James T.

Los Angeles, CA


Special Ed Art Teacher

In-person lessons
5.0 average from 2 ratings

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Lake Forest College


Lake Forest College

About James

I graduated from Lake Forest College with a BA in Art History. I then attended art school in San Francisco for a semester. I then went on to publish two YA novels wit Prentice Hall, Avon and Harper Collins. I also took a handful of education courses at Cal State LA.

I have been teaching for nearly twenty years. I started out as a teacher's aid for Disabled Students Service and Programs at Pasadena City College. There I ran Speech Path labs (in some cases as many as twenty-five participants in the classroom) that focused on current events, pragmatics, vocabulary, and culinary mathematics.

Later I worked one-to-one with an autistic adult who was also DDL. in this case I designed exercises that would improve his concentration, cognition, sequencing with emphasis on cause and effect. I, also, tried to hone his fine motor skills as well. Sadly, this individual died of a seizure last month. I was his teacher twice a week for fifteen years.

My approach to teaching one-to-one is first seeing what the needs of the client are. Then I customize the lesson with attainable goals in mind. I do this in small but measurable steps so that I can report back to the parents what progress has or has not been made. More often than not, it is up to student to perform. However if there is a concrete bond formed between student and teacher in which the student is motivated to excel because of verbal reinforcements than the student may succeed.

Presently I am the art teacher for the City of Pasadena's Adaptive Recreation Department. There I have participants who range from hearing impaired, aphasia, autism, DDL and dyslexia. Every year we not only have an art show (at the Pasadena Armory) but we publish a full color booklet printed on a high quality paper. Previously, we have done booklets that were poems and pictures, but now we are able to do narratives such as Pinocchio, Helen Keller's story and this year we are doing Seabiscuit. This one in particular is germane to our class because the horse and the rider both overcame disabilities to win the Santa Anita Handicap after three tries!
I graduated from Lake Forest College with a BA in Art History. I then attended art school in San Francisco for a semester. I then went on to publish two YA novels wit Prentice Hall, Avon and Harper Collins. I also took a handful of Read more

24 hours notice required

One to one: $45 an hour. If it is more than one student, it is $55 an hour

Travel Radius
Travels within 20 miles of Los Angeles, CA 90027
In-person lessons
Art History, Art Theory , Drawing,
Literature, Public Speaking,
Reading, Writing
American History
Special Needs:
Special Needs
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.


I have been an art teacher for the City of Pasadena's Adaptive Recreation Program for eight years. Often times I have had to guide my students on how to draw a particular object: I have given them easy to follow instructions by breaking down the subject into simple geometric forms.


In the 1950's I was diagnosed with "mixed dominance" which was then the term of dyslexia. I was tutored for years and finally at age ten I was able to start reading avidly. At that age I was able to coordinate the left to right movement of reading as well as decoding. When I worked as a Special Ed teacher's aid at Pasadena City College, I would say it takes one to teach one. I have devised my own techniques in teaching a dyslextic-namely-getting them to read plays where there is less words and more white space on a page than say, regular text. That way, they won't be so intimidated. And since most non-reader watch so much TV, having them read scripts is a natural inclination for them. Often times, I would patiently tell the student to slow down, look at the word-make sure you are not confusing a lower case 'b' for a lower case 'd.' I told them to take extra time and teach them tricks to compenstate for their disability. I know what opened the door for me when I was eleven was that I had a tutor who projected text on a wall that had a sweeping left to right movement that trained me to track the text in the proper manner because at that time left to my own devices I would gone right to left.


Besides being a tutor I have had two screenplays produced. The first one was called "Norma Jean, Jack and Me" which starred Michael Murphy, Sally Kirkland and was released by New Path Pictures. A twenty-year-old drug smuggler is washed ashore on an island, he meets two crazy people who act and look like Kennedy and Monroe and as it works out, it's them! The other movie is a black comedy called "Phil Spector Incident: I Think I Just Shot Her." Eschelon Releasing has distributed that film on the Internet and other venues. I have been around the movie business for twenty plus years. What first made me come to California was that I had written a young adult novel that had been published by Prentice Hall called "Hamburger Heaven." The novel was a cautionary tale about stealing from the franchise you work for. In the late 70's that was a hot topic. Somehow the tome landed in the hands of Henry Winkler and Ron Howard who planned on making it into a movie. I came out from New York to LA to meet them. I had planned to stay for a month but I decided to stay for the life style.
I know many actors, producers and directors. I have worked on numerous television and movie sets. I see at least one new movie a week. I have written plays that have had readings with professional actors. If you're really interested in movies, I know I can be of some help.


During the 1980s and 1990s, I had a career as a fine artist. I was represented by Newspace art gallery here in Los Angeles. My paintings are a part of Eli Broad's corporate collection and the Federal National Morgtage Bank. My works are also in a number of private collections such as Richard Armstrong, Robert Therrian and Madeline Stowe. In 1990, I had a retrospective of my 3-D paintings at the Mandeville Gallery-University of California San Diego. I have been reviewed in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and Times.

Public Speaking

When I worked at Pasadena City College I ran five of remedial speech classes for disabled students. The specter of their disabilities ranged from autism, to LD to DDL. The average number of participants was ten students. This gave me an opportunity to not only stand up and enunciate and project but to present ideas that could be easily understood by the class. I am a playwright and I know how to compose an effective speech.

Special Needs

I have worked with the special needs population for nearly twenty years. I find that the way to get through to them is to consolidate the subject matter into easily understood steps as much as possible. I believe I have a unique insight into "special needs" students because in my first years of schooling I was diagnosed with "mixed dominance" which was the 1950's name for dyslexia. For years I was tutored after school as well as through out the summer vacation. I know first hand how effective a private tutor can be. Eventually through countless hours of perseverance I was able to track and decode letters to words to sentences and not only become a reader but a writer as well.
For fifteen years I worked intensively with an adult who was developmentally delayed, autistic and was prone to seizures. In the beginning he couldn't count past twelve and had no concept of less and more, before and after. By the end of our lessons he was able to count to three hundred, he had a better concept of time, He had greatly improved his hand-eye coordination, and he was capable of holding his attention for atleast five minutes on cognative tasks. His social skills had also greatly improved.

Lake Forest College


Lake Forest College

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $45.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

One to one: $45 an hour. If it is more than one student, it is $55 an hour

Travel policy

James will travel within 20 miles of Los Angeles, CA 90027.