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Educator for more than seventeen years; English major with significant graduate work in education and theology, I have several years' experience in direct classroom teaching and individual tutoring in all lower school subjects and middle/upper school general science, earth science, and Spanish I and II, together with several years' experience in higher education administration and direct student support services.
My instructional methodology includes multisensory presentation and multidisciplinary application of content material, with an age- and content-appropriate balance between the "back to basics" approach and more stimulating and challenging learning activities. I enjoy all subjects at the elementary level, but my particular strengths lie in working with older students in English/language arts, literature and writing, introductory to intermediate Spanish, philosophy, religion, theology, and social studies.
I also do college and career advising for middle, high school, and college students, transitioning service members and veterans, and career changers. Check out my subject areas to see what I can do for you or your child.
Overview of the whole Bible, Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, book, chapter, character, and thematic studies; authorship, canonization, law and grace, soteriology, ecclesiology, eschatology, biblical doctrines and systematic theology, biblical literature and literary forms (with introductory textual and form criticism), the Pauline and Hebrew Christian epistles, biblical types/symbology, cross-referencing, using concordances, Bible handbooks, and other study aids, creation hypotheses, biblical and scientific creationism, Israel in prophecy, premillennialism, amillennialism, postmillennialism, dispensationalism, apologetics. Can adapt to students studying Bible, religion, philosophy, theology, catechism as undergraduates and below (not seminarians), and can teach Bible, religion, philosophy, theology, apologetics, catechism, and The Bible in Literature as a high school elective and for homeschoolers, in Christian schools, and in local church educational programs. Can assist with curriculum selection and curriculum development.
Coaching students/clients in an examination of educational backgrounds and work history, goals, aspirations, talents, interests, innate abilities, extracurricular, avocational or bivocational pursuits, various occupational assessments, career field exploration and outlook; transferable skills, building the resume, writing a cover letter, basic interviewing skills. Getting to know the student/client on a somewhat personal level rather than simply in a cold "clinical" way in order to help the student/client to discover what their "ideal life" might look like if certain barriers could be overcome; coaching the student/client in problem solving and self-assertion to move in positive directions toward educational and/or career opportunities, and to continue to use problem solving and appropriate self assertion and conflict resolution skills in the work setting. My experience is predominantly with high school and college age students and service members and veterans transitioning to civilian life.
College preparation (early and late), the search process, including advice on visits and tours, the application process, evaluating colleges and determining "best fit," narrowing the selection of schools and "safe" schools, writing the admissions essay, putting students and parents at ease during this typically stressful process, exploring family history to ascertain legacy status or common threads, back doors to the Ivy League, etc. My method is not a dry clinical one; I get to know students/families or adult clients, help them explore many options and pathways to a college education and keep things in perspective as they arrive at their final decisions. I can work with transitioning service members/veterans, middle and high school students, midlife career changers, less advantaged students/clients/first time college attendees.
I completed a Justice Systems diploma program, including a police internship, as one of my high school majors, and immediately after, while attending a community college as a Criminal Justice major, worked in the Tactical and Special Services Section, Schuyler County Sheriff's Department, as well as for industrial security corporations. I served process for many years and worked in Army Intelligence, working closely with local and federal law enforcement agencies.
I taught lower and middle school general science, life science, and earth science in private schools in Illinois and New York. As a summer camp counselor, I also engaged students in the second through ninth grades in science-related outdoor activities, such as nature hikes, outdoor-living skills, local ecology and geology, animal care, diet, nutrition, exercise, trail and waterfront conservation, and water sports. I use hands-on activities and a variety of print and multimedia resources to make concepts easy to understand.
English is my first love. I acquired my first language easily and naturally, without having to struggle learning the rudiments of reading, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, usage, style, punctuation, or literature. As an early, avid reader, it was clear that language was one of my innate talents. But as a world traveler, I have helped many people from many countries who have struggled while trying to learn English. With a B.A. in English, knowledge of a second language, and some work in linguistics, I understand that English does not come so easily to others and am able to help those learning English as a first or second language, those preparing for high school and college, and those preparing for competitive examinations.
I have helped speakers of Spanish, Korean, Russian, and Chinese improve their English and prepare for English exams. I have also conducted workshops or tutored English teachers in Central America for whom English was not their first language.
I learned how to read and was an early and avid reader because I was taught reading through a phonics-based program, the Initial Teaching Alphabet (ITA), which is very similar to the SRA/DISTAR and Orton-Gillingham approaches. I have also used Engelmann, Haddox, and Bruner's Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and Saxon Phonics. I am also a linguist and have studied the rudiments of phonetics, phonemics, and phonology.
I practiced oratory while growing up and doing recitations, monologues, and other speaking parts in church and school programs; acting in school and college drama club plays and musicals, and presenting briefings to generals in the military. I also taught for many years, and so was "on the platform" on a daily basis.
In teaching reading, I use a solid phonics-based approach either initially or when other approaches have failed, unless a student has a learning difficulty for which other approaches tend to be more successful. Whatever the method, I use multi-sensory stimuli and multi-disciplinary resources as much as possible. Reading and learning to read should be pleasurable and not just a critical skill for learning other things.
I have taken undergraduate and seminary courses in world religions, philosophy, and biblical and theological studies, and have worked and taught in Sunday school and church ministries, Christian day schools, and Christian summer camps.
I completed a B.A. in English and 18 graduate semester hours in Education. I taught and tutored primary, secondary, and college students in various academic subjects as well as learning, study, and life skills. I use a multi-sensory, multi-disciplinary approach to teaching and learning.
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