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Having retired from teaching middle schoolers in the classroom, I am still very active in the education community, preparing new teachers with Breakthrough Providence, teaching after school enrichment classes in world languages, and tutoring. As a long-time middle school teacher, I have taught and tutored students with a wide variety of learning styles and strengths, and I understand that everyone learns differently. My goal is to help students discover their strengths and use those to enhance their learning. I have a wide knowledge of learning styles and approaches to tap into each of those.
My experience, my constant contact with colleagues, and my research skills help keep me updated in new as well as time-tested methods. I have a great sense of humor and genuinely enjoy all kinds of people. I love learning together and look forward to helping you reach your goals.
My specialty in helping students with college entrance applications is assisting with writing both personal and prompt driven essays. As a humanities teacher for the last three decades, I have taught students of many ages to conceive, organize, pre-write, edit and finalize many varieties of appropriate essays.
Currently, I am working with three students: one is writing personal statements for college applications; one a personal essay for entrance to graduate school; and, the last the introduction to her doctoral dissertation. The first is my niece, the second a mentee, and the third was my student in middle school, where she wrote her first formal essays for me. Recently, I assisted my brother in preparing a personal statement for publicizing his run for town council; he won. All the people whom I assist are equally successful and they learn important writing skills. I genuinely enjoy this work and imbue it with a great deal of enthusiasm.
As a self-contained 8th grade teacher, I taught all middle school subjects including algebra. I also taught a small group of 7th graders who struggled with math concepts and helped them to become very successful by giving them real-world applications of math: checking accounts, budgeting, figuring out taxes on their "paychecks", etc. My strengths in working with math students are helping them to understand the larger concepts behind their math work, then helping them to find ways to "drill and skill" that suit their personal learning styles: kinesthetic, auditory, or visual.
Having taught both self-contained and humanities middle school classrooms, I have many years of experience teaching reading and writing skills to 6th through 8th graders. My students in Chicago all wrote creative and expository essays and improved across the board in their personal skills. Many of my students upgraded papers they had written for me in our social studies/language arts classes for their own use in both high school and college. Many have written to me thanking me for teaching them that "writing is thinking".
Because I have learned to speak and write in a number of languages, my grammar skills and understanding of language structure are very strong. Because I have worked with a wide variety of students in a number of countries, I am sensitive to the needs of each student and work to help them use their strengths to improve in those areas that need work.
Over the years, I have lived and taught in many countries. I have worked with people in all age groups to improve their spoken and written English. At the International School in Rome, I taught English to middle schoolers from at least 10 different countries, all of whom had varying degrees of English proficiency. Additionally, I taught English to adults and children as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador, as well as beginning English to kindergarten children in France. I have been a writing instructor and tutor for many years and my grammar and editing skills are very strong. My love of and enthusiasm for language as well as my humor have allowed me to create strong relationships with my students which always enhance the students' learning potential.
As a humanities teacher for 20 years, I was responsible for teaching middle school students to speak in public, from reciting poetry to preparing and delivering their graduation speeches, from acting in plays to welcoming guests to our school. I also prepared younger students to speak in their capacity as student council representatives and graduate students to prepare and give presentations in classes. I directed student plays and co-taught with our drama teacher preparing my students to deliver Shakespearean soliliquies.
My university classes in communications and public speaking combined with my experience in public speaking, sales, management, chairing committees in a variety of organizations, as well as teaching itself all prepared me to help others learn strategies for preparing and delivering addresses of varying lengths. Solid writing preparation, self-confidence and speaking strategies (e.g., cadence, word emphasis, repetition of key grammatical structures, body positioning) are the keys to excellent public speaking.
Having learned Spanish as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador many years ago, I have used my training, along with my knowledge of other romance languages, to inform all my teaching. I am currently tutoring RI high school students as well as teaching after school classes in Spanish to elementary school students. I am completely comfortable teaching through third year high school Spanish and have an excellent command of the grammar.
As a veteran of middle school with over 20 years of experience, teaching study skills has been a major portion of my job and I have experience in every facet: reading comprehension, organization, time management, and state of mind, or, attitude toward studying. Reading comprehension involves decoding and vocabulary development as well as skills for breaking text down into workable chunks. Organization ranges from knowing how to organize any text on which you are working to cleaning out and rearranging your folders and backpack, along with the all-important agenda. Many students have challenges with time management, most of which stem from not being sure how to tackle the work and/or being concerned it will "take too much time". Finally, a student's attitude toward her/his studies is based on knowledge of/confidence in the above skills as well as the length of time the student has/has not been successful in school. Taking on these skills independently, then connecting them into a unified whole is a daunting challenge for any student. However, a tutor can show the student workable and fairly easy ways to learn the skills while helping that student to slowly but consistently incorporate them into a daily plan.
Over the course of twenty years I have worked with students from 5th through 12th grade helping them develop skills in creating, editing, revising and producing quality writing in every format from friendly letters to extended essays. My 8th grade students have written essays for my class on historical people or events, which, due to their high quality, the students revised, updated and polished for use in subsequent high school and even college classes. I have tutored students preparing for SATs as well as high schoolers who were working on written pieces both for classes or for graduation. I am regularly called upon by my colleagues and friends to edit and/or help them revise their work. I am a published writer and hold very high standards for myself, my teaching and my students.
Great enthusiasm! — Kathleen always comes to tutoring sessions with great energy and enthusiasm. She is ready to tackle the subject and really helps my teenage son to stay on task and truly understand the material. He is usually tired and not wanting to do the work but Kathleen never wavers in her positive attitude and encouragement. She has really helped Andrew in Spanish and studying. ...
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