Derrick C.

Granada Hills, CA


highly qualified, effective English tutor, MA, published author

In-person lessons

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Anderson University IN
California State University, Northridge
Jamaica School of Theology


Anderson University IN

California State University, Northridge (Master's)

Jamaica School of Theology (Other)

About Derrick


My name is Derrick, and I am a recently retired English language arts high school teacher who taught literature, grammar, writing, reading, and comprehension. Along with BA and MA degrees in English and Education, I also studied theology and motion picture arts at the graduate levels.

Before teaching high school for six years, I had a diversified career as a writer and editor in book and magazine publishing, corporate communications and media development, start-ups, and in film production as a writer and producer.

My first nonfiction book was published in January 2012, and I continue to work on a novel and blogging several times per month.

Having taught classes ranging in sizes from 12 to 44 students, I look forward to helping individual students improve their English language skills.

My name is Derrick, and I am a recently retired English language arts high school teacher who taught literature,
Read more

3 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 20 miles of Granada Hills, CA 91344
In-person lessons
Bible Studies,
Public Speaking, Reading,
SAT Reading, SAT Writing, Vocabulary,
Test Preparation:
SAT Reading, SAT Writing
Elementary Education:
Public Speaking

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

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.

Bible Studies

I tutor students in:

(a) The Old Testament as Literature:

Introduction to the books of Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus; The Narrative literature of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and Samuels; The Historical literature of Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther; The Hebrew poetry of Job and Psalms; The Wisdom literature of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Songs of Solomon; The Prophetic literature of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Ezekiel; The Apocalyptic literature of Daniel and the Twelve Minor Prophets.

(b) The New Testament as Literature--Narrative in the Gospels:

Pronouncement stories (correction stories, commendation stories, objection stories, quest stories, inquiry stories); Parables; Wonder stories (exorcism stories, healing stories, provision stories, controversy wonders, rescue wonders, epiphany wonders); Promise and commission epiphanies; The letter genre of Paul and others; Apocalyptic letters, including Revelation.

(c) More detailed lessons on individual books of the Bible as required by students.

My qualifications for teaching Bible subjects include:

* I graduated from The Jamaica School of Theology and served as pastor in Jamaica during the late 1960s.

* I have served for 35 years as a member of the Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles as a leader in various capacities, including editor, deacon, chaplain, small group leader, seminar leader and Bible workshop instructor.

* I write a blog, "Reflections on the Christian Journey," which uses Bible texts that relate to the Christian life experiences.


I tutor students in meeting English Language Arts Standards in:

* Reading (word analysis, vocabulary development, comprehension, literary response and analysis)

* Writing (writing strategies, writing applications)

* Written & Oral Language Conventions (Grammar, manuscript styles, punctuation)

* Listening and Speaking Strategies (Comprehending and organizing information for the purpose of making oral presentations)


In grammar and writing, I help students to edit their writing by teaching them to identify the clauses that underlie their sentences so that they can (1) eliminate any major errors (fragments, comma splices, fused sentences); (2) punctuate correctly; (3) use the four types of sentences (simple, compound, complex, compound-complex); (4) focus on what they are communicating; (5) evaluate whether what they are communicating is important.

I provide exercises in: identifying verbs and nouns in sentences and passages; differentiating clauses from phrases; finding pronouns in sentences and passages; locating propositional phrases; agreement of subject, verb, and pronoun; differentiating between simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences; and complex sentences with interrupted clauses.


I tutor students in (1) identifying the purposes and characteristics of the major literary genres of short fiction, nonfiction, poetry, dramatic literature, and folk literature, and (2) applying an in-depth understanding of the genre as an aid to reading comprehension.

I help students understand the characteristics of:

* Short stories (plot, character, setting, point of view, and theme)
* Non-fiction (autobiography, biography, essay, informational text)
* Poetry (types of poetry, poetic form, rhythm, rhyme, figurative language)
* Dramatic literature (types of plays, dialogue, monologue, stage directions, plot, conflict)
* Folk literature (myth, legend, folk tale, epic)


I tutor students in editing and proofreading their writing to achieve error-free work. I help them focus on:

• Punctuation—especially the ends of sentences, dialogue, commas, periods, question marks, exclamation points

• Subject-verb agreements—including common singular and plural indefinite pronouns

• Fact-checking—to ensure accurate information, such as names, dates, statistics, and quotations

Spelling—especially regular or abbreviated forms of titles, time, months

Grammar—including subject-verb agreement, pronoun and antecedent agreement, clarity of pronoun references, and the comparative and superlative forms of modifiers

• Sentence clarity—taking care to ensure subject-verb agreement, proper punctuation, and placement of modifiers

• Eliminating errors—such as fragment sentences, misspelled words, legibility of writing, and confusion with homophones such as "its," "it’s" and "their," "there," and "they’re"


I tutor individuals in improving their reading skills so that they can learn more effectively and do well in their educational pursuits and personal reading. Strategies and skills to be developed include:

Reading Methods and Tools:
• Understanding and using sections in textbooks
• Using different reading styles, the SQ4R method, outlines, and graphic organizers

Reading Nonfiction Critically:
• Strategies to comprehend nonfiction
• Evaluating what you read
• Using reasoning to evaluate ideas
• Examining the author’s language

Reading Literary Writings:
• Reading and understanding fiction, drama, poetry, myths, and folklore
• Understanding and identifying literary characteristics of point-of-view, plot, characters, conflict, cast of characters, stage directions, acts, scenes, imagery, cultural context, and more.


I tutor students in improving their vocabulary and spelling so that they can speak, write, and read more effectively. I help them:

•Develop their vocabulary by: listening, discussing and reading; recognizing context clues; knowing the denotations and connotations of words; using related words in analogies

•Study words systematically by: using a dictionary and thesaurus; using different methods to remember new vocabulary

•Study word parts and origins by: using prefixes and suffixes; recognizing roots

•Improve their spelling by: keeping a spelling notebook; using memory aids; following spelling rules; understanding rules and exceptions; proofreading carefully


I tutor individuals in improving their writing skills in ways that will help them express themselves more effectively, build academic success in school and college, and acquire communication skills necessary to succeed in their jobs and careers.

I guide them through the writing process, and focus on characteristics of writing, including:

• Paragraphs and Composition (structure and style)
• Narration (autobiographical writing; short story writing)
• Persuasion (persuasive essay; advertisement)
• Exposition (compare-and-contrast essay; cause-and-effect essay; problem-and-solution essay)
• Research Papers & Formats
• Response to Literature
• Assessment Writing (test response writing)
• Workplace Writing

Anderson University IN
California State University, Northridge
Jamaica School of Theology


Anderson University IN

California State University, Northridge (Master's)

Jamaica School of Theology (Other)

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $65.00

Cancellation: 3 hours notice required

Travel policy

Derrick will travel within 20 miles of Granada Hills, CA 91344.