Don’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Don’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
My experience in education and mental health provided opportunities to deal with all types of student behavior. I have tutored students diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. I have taught students who are ADD/ADHD in special education classes. The key to helping these students is to keep them on the task. They are easily distracted. They tend to get off task talking about their interests or tangents unrelated to the subject. They require continuous redirection to focus again on the lesson. Providing them with extra time to complete the task is required. Managing their attention requires significant patience. Providing lessons and activities that require them to manipulate items, and to move about is helpful. As a tutor I provide differentiated instruction that meets the needs of the individual. Because of their short attention span, I am constantly challenged to be inventive and flexible in order to help them become more efficient learners.
With the student's history text and the student's current grade and tests results in this class, I will teach him how to study more efficiently to increase comprehension of each chapter. We will preview, survey, and review what needs to be covered. We will work on study and test taking best practices.
One of my tutoring areas is Study Skills that includes test-taking strategies. I recommend exam practice material that will guide the student through our sessions.
I have a broad academic background which enables me to provide insight on how to answer the test questions which are exclusively multiple-choice questions. I coach the student how to understand and analyze the structure of the question through all aspects, to allocate time during the test for each question, to determine the best probable answer, and to improve his/her odds of guessing correctly. I provide instruction on improving vocabulary and reading comprehension. We rehearse for the exam by taking actual practice tests from the numerous study materials available.
I have a BFA (Studio) undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. I am a certified Art Teacher. I have been a public school teacher in South Carolina since 1977. Twenty one of my twenty eight years teaching have been as a full time art teacher at a public school. I have taught drawing as part of all of my art classes.
I am interested in teaching students basic drawing skills that help them compliment their other subjects by learning how to provide illustrations, diagrams, maps, pictures, and other visual enhancements to their projects.
Drawing is making marks to create images. The images can be based from a variety of sources and serve many purposes. A drawing can represent some item from observation, illustrate a dream, express a mood, or be a product of one's imagination.
Teaching drawing is different than teaching core subjects. Drawing is hands-on learning using visual language to communicate. It is a process of recording what you actually see. It is a process of recording what you imagine in the mind's eye. My point of view and instructional approach/style is to teach the elements and principles of art while making the art. Art elements are the tools used to create and design principles are the conceptual guidelines. I challenge students to try numerous styles of drawing. I encourage students to experiment with a variety of art media.
We will approach drawing from two kinds of vantage points. We will use the formal approach of drawing from observation (rendering) with emphasis on developing relative value, positive/negative space and shape, composition, line, volume, form, light and perspective. In addition to this traditional approach we will explore and experiment with developing imaginative, non-representational work with emphasis on abstract and expressive qualities.
I will introduce the student to various drawing media and techniques. We will use a variety of media (charcoal, colored pencils and markers, pastels, pen & ink). Some of the techniques we will explore are shading, cross hatching, smudging, and using ink washes. We will do quick sketching, cartooning, figure drawing, still life drawing, landscapes, and non-representational works. The student will achieve being able to use perspective in the composition, and learn how to draw objects to scale. I will guide the student progressively to become more competent and confident with his/her drawing skill and ability. My goal is to help the student explore what attracts them to drawing. I have very limited experience with portraiture, and don't attempt to teach it.
I am a seasoned teacher willing to work with students from various backgrounds and levels. I am adept helping students to learn. As a life-long learner, I try to instill that tenet educating others. No matter what, acquiring more knowledge and improving skills is timeless.
I have been an elementary school art teacher for ten of my twenty eight years teaching in South Carolina. As a related arts teacher, I taught every student in all grades in the school at least once a week in the art class. In addition to teaching art, I was assigned thirteen periods a week to assist core subject teachers in their classrooms. I provided small group and individual tutoring for struggling students. Some of my assignments were in 3rd grade math, 3rd grade social studies, 3rd grade ELA, 3rd grade science, 4th grade ELA, and 4th grade math. These are my most recent experiences during the last four years teaching art at Denmark-Olar elementary school. I am familiar with South Carolina's state standards for all of these subjects on all grade levels. I know firsthand the importance of passing the state tests. I am familiar with MAP scores and their effect on instruction. I have spent hundreds of hours working with small groups of students who needed the extra assistance to master the classroom material.
Most of these classrooms where I assisted included special education students with learning disabilities that were being mainstreamed in this specific core subject on grade level. I worked on an individual basis with many of them.
My emphasis is improving basic skills. I use the methods and techniques that I learned from a career of teaching. I apply the best practices and instructional methods acquired from taking workshops, attending in-service sessions, and from taking additional graduate hours to improve teaching performance and to learn more in specific content areas. I have extensive general knowledge and I am familiar with most subject areas (excluding foreign languages, advanced math and science).
I create tutoring sessions that show the student how to relate the content to his/her life. By pointing out the relevance, I show the student how he can practically apply his improved skills. This is a key to keeping the student interested. I help students develop their process writing skills, including the pre-writing, writing, editing, and revising stages. I help them learn “higher level thinking skills” and demonstrate how they can apply them to improve scholastic achievement.
I offer learning strategies and self-advocacy supports. I teach students to make continuous improvements in organization, time management, test-taking strategies, smart use of references, double-checking sources, good note-taking, completing homework fully and on time, looking up unfamiliar words, speeding up reading while strengthening reading retention, fortifying powers of concentration, and much more, including sound and engaging essay-writing.
I tailor tutoring sessions to each student's needs and abilities. Please contact me with the details of your situation to see if I can help. I want your student to be more successful with his/her school work. I help them become better. I help with any step in scholastic achievement.
I am an avid reader and writer. I read fiction by novelists who have won the Noble Prize in Literature. I have worked with students at all grade levels to improve their reading and writing skills.
I use Dorling Kindersley Publisher’s Atlas A-Z as a pocket reference tool and global guide. This atlas provides detailed maps of every region in the world, profiles of every nation, and essential facts and figures detailing geography, climate, society and economics. I instruct the student how to use an atlas. I introduce students to other references and online sources to assist them completing projects and essays. I help them make the distinctions between political and cultural geography. I assist students with developing techniques for research. Students will learn study and test taking methods. I help them structure and write reports and essays.
I drill basics of English grammar. I show students how to detect grammatical flaws in their writing and how to correct them. We review proper punctuation. I point out mistakes involved with subject/verb agreement. I stress teaching students to discover and employ all the tools within the word processing program they use. I emphasize having the students go over their writing for themselves to catch any stray words or thoughts, and bring them in to order. We will look for spelling errors, and run-on sentences. I make suggestions for structural changes, and different word selections. I train students to learn how to correct their own work. My goal is having students become confident speakers and writers that prefer and always use grammar standards. I provide reasons and explain grammar rules that guide all revisions I suggest. I use grammar references and online sources to aid students to learn acceptable, conventional, standard grammar. The McGraw-Hill Handbook of English Grammar and the New Oxford American Dictionary are two texts I rely on heavily.
I engage higher-order thinking skills for exploring the meaning of a work of literature.
I help students write their reflection papers by making sure they understand the rubric and requirements of the assignment. I encourage progress in literacy. I teach how to read for comprehension and analysis. I have read and discussed books and grade level literature text stories with young people. I have assisted undergraduate students with response critiques to poems and other literary works. My goal is to instill in adults and children the habits of mind that characterize self-reliant thinkers, readers, and learners. Benefits derived from my tutoring are students will write more effective expository essays.
I took art classes in the Department of Visual Studies within the College of Architecture at Clemson University. I took every undergraduate painting class. I took life-drawing and sculpture.
I transferred to the University of South Carolina in Columbia and enrolled into the BFA degree program. I started taking other courses besides painting. Some of these other art classes were challenging and opened some new perspectives for me concerning the functions and purposes for creating art. I started experimenting with resolving requirements with nontraditional mediums, conceptual art tenets, and nontheatrical performances.
I painted primarily during my undergraduate days while a student at Clemson. I built my own stretcher frames out of brick mold, stretched my own frames with canvas, put on the gesso, and relished painting with acrylics.
I was the monitor of the painting studio and assisted the curator of the gallery. I assisted with transporting artworks to juried shows and exhibitions. I assisted with delivery of the traveling collection that circulated on the Arts Truck sponsored by the Arts Commission.
I used the acrylic paint in a watercolor wash technique with lots of puddles and drips to create veils of transparent color fields. It was a version of action painting.
The images emerged after many layers of thin paint. Those images were a blend of ambiguous depictions of landscapes with human figurative forms floating around the composition. The color scheme was primarily pastel. The finished paintings were usually in the 4 foot by 5 foot dimensional range. Then I used lattice strips to frame them. My painting style was abstract/expressionistic.
During the time between being a student at Clemson University and prior to transferring to the University of South Carolina, Columbia for a BFA degree in studio, I had a working studio in downtown Anderson were I painted continously for two years.
I was represented by a gallery in Atlanta. I have several paintings in public and private collections. Even though I was pleased with this meager success, I decided my best interests (including those of my family) would be better served in the long run by finishing my undergraduate studies, earning my degree, and becoming a public school art teacher.
My experiences teaching art in public schools in South Carolina accounts for most of my time spent instructing students in painting, and other art mediums. I have been an elementary, middle, and high school art teacher.
My first art teacher position was at Southwood Middle School (Anderson School District #5).
I was an art teacher at Westside High School (Anderson School District #5), Blue Ridge High School (Greenville County School District), and Mauldin High School (Greenville County School District).
I've spent most of my school terms as a certified, professional art educator teaching art under full contract on a continuing basis at the elementary level. I taught at Due West Elementary School and Antreville Elementary School (Abbeville County School District #60).
My last art teaching experience (before resigning my position and retiring) was at Denmark-Olar Elementary School (Bamberg School District #2). I taught PreK through 5th Grade students for four years total.
In addition to the above, I worked three years as a recreational therapist (occupational therapy technician) where I provided painting activities for theraputic purposes in the Department of Psychiatry at Anderson Memorial Hospital (AnMed) in Anderson, South Carolina. We painted self-portraits, family scenes, etc...
In customized lessons, I teach painting from the following perspectives: painting techniques like "process painting",
indirect techniques involving the slow building of an image in glazed layers, techniques for spontaneous paintings, expressionistic methods, teaching canvas stretching and making your own grounds, water based painting using acrylics,
large scale murals on site, permanent enamels on walls, etc., and mixed media where paint is one of many components.
I do not have experiences teaching painting in any other context than the public schools. I have never taught workshops. I have become interested in teaching weekly classes and local workshops. I want to begin offering painting lessons/tutoring sessions. I will provide private individual sessions, or small group arrangements. I teach with emphasis on the underlying fundamentals of painting. I include teaching about the elements and principles of design. I do not do portrait painting, architectural renderings, or still lifes. I do not specialize in Realism. I do not currently have a home studio.
I can help students with a wide varity of inclinations and goals, each expressing different intentions and dreams through paint. I look forward to sharing my skills and experiences with your child. I have much to offer painting students.
I have taught the fundamentals of Language arts for all grade levels. I proofread and teach basic proofreading skills. My most recent work proofreading involved assisting an elementary school child learn how to structure and write a short story, a high school senior submitting response essays for university admission, and a graduate student completing the final draft of his thesis.
I find and correct writing mistakes. This process is a collaborative effort. The student learns how to proofread his own writing during our session by participating during the editing and revising stages. I suggest word choice changes and have the student refer to thesauri. We improve structural elements, correct punctuation and grammatical errors, and maintain the student’s distinctive voice while strengthening his specific stance or position on the topic. My goal is help students achieve competent writing skills and understand the gradual process of becoming a better writer.
I will help your student acquire language acquisition, improve communication, and assist them with sharing information and ideas. This will happen by your student becoming a better reader.
I will help them learn how to read on grade level and better comprehend the content of core courses. Reading on grade level is essential for comprehension. I hope to make reading a pleasant experience.
I will teach them that the reading process requires continuous practice, development, and refinement.
I will encourage the student to learn how to appreciate reading as an individual activity. I will encourage the student to read out loud during tutoring sessions so I can benefit by learning more about the student's needs and his developmental level. My hope is that the student will have better comprehension. I will read along with them to instill language and expression, and to promote comprehension of text.
I will help them learn how to track their own understanding. I will help them make sense of the text.
In 1986 I earned a Master of Education degree in Special Education with a major in Emotionally Disabled from Clemson University. Through my work experiences as a certified special education teacher I learned how students’ emotions and mental health affect their learning. I have taught self contained classes with ED students in our public schools. I have firsthand knowledge instructing students with learning disabilities and problem behaviors in a variety of educational settings from an alternative campus in a wilderness environment to being a start up special education teacher on a Child & Adolescent Unit in a state psychiatric hospital. I provided appropriate lessons to teach core subjects based on students’ individual functional level. I used a student’s IEP (Individual Educational Plan) as the basis for evaluating progress in achieving objectives and obtaining goals. I planned and directed all aspects of IEP and other meetings dealing with ED students assigned to me as case manager. I monitored and managed student behaviors. I became adept at adjusting instruction to students’ needs based on their learning styles and preferences. I promoted parental involvement.
As a tutor for students with special needs, I suggest materials and approaches to help students use their learning strengths to compensate for their learning challenges. I emphasize improving reading skills and comprehension. I stress improving writing skills using correct grammar and structural conventions. I have been successful helping students from kindergarten children through adults. I take the initiative to confer with parents, obtain their input and expectations, and listen to their feedback so I can modify and make other appropriate adjustments tutoring their student. My strategy requires maximum parental involvement and support to enhance the student’s learning progress. I teach students how to pinpoint important information, focus on the task, and improve study skills. My goal is to improve students’ confidence so they can become more successful learners.
I never won a spelling bee, but I can help a student dissect words, gain confidence with spelling, and implement a strategy for knowing how to spell correctly. My approach is to correct bad spelling habits. I help the student develop a ritual that yields more fruit. This requires ambitious effort and steady practice. My goal is to instill the learner with a broader yet crystallized understanding of the various rules of English spelling. This includes learning the many exceptions to these rules. We practice knowing how long and short vowel sounds influence the spelling of a word. We inspect letter combinations, methods of pluralizing nouns, and the rules for changing the tense of a verb. Understanding derivations of words shines light on their meaning. Learning to pronounce a word correctly is a key to being able to spell it correctly. Syllabication, articulation, and enunciation are foundational stones. Online resources provide many avenues for improving and expanding spelling skill. I encourage students to keep hard copy dictionaries, thesauri, and word books on standby at arms’ length and to refer to them frequently without hesitation. Using ‘spell check’ (along with the grammar and thesaurus checks) while creating a document on a word processor is a helpful tool. Intentionally looking over to verify correct spelling of words is essential for demonstrating a command of the English language. Being able to spell correctly is a sign of an intelligent individual.
The most successful students are the ones that have been taught good study skills.
As a tutor, I show the student how to acquire skills to become a more efficient and effective learner. This requires learning specific strategies, following systematic steps, and continuous practice. The goal is to increase learning performance results. The student will become more confident in his abilities. The student will become more self-motivated. The student will learn more knowledge faster with less frustration. The student will retain more knowledge. Comprehension and recall will improve. The outcome is a better performing student.
I have a master's degree in Special Education (Emotionally Disabled-Secondary School Emphasis). My state teaching license certifies me to teach all core subjects Pre-K through 12th grade to special education students who are emotionally disabled.
As a graduate teaching assistant at Clemson University while I was earning my masters degree, my responsibilities were to instruct three classes per week to undergraduates struggling with academic success. The class was Time Management and Study Skills. This class also involved teaching reading skills and test taking strategies.
I assist students who are disorganized and have poor study habits. I develop methods to ensure that their time spent doing homework and studying is productive. I show them how to compare book notes and class notes to find similarities. I instruct them on how to make a list of questions as they are reading so as to make their reading most productive. I do not assume that students have learned critical thinking skills. I train kids to read with a purpose, organize their thoughts and notes, infer what comes next, and connect what they read to their own lives. I provide tips and skills that are based on each person's interests, attention span, and strengths.
I show how to sift through text to grasp main ideas. The student must learn to navigate between the covers and identify text features, particularly elements of a nonfiction textbook. Time management is also key in developing good study skills so that the student can allot time for every subject without jeopardizing their grades.
I have been an avid swimmer for my entire life. I earned my Junior & Senior Red Cross Swimming badges when I was a teenager. Many years a go I worked as a Life Guard during our summer months in New Jersey. I continue to swim today in any body of water available. During the winter season I prefer a heated pool. As a swimming instructor I start with the basics: floating, treading water, dog paddle, practice kicking, etc... Then I will lead into basic strokes: side, back, and breast. The swimming lessons are completed when the student swimmer can complete two lengths of the pool doing the American Crawl. I do not coach competitive swimming. The novice will become confident and comfortable with their skills in the water.
Track & Field
Running was especially good for me during my developmental years. I was a successful middle distance and distance runner in high school. I was a state indoor and outdoor mile champion, a state cross country champion, and a state indoor two mile champion. During the off season I ran many road races. I was a member of record-setting relay teams. Because I also made the grade academically, I was provided a student/athlete full scholarship grant and aid to attend college.
Being competitive as a runner was important because it opened many doors. Being a winner early in track boosted my confidence to work harder at developing other abilities. I worked harder on my academic skills. I was supported, encouraged, and nurtured by my coaches and teachers. They always stressed academics since my class standing, grades, and performance on my SATs would determine what college opportunities would be made available.
While in college I was a member of the cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams. I, also, ran on relay teams at indoor and outdoor track meets. By the time my eligibility was up, I had grown tired of competitive running.
High School sports provide many opportunities for numerous students. Regardless of an individual's ability to excel in any one sport that person becomes more involved by being a member of a team, and recognized for his/her contribution.
After my competitive running days were over I coached distance runners for a few years on the high school level. I was a head cross country coach for both boys and girls. In the spring of each school term, I coached half milers, milers, and two milers on the boys track team.
Since I am recently retired from full time teaching I would like to work with young people who aspire to be distance runners. I am most adept at encouraging and coaching young athletes to become more self disciplined, self directed, and self motivated. The best candidates are individuals determined to achieve their goals. As a Coach/Mentor/Tutor I will provide the rigorous practice it takes to improve times and performances. Likewise, I encourage and stress the importance of academic success. Sleep habits and nutritional concerns are other factors.
My training methods are a mixed bag. I emphasize timed interval training on the track, the Fartlek method for cross country, long easy runs, and numerous cross training techniques. Success in running competitively correlates to effective training.
The student's personal goals determine how much and to what extent I become involved. I provide the training required to improve performance. Should you contract for my services you will be hiring a personal coach for your student/athlete.
Like a strength coach I boost word power. As a wordsmith I tailor lessons for that distinctive, customized fit. I want to provide my students with tools that enhance their word base. Hopefully they will enjoy an advantage for more success in their academic work. Knowing the meaning of words is important. It can mean the difference in passing or failing a test or a class. Having a good knowledge of word meanings can also make students do well in many different subjects. Every academic and professional specialty has its own vocabulary that requires learning and understanding unique terms. Using advanced vocabulary is a particular skill.
Adding to your vocabulary makes your speech colorful, and your writing come alive. Incorrect usage of vocabulary will reward you a dunce’s cap. When you learn how to rectify your own mistakes you enjoy a satisfying badge for proficiency. Students need to understand how to pronounce the word, learn the part of speech, and know how it's used in the sentence in order to completely grasp the word. The best way to learn vocabulary is contextually, and reading is the best context. One needs to use the word in their speech actively and appropriately to retain it. A typical tutoring session would involve teaching vocabulary expansion and dictionary/thesaurus skills. I help students identify and utilize context clues in passages and sentences. I assist students to learn how to make right word choices. I familiarize students with the many Latin roots, suffixes, and prefixes that construct words (so that unknown vocabulary will become quicker and easier to decipher).
I assist a student to obtain a global perspective of human events. I view history as endless accounts of the diversities and similarities of all nations and cultures. I teach students why past historical stories are valuable today. While growing up I had a personal passion for leafing through the pages of National Geographic magazine fascinated by the photographs and their captions. I enjoy exploring online sources for images that compliment tutoring sessions. I use abundant photographs, illustrations, maps, charts, and other visual representations to help make the historical period easier to understand.
I taught one World History class at a High School (Greenville County School District) where I was the art teacher. When I was a special education teacher, I taught World History within the context of our Social Studies classes. As the elementary school art teacher, I assisted a third grade teacher during Social Studies.
As a tutor, I explain historical concepts. I emphasize understanding difficult words. My goal is to help students know and comprehend their textbook. By explaining the teacher’s requirements I enable students to learn how to be better prepared for classroom discussions, taking tests, and writing essays. I review and check their ability to understand the important concepts in the current school lesson.
My goal is to provide the student with a means of becoming self-sufficient in his/her academic writing. My approach to tutoring writing is tailored to each student's needs and abilities. As a teacher I have helped with writing skills for the past thirty years. I provide learning activities that are suited to each person's development. I promote self expression. Helping students find their voices and flourish in their words are learning outcomes I focus on to accomplish.
I will help speed up your student's writing skills in academic work by improving note-taking, organizing and structuring essays, following teacher/instructor/professor rubric specifications, revising and submitting the work. We will get the paper done correctly on time. I help with writing essays for homework and test preparation.
I help a student with expository, persuasive, and narrative essays by providing guidance in sentence and paragraph structure, along with descriptive writing assistance. I walk the student through the process of organizing in preparation of writing.
I can teach your child to write a story. I have fun making them comfortable writing phrases and sentences to start off. We follow specific steps in the process of developing the story. The child has to able to tell the story before writing begins. The student stops at intervals during the telling of the story to make brief notes. The student creates main characters. I show the student how to correct vocabulary and sentence structure after the first draft. During the second draft we revise by improving the sequence of events, giving each character a specific voice, increasing sensory qualities, emphasizing setting (time and place) and by providing additional details.
Our final draft is smoothed out so the story flows. The finished work has a recognizable narrator, a definite plot, a point of view for being told. Using creativity in storytelling is a fun way to improve writing skills.
Learning to be a better writer helps you become a better reader and speaker. The other subjects I am certified to tutor are integral to writing. Please contact me should you believe I can help your student.