student, so that both go away with more knowledge than what they came with. For test preparation, this involves more than just rote learning, for the key to tests is the ability to think critically and process information efficiently. Rigorous lessons can be aided by word games and made more fun.
The most important lesson I hope to teach a student is that learning is fun, and for that I employ enthusiastic and enjoyable lessons. One example, for teaching the reading portion of the SAT for instance, is to write short mysteries for the student to solve. This helps students read for detail, think critically on what they have read, and respond in a thoughtful and meaningful way. The mysteries are fun (and age-appropriate) and help students synthesize information.
I would be very excited to speak to you in more detail about my approaches and exercises in individual tutoring sessions, so please be in touch!
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