I've taught all ages from 3 to 83; I have special expertise and long experience teaching English, English and European literature, Classics, and all kinds of history, including history of art. I'm also good for basic math and science of the sort required for the SAT, GRE and LSAT.
Born in Portland, Oregon of Seattle parents, I earned my honors degrees - B.A., M.A., Ph.D - from Stanford and Yale. I worked my way through school with scholarships and fellowships plus part-time and summer jobs from age 16. I've lived abroad and traveled the world, making me multilingual, multicultural and compassionate. I've also been a community volunteer, activist and artist, even a designer who owned her own business before selling it to work in the corporate world of New York.
Teaching children made me a much better teacher of teens and adults. I learned how to listen, figure out what's needed, then quickly provide practical help. In some cases a student's difficulties stem from being born abroad, coming from another culture, speaking another language. I'm not a specialist in ESL, but I've already coached 4 14-year-olds in English, French and German as well as sports, art and crafts before joining the English Department at the University of California, Berkeley. There I taught a few foreign students whose native languages were French, German, Italian and Mandarin. At McGill University in Montreal, my students' numbers, range of backgrounds and languages, vastly increased. Out of the thousands I taught, hundreds came from Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia, the first of their immigrant families to enter university. Wherever I taught, I aimed to inspire, motivate and support students to reach their full potentials. So aside from doing star turns in big lecture courses, I taught smaller interdisciplinary courses designed to rapidly increase not just knowledge and skills but students' observational, analytic and creative powers. I achieved this by creating flexible assignments, then advising and monitoring students individually. This often meant one-on-one tutoring. In high school, many students settle for doing less than they can. They don't with me! Because I often transformed individual academic performances, some claimed I got all the best students. I didn't. I just held students to high standards, working with them till they thrived on their own. I'm proudest of those who nearly failed, then graduated with honors, becoming doctors, lawyers, architects, teachers--even artists, actors, and novelists.
We'll talk first about what you want to achieve and anything that might get in the way. I will probably ask to see examples of your writing and tests you have taken, just to confirm your self-assessment. If factors outside school affect you, we'll explore those, too. We'll then work out a plan to get you to your goals as quickly as possible, respecting limits on time and energy. I'll lead you through texts, problems and puzzles, devising exercises to sharpen your focus, your skills, your critical thinking. I may even assign you literary, logical or mathematical detective work - otherwise known as research. It's fun.
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