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Over 5 tutoring hours

Donn B.

Saint Cloud, FL

$45/hour

Experienced writing teacher who helps make writing fun

5.0 average from 3 ratings
Writer extrodiaire
— Cheryl, Orlando, FL on 12/14/16

$45/Hour


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Dartmouth College
English
Syracuse University
Master's

Education

Dartmouth College (English)

Syracuse University (Master's)

About Donn

I taught Developmental Writing and English Composition at Valencia College, Osceola Campus, for thirteen years. I retired in 2006, but after five years of reading, gardening, and playing with my dog, I realized I missed working with the kids. I missed helping them improve their writing skills and reawakening their confidence in their own written expression.

I have been tutoring at the College since 2011, having passed the National Tutor Certification course, and it is like being on vacation every day: I look forward to going in to “work,” meeting new students, and helping them to stop seeing writing as a “chore,” but rather as a way to share their ideas with others. Although I have not been specifically trained as an ESOL teacher, I have worked with many students from around the world and helped them succeed in their writing classes. I have found that the most fun is finding each student’s writing strengths, then building from there to improve the rest of their writing skills.

I have always felt that while learning the rules of grammar was important, it was more important to learn how grammar works to make writing stand out and sparkle. Too many students are overwhelmed by all the rules, but by seeing how grammar strengthens sentences and paragraphs, they begin to appreciate what grammar does (as opposed to what it “is”). I thoroughly enjoy watching their eyes light up as a previously confusing concept suddenly becomes clear, and I often get to hear the excitement of a whispered, “Oh, wow. Cool.”

Where we go and how we get there depends upon the student’s needs and interests; every student has a “hot button” somewhere, and much of the joy I get from teaching is helping the student find their inner writer. Being able to write clearly and confidently will affect many aspects of a student’s future success, and I look forward to helping your student—yourself or your child—find their inner writer.

Generally I prefer to meet in a student’s home, so I can find some clues about his/her likes, dislikes, and overall interests; if this is not comfortable, then a local public library can also work well. The important thing is that the student feels relaxed and free of distractions while we work.
I taught Developmental Writing and English Composition at Valencia College, Osceola Campus, for thirteen years. I retired in 2006, but after five years of reading, gardening, and playing with my dog, I realized I missed working with the kids. I missed helping them improve their writing skills and reawakening their confidence in their own written Read more

Policies
Cancellation
24 hours notice required

Cancellation policy: 1) 24 hrs. prior notice or 1 hr. charge applies; 2) Student no-show: 2 hr. charge.

Travel Radius
Travels within 30 miles of Saint Cloud, FL 34772
Background Check: Passed

"Writer extrodiaire"

- Cheryl, Orlando, FL on 12/14/16

"Great Tutor"

- Eric, Orlando, FL on 2/2/15
Test Preparation:
SAT Writing
Elementary Education:
Grammar,
Reading

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.

English

I have been a reader all my life and am fascinated by the English language. After getting my master's in English, I spent three years editing for an educational research agency, including putting out a quarterly journal. I taught English composition at Valencia for thirteen years, then came back after retiring to work as a tutor--I missed working with students that much.

Grammar

Most writing teachers seem to think that knowing all the rules of grammar makes for better writers. I couldn't disagree more. I have found that when students want to write, and when they understand how grammar works, they find it much easier to learn the rules. This is how I teach the grammar part of writing: by showing students how proper grammar helps make their writing clearer and more expressive--and more fun.

Literature

I have been reading my whole life, but I haven't read everything out there! However, I can help students explore literature by helping them "get into" their assignments and showing them the excitement of discovery and discussion. This is just a short step away from writing well about what they have read.

Proofreading

There are many recognized techniques to proofread papers and articles accurately. Having been the editor of a scholarly publication for a number of years and having taught English for twenty-some years, I can share these techniques and help students find many of their own writing weaknesses.

Reading

I have been reading all my life; take a look at my picture and know how long that has been! While I have little formal training in reading strategies, I have been able to help many students improve not only their skills but also their attitude toward reading. This is an activity I not only love, but it is one I love to share and teach.

SAT Writing

There are many good SAT preparation books out there, but too often students find the explanations in them confusing and frustrating. I am more than ready to help students work their way through the books in the most efficient and educational way possible.

Writing

The only way to learn to write effectively is to actually write. I can help students develop their school writing assignments, and I will give them additional, short writing tasks to focus them on areas that need strengthening. Whether it is a short, personal essay or a longer research assignment, there are proven strategies for completing them as efficiently and thoroughly as possible.

Dartmouth College
English
Syracuse University
Master's

Education

Dartmouth College (English)

Syracuse University (Master's)

Writer extrodiaire

Donn knows his stuff. He was quickly able to praised me for my strengths but recognized my weaknesses and gave me not only great ideas but tools to improve my writing. He doesn't only teach the rules but he explains why they apply which makes it easier to remember and implement. He is not only interested in the task at hand but how you can improve in future endeavors. Wonderful tutor.

— Cheryl, Orlando, FL on 12/14/16

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $45.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Cancellation policy: 1) 24 hrs. prior notice or 1 hr. charge applies; 2) Student no-show: 2 hr. charge.

Travel policy

Donn will travel within 30 miles of Saint Cloud, FL 34772.