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Texas Christian University (Journalism)
University of Arkansas at Little Rock (Master's)
I have a background in writing and editing that goes back to my undergraduate days as a journalism student. After I earned my bachelor's degree, I had a six-year career as a newspaper copy editor, a job I left to concentrate on graduate studies in rhetoric and writing, an education that has incorporated a strong focus on teaching and pedagogy. I now perform a variety of tasks, from writing to editing to teaching. Between the two major parts of my background, I have built up expertise in writing, with a particularly strong grounding in editing and grammar.
Most of my teaching experience has been concentrated in the past couple of years, after I left my newspaper job. I have taught composition at the college level, and tutored students in brief one-on-one sessions, usually focused on a specific assignment, for more than two years. Furthermore, I have worked specifically with developing writers in intensive study programs. So to any student with grammar needs: I'm your guy.
While my greatest strengths lie in areas related to writing, I also have a fairly broad base of knowledge, and have tutored students in other subjects as well, like algebra and geometry, for example. Furthermore, thanks to both my insatiable curiosity and the advent of the internet, I'm always increasing my knowledge about a broad base of subjects. My history minor in college sparked an interest in the history of Western civilization, Europe, and the Americas, and particularly an interest in human geography. My studies of Spanish in high school, Italian in college, and linguistics as an element of my grad school program have also led me to be fascinated by languages, though this is more a passing interest than a subject in which I'm competent enough to teach. I also have a strong interest in classical and jazz music, resulting from five years of playing the piano and eleven years of playing the trombone before my journalism career forced music onto a back burner.
My approach to tutoring is threefold. First, I like to get to know students, find out not only their needs but also their interests, so that I can connect with them and find approaches that suit them best. Second, I generally have them do some reading that suits their interests; if students only read what they're assigned in classes, a low interest level can interfere with skill-building. Even if students only need writing help, I still ask that they do some reading, because I've found that few things help build writing skills as much as simply reading more. Finally, I will work with the student directly on the skills needed, through worksheets, hands-on exercises, and actual writing.
For subjects outside of language skills, I still like to find out each student's individual needs and interests, and then try to find ways to get that student truly engaged in the material. For example, I might try to use an interest in music to get a student interested in history, or I might show a student why he or she might need to know mathematical skills to pursue a desired career.
Bottom line: I think getting a student truly interested in learning about a subject is the most important step. Everything else proceeds from there. I have a background in writing and editing that goes back to my undergraduate days as a journalism student. After I earned my bachelor's degree, I had a six-year career
In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.
For almost a year, I have been tutoring part-time at a local learning center in Little Rock, where I have focused on ACT English and Reading test preparation. Additionally, I have been a professional writer and editor for more than a decade, working in a variety of contexts including newspapers, magazines, academic journals, textbooks, dissertations, software documentation, and business forms. Through my education and experience, I have honed the grammatical and rhetorical expertise to guide students through the ACT English test.
For almost a year, I have been tutoring part-time at a Learning Center in Little Rock. The vast majority of my work has centered on test preparation in ACT Reading. I have learned a great deal about how those sections of the test are constructed, the kinds of questions they ask, and best practices and strategies for taking the test.
I have complemented my writing and editing expertise with teaching experience, both as a tutor and in a classroom setting, working with students ranging from elementary age to postgraduate studies. I possess a mastery of the English language and of rhetorical situations that will prove valuable to any student struggling with this complicated language.
I have worked as a copy editor for more than 12 years, first at my college paper, then for six years as a professional newspaper copy editor, and then in a freelance capacity, including for my department and individual professors in grad school. In addition to years of hands-on editing experience, I have also tutored writing students in one-on-one situations, focusing on issues ranging from grammar to content to organization, and I have addressed grammar issues in my Composition I classroom. Finally, as a result of my own test scores on Elance, I help approve and fix questions for grammar tests that appear on the site.
I have been extensively using Macintosh computers since 2002 and have been specifically using Mac OS X since 2004 (prior to this time, I had become familiar with OS 9). As an undergraduate journalism student, most of my in-class work was on Apple machines and during those years, I bought a Mac mini that is still running nearly 10 years later. After college, I worked at a newspaper that used nothing but Macs other than a very few specialized machines. In grad school, I have worked extensively on both Macs and PCs, and I have helped keep a computer lab of 15 Mac computers in a tutoring center updated for almost two years now while also teaching students and other staff members how to use them.
I have been writing and editing professionally for more than a decade. In that time, I have built a mastery of Microsoft Word. In my current day job as a professional writer/editor at a large IT and business services firm, I spend about 80 percent of my work day using Microsoft Word, and I frequently help coworkers or my clients as a writing tutor learn how they can best use Word's features to make their documents shine.
I have been a copy editor for more than 12 years. All four of my years in college, I worked on the student-produced newspaper and magazine in some editing capacity, including copy editor, copy desk chief, associate editor, and managing editor. I had internships and part-time jobs that incorporated copy editing before I got a full-time job as a copy editor for a newspaper, a job I held for nearly six years before I left to concentrate on grad school. While in grad school, I've taken an advanced editing class, tutored students in writing (including editing skills), edited departmental websites and documents, edited for an academic journal, and been the go-to editor for multiple faculty members and fellow students.
When I was in school, I frequently competed in spelling contests, winning my local spelling bee twice and finishing runner-up three times, as well as competing at the state level in spelling and vocabulary in high school. Through my education, experience, and personal curiosity for language, I have honed a thorough understanding of the myriad roots of English needed to master spelling in this complicated language.
I have a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in professional and technical writing. I worked as an editor and writer for my college newspaper and magazine for four years, and as a copy editor and wire editor for a daily newspaper for six. Currently, I am employed as a technical writer/editor for a large IT and business services firm and as a reading, writing, and English tutor. I have taught writing both in both classroom settings (as a first-year composition instructor) and one-on-one environments for more than three years.