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Gerald P.

Madison, CT

$40/hour

Gerald Pollak, Computers, Music, Geography, History

In-person lessons
4.9 average from 32 ratings
Very good.
— Richard, Hamden, CT on 9/1/15

$40/Hour


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State University of New York, Plattsburgh, NY
Geography
University of South Carolina
Master's
Southern Connecticut State University
Other

Education

State University of New York, Plattsburgh, NY (Geography)

University of South Carolina (Master's)

Southern Connecticut State University (Other)

About Gerald

I thoroughly enjoy tutoring, teaching and working with students. I am an adjunct professor at 2 community colleges. But much of what I do is teaching of some kind, whether it's teaching children how to write a song, teaching young adults basic math and job prep skills, or helping my son with his homework and teaching him guitar and piano. I have done all of these. In addition, I have had my own business as a computer software trainer. All students are adults or retirees.

Perhaps it's because I come from a family of teachers, but it seems to be in my blood. I really do get more from the students than they get from me. I've been told over the years by students that my enjoyment is noticeable. I will often use humor to help illustrate points. I know the feeling of being intimidated by a subject and by the pressure that goes with it. I once took an automotive maintenance class, under the mistaken belief that I had talent as a mechanic. I consider myself fairly intelligent but there are just some areas where the talent passed me by. And mechanics/engineering is one of them.

On the other hand, I'm very musical and mathematical. In addition, I rite reel gud(just kidding...I write well). And I do have the ability to make what I teach come alive. I also believe that anyone can learn but it's important to understand that all students are different. One student may learn best by writing. Another by hearing. Another by old fashioned rote and recitation. Add that to each student's unique personality, and it becomes important for a tutor to understand that one style of teaching does not fit all. If I come across a student that I just do not connect with, which is possible, I'd have no problem backing out and recommending another tutor. I am certainly financially motivated but more importantly, this is still a service position. I want to see all students succeed. Whoever helps them is secondary to me.
I thoroughly enjoy tutoring, teaching and working with students. I am an adjunct professor at 2 community colleges. But much of what I do is teaching of some kind, whether it's teaching children how to write a song, teaching young adults basic math and job prep skills, or helping my son with his homework and teaching him guitar and piano. I have Read more

Policies
Cancellation
24 hours notice required

Rate is flexible, either up or down depending on circumstances.

Travel Radius
Travels within 25 miles of Madison, CT 06443
In-person lessons

"Very good."

- Richard, Hamden, CT on 9/1/15
Math:
Elementary Math
English:
Grammar, Proofreading,
Reading, TOEFL,
Vocabulary, Writing
Test Preparation:
TOEFL
Language:
TOEFL
History:
American History, Geography, Government & Politics, Social Studies
Special Needs:
Phonics
Elementary Education:
Elementary Math, Elementary Science, Grammar, Phonics, Reading, Spelling, Study Skills,
Vocabulary
Business:
Microsoft Excel,
Microsoft PowerPoint,
Microsoft Word
Sports/Recreation:
Chess

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.

Chess

I have taught chess in adult ed and love the game. Chess is a very easy game to learn, as far as the main rules are concerned. But learning strategy is a lifetime journey. I specialize in "knight moves". :-)

General Computer

I have had my own business training students in software applications, mainly Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, but many others too. In addition, I've had to do many other computer related tasks in my jobs over the years. These include fixing computers, resetting servers, checking security, and many other things. Most of my work is PC related, so if you're a Mac user, I may not be your best person, although I'd be happy to help you find someone. I think highly of Macs, by the way, but it's more a case of supply and demand.
In my experience, I've worked with all levels of users, from beginners to brainiacs. It's all about helping you with whatever your goal is. This can be as simple as typing a letter to advanced issues such as firewall problems.

Guitar

I taught myself guitar in college, mainly to help me with my songwriting and singing. I am not a lead guitarist, so if you're into Van Halen, Hendrix, or the other greats, I'm probably not your tutor. But if you want to learn how to play chords and how to accompany yourself while you sing, I can help. I taught my son guitar, among others.
As is true for any type of music, it should be fun, although it's best to learn the rules first. I teach guitar for rock, folk, and blues. As much as I love classical guitar, I'm really not qualified for that.

Microsoft Access

I teach all the major MS Office courses at 2 community colleges. This includes Access.

Microsoft Excel

I teach all levels of Excel, both in a formal setting (adjunct professor at Middlesex CC) and informally (private clients and adult ed). I've found that some students are intimidated by Excel and the emphasis on formulas. I can take the intimidation out of it through some simple steps. (I "personify" Excel.)

Microsoft PowerPoint

I've been teaching PowerPoint professionally, to both individuals and classes, for 20 years. I've received consistently high evaluations all along.

Music Theory

Music theory is perhaps my favorite part of the music world. As a songwriter, what I love most of all are cool chord progressions and the emotions that go with them. I'm also a key freak and have a special love for Eflat major, which is as close to a God key as I know. On the minor side, I love the darkness of B minor. A key that's legally owned by Pink Floyd, by the way. (kidding)
You'll learn why I-iii is sad and I-iv is romantic. And why theory is not just theory. It's the gateway to musical emotion, passion, and soul.

Piano

I took classical piano lessons for 7 years from the ages of 5-12 and loved it. I still think of Bach as the world's first rock and roll musician. I also love Chopin, that consummate romantic. I believe, as is also true for songwriting, that the rules should be learned first. But at all times, you are always free to explore. Rule breaking is strongly encouraged.
You will find at some point that you are "pulled" towards certain styles and sounds. I will help you follow that pull. I try to make it fun, although I also believe in the "rote" work such as playing scales, reading music, etc.

Proofreading

I've been a proofreader for many years, although mostly de facto. (Like how I threw in that Latin term? :-). I've done so professionally for Penny Press in Norwalk and often provide a 2nd set of eyes for friends and family.

Social Studies

As a geography major, learning history was an important component of my studies. I have helped my sons with history over many years. In addition, I have informally tutored many people in history. I'm also an avid reader, specializing in Civil War history.

Songwriting

I am a published songwriter. I lived in Nashville and Los Angeles for 7 years total, playing my songs live and working with other songwriters, as well as solo songwriting. Rarely does a day goes by that I do NOT get a song idea of some kind. I have taught songwriting to children and adults, with the belief that it should always be fun and exploratory, although it's best to have some basic rules to begin with. Once the "rules" are understood and tried, breaking them is strongly encouraged.
I tend to be somewhat more of a composer than a lyricist. My style tends to be in the blues/rock vein, but I have many other influences, including folk, R&B, classical and theatre. My influences range from Bach to Arlen (Somewhere Over the Rainbow) to the Beatles, Beach Boys, Allman Brothers and Roy Orbison. In fact, Somewhere Over The Rainbow is my all time favorite song and I believe it's as close to a perfect song as anything that's been written. The process of songwriting is absolutely magical and humbling. If you feel "the mojo" (I'll explain that word in person), then I encourage you to pursue it. And I can help.

Study Skills

The ability to study well depends on a variety of factors. One is your learning style. Some people learn best by physical activity, others by repetition, others by test taking, etc. Another factor is the time of day. Some people are morning people, others evening. Your diet is important too, as well as your mood.
I could go on, but you get the point. I can help you with discovering how you study best. I can also help you with the obstacles that you'll inevitably run into. In short, we're all different. I have the empathic skills and flexibility to help you improve in this area.

TOEFL

I am an experienced tutor, working with many personalities and styles of learning. I am flexible, patient, and I try to be culturally aware.

State University of New York, Plattsburgh, NY
Geography
University of South Carolina
Master's
Southern Connecticut State University
Other

Education

State University of New York, Plattsburgh, NY (Geography)

University of South Carolina (Master's)

Southern Connecticut State University (Other)

Very good.

Since he is a professor anyway, in the area he teaches, that enhances your chances you are going to get something substantial out of the sessions.

— Richard, Hamden, CT on 9/1/15

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $40.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Rate is flexible, either up or down depending on circumstances.

Travel policy

Gerald will travel within 25 miles of Madison, CT 06443.