Nancy’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Nancy’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
I earned my Washington State teachers credentials 4-12, along with my Masters in English at Central Washington University. Formerly, the certificates read K-12. I took reading & elementary art instruction, and child psychology, and several other courses that serve for credits towards elementary education. I have taken subsequent college coursework in children's literature, and I have become acquainted with a broad spectrum of children's literature during my decade in the Seattle library system.
When working as a substitute in a major school district, which I do in between college teaching assignments, I often do the elementary grades. I particularly fill in for the librarian or music instructor. I also do "learning support" for K-6, which is pull out sessions with students needing extra help, or ESL students needing a small learning group. Naturally, I teach in the regular classrooms, too. Currently, I'm teaching K-6 campers about the nature & geography of Bolivia. I have been the Nature instructor for a week of summer camp for several years.
I have tutored elementary students in their homes for a school district. Some of these students have been seriously depressed or recovering from an illness and cannot tolerate the school environment. Tutoring help in the early grades is a tremendous boost to the child who didn't catch on to how to do fractions, or is challenged in reading. A little help in the early years goes a long way toward building confidence and ensuring comprehension across the disciplines in middle school.
While completing my Masters in English & Washington state teacher's certification at CWU, I took a masters seminar in ESL. Then I taught an ESL class on site at a cannery for Spanish-speaking workers. In my introductory level community college writing classes, I have worked with many second language students. Recently, I had a student from Bulgaria and another from Russia; I've taught many students from the Far East: Japan, China, and Indo-China. I had a Running Start student from Iran who spoke five languages, including German and French. I became acquainted with a few of the Lost Boys of Sudan, and I had another student from Nigeria.
I have taken German at the college level a long time ago, and studied Spanish in largely the college-affiliated extension classes. I've found that even having a little rudimentary language other than my first, is helpful in understanding the frustrations and the joys of language learning. I have worked with the elder of the Yakama tribe to add her Sahaptin language to some of my writings. On the elementary level, I have substituted in Learning Support classes with ESL students. I have some bi-lingual materials in Spanish for the young readers, or to use with beginning ESL students. I have picture language cards & have used picture dictionaries. I have one of my favorite works of literature, Men of Maize (Hombres de Maiz) from the Nobel Prize winning author Miguel Angel Asturias of Guatemala, in the original Spanish and a companion English copy. I even stayed with the son of the former President of Guatemala, who served as the private secretary for Asturias' widow and organized notes and unpublished works. I have some computer language programs & tapes, and can work with whatever materials you need assistance with, or I can put together a curriculum specific to your immediate needs.
I have been a musician, both vocal and instrumental since my school days. I have performed locally on the french horn, my primary instrument, and on trumpet with easier music. My choir experience has been primarily with church choirs, and I can sing either alto or soprano. I can play some piano or keyboard to help a student with practicing a part. If your child is singing a part and needs the other part to sing against, I can do that. I read music, both bass and treble clef.
With playing the french horn, I get some practice in transposing. While substituting in both instrumental and vocal programs for a school district, I gain experience in teaching about the composers. On the elementary level, we watch engaging biographies with scenarios tied to a famous piece: like Bizet to "Carmen." I enjoy seeing musically talented students achieve excellence.
As a community college instructor, I did a practicum for continuing credits as an assistant director for "Hello Dolly." I have played in pit orchestras: for instance, I did Gilbert & Sullivan's "Mikado," and just this spring I did Roger & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma." I have attended the Seattle Opera for several years.
I'm a Washington State teacher certified in a Language Arts endorsement which includes speech instruction.
I can explain the principles of organizing around an outline, using an andecdote or other attention-getter like a surprising statistic or a rhetorical question as an opener. Once the speaker has the attention of the audience, the talk should proceed, usually in linear fashion. Your listeners don't wish to work too hard to understand your argument and main points. Public speaking often requires carefully placed repetition.
It's important to maintain a poised and professional manner, and to stay on the high ground when fielding questions. Practice using videotaping can be utilized. Always plan for the big finish. Your last word is the maximum point for emphasis. I've made presentations as a teacher and as an advocate for causes. I've attended public hearings and can show you how to speak to your strengths. All my college students are required to be in front of their classmates, serving on a team panel. Many put together visuals. I can help you prepare with speech writing tips to incorporate catchy phrases, rather than mundane trivial cliched ones. You'll find that public speaking can be a confidence builder when you are adequately prepared.
I took The Old Testament as philosophy at the university level, and have made a life-long study of man and his faith in the Divine. I've been to the Vatican museum, those Salt Lake City Morman sites and library which are open to the general public, and I have attended a longhouse feast celebrating the return of salmon by special invitation. Also, I've attended both Bar Mizvah and Bat Mitzvah services.
Through world-wide literature studies, for instance, where I've taken university classes in Chinese and Japanese and Russian & Scandinavian literature, I've been exposed to Oriental and Orthodox religions. I took in a Seattle Ethiopian exhibit which had both Coptic Christian and ancient Jewish displays. I've seen the Dead Sea Scrolls twice, and a King Tut special exhibit. I've studied about and photographed sacred Winnebago flutes and beaded and porcupine quill medicine bags made from river otter skins. I've learned about European offerings to river gods handed down through folktales, and also how Catholic priests in Central and South America incorporated Mayan and Aztec and Inca ceremonies into celebrations of Saints Days.
I have some resources like a book of angels depicted in the art of the Middle Ages, and a history of Christianity volume, and several accounts of Native American creation legends. PBS is a tremendous resource available with programs like The Questioning of Faith, the Brain, Religion and Ethics; Religion and the Environment, and Religion and the Moral Axis of the Universe.
Special Needs Experience
I have substituted many times over the years in the Learning Support classroom, as a certified WA State 4-12 teacher. I've instructed reading and spelling and other language arts, worked to support and build math skills, and have used teamwork and small groups to encourage peer help and in doing so foster social skills. I also have tutored special needs students for the school district in an off-campus one-on-one environment.
While I am patient with learning difficulties, I also try to assess how to get around learning roadblocks by using alternative strategies suited to the student's learning style.
I have taught writing, with a literature component, for many years in community colleges. Part of classroom assignments include individual and team study skills building. A research paper is required and often the class takes a fieldtrip to the campus library. Personally, I spent 10 years with the Seattle Public Library, many of those as head of a neighborhood station where I directly answered queries and helped students with accessing materials skills. My students are required to keep notebooks with appropriate subheadings. I reward vocabulary and spelling improvement and show them how to take notes from a text with bold headings and highlighted information boxes.
I can adapt study skills instruction to the individual needs of the students, and quickly they will be rewarded with progress in interpreting and retaining information. Depending upon the demands of certain teachers and programs, the emphasis can be shifted to gain prioritized skills, usually with marked improvement the first week.
As the student learns more study skills, I can help them tap into their own creativity and critical thinking abilities. In today's world, the computer offers assistance in developing good study skills, and I can encourage students to utilize online dictionaries and content summaries without succumbing to plagiarism.
My primary instrument is the french horn. I have performed with many community concert bands, including one band affiliated with a college; this group performs yearly for a festival of bands in Victoria, BC.
I am an experienced instrumental and general music substitute in a major school district. The instrumental classes are from 5th grade through high school, and the vocal music ones begin in the lower elementary grades.
Many future french horn musicians start on the trumpet. For tutoring purposes, I have beginning books in trumpet. I have a wide range of literature for french horn students--including workbooks through intermediate levels. I also have regular symphonic excerpts that students aspiring to a higher level can practice. I have a trumpet and a potential loaner practice french horn that could be rented for an additional fee. I could play along on my double horn, or I could let the student have the fun of playing with an accompaniment CD to many popular tunes or hymns, Christmas music and the like.
Depending upon your school district, I could even come into your school to give lessons. I did this for the initial endangered instrument program. I look forward to hearing your talents develop.
World History is a fascinating area of study that I have enjoyed, in conjunction with my university studies in World Literature. I tutor World History, not only from a firmly anchored base of World Geography of the region and surrounding areas, but also from the aspects of shared cultures. Much of World History has been negatively influenced by wars, plagues and famines, but also World History has been positively impacted by aspects of scientific discoveries and eras like the Renaissance, a contagious period of learning which quickly spread world-wide. World History in its most understandable form is really becoming acquainted with a cast of characters. Mastering World History also requires reading for content and study skills which I also teach.
Writing instruction is one of my key areas of expertise. For several years I taught writing, in conjunction with grammar and literature, at the community college level. Some of the writing instruction was for ESL or remedial writing. My Masters in English and my years of scoring essays for a national testing center make me highly qualified, as well as up-to-date about what it takes to succeed at writing.