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Charles B.

Blue Island, IL

$30/hour

Seasoned Professional Coursework, Test Preparation, and Study Skills

In-person lessons

$30/Hour


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Northern Illinois University
Biology
Lehigh University
Graduate Coursework
(UNAM) Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
Other

Education

Northern Illinois University (Biology)

Lehigh University (Graduate Coursework)

(UNAM) Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Other)

About Charles

I have tutored study skills and a number of subjects for the past 30 years to young students and adults in the USA, Central and Middle East, and SE Asia. I have helped many ESL students with general language and school cousework. I also help with term papers, test preparation from K-2 through the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), in addition to University entrance requirements e.g. essays.

I like to work with course curriculum while adding assignments/ activities aimed at personalizing the experience.

Sincerely,

~Charles
I have tutored study skills and a number of subjects for the past 30 years to young students and adults in the USA, Central and Middle East, and SE Asia. I have helped many ESL students with general language and school cousework. I also help with term papers, test preparation from K-2 through the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), in addition to Read more

Policies
Cancellation
4 hours notice required

I am flexible according to subject.

Travel Radius
Travels within 15 miles of Blue Island, IL 60406
In-person lessons
Math:
Algebra 1, Elementary (K-6th), GED,
Geometry, GMAT, GRE, Microsoft Excel
Science:
ACT Science, Anatomy, Anthropology, Archaeology, Biology,
Botany, Chemistry, Ecology, Elementary Science, Geology, Nutrition, Philosophy, Physical Science, Physiology, Praxis, PSAT,
Psychology, Sociology,
Zoology
Art:
Photography
English:
ACT Reading,
English, ESL/ESOL,
Grammar, Literature, Proofreading, Public Speaking,
Reading, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, TOEFL, Vocabulary, Writing
Test Preparation:
ACT Reading,
ACT Science, AFOQT, ASVAB,
CBEST, College Counseling,
COOP/HSPT,
GED,
GMAT, GRE, ISEE,
MCAT,
MCSA, MTLE, NCLEX, Praxis, PSAT,
Regents, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, Series 63, Series 7, SSAT, TOEFL
Computer:
Adobe Illustrator, Computer Science, Desktop Publishing, General Computer,
Macintosh, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Word, Networking (Computer), Photography
Language:
ESL/ESOL,
Reading, TOEFL, Writing
History:
American History, Anthropology, Archaeology, European History, Geography, Government & Politics, Religion, Social Studies, World History,
Writing
Special Needs:
ADHD,
Elementary (K-6th), Elementary Science, Hard Of Hearing, Phonics, Reading, Study Skills
Elementary Education:
ADHD,
Elementary (K-6th), Elementary Science, Grammar, Phonics, Reading, Spelling, Study Skills,
Vocabulary, Writing
Business:
ESL/ESOL,
GMAT, GRE, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Public Speaking,
Series 7, Writing

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.

ACT Reading

The Reading Test is based on four types of reading selections:

• Social studies
• Natural sciences
• Prose fiction
• Humanities

Subscores and subject-related questions are as follows:

The Social Studies/Sciences subscore is based on the questions on the social studies and natural sciences passages, and the Arts/Literature subscore is based on the questions on the prose fiction and humanities passages.

• Social Studies (25%). Questions in this category are based on passages in the content areas of anthropology, archaeology, biography, business, economics, education, geography, history, political science, psychology, and sociology.

• Natural Sciences (25%). Questions in this category are based on passages in the content areas of anatomy, astronomy, biology, botany, chemistry, ecology, geology, medicine, meteorology, microbiology, natural history, physiology, physics, technology, and zoology.

• Prose Fiction (25%). Questions in this category are based on intact short stories or excerpts from short stories or novels.

• Humanities (25%). Questions in this category are based on passages from memoirs and personal essays and in the content areas of architecture, art, dance, ethics, film, language, literary criticism, music, philosophy, radio, television, and theater.

I like to get students involved in on-line prep as part of the tutoring. On-line prep allows for study whenever a student has time with any difficult areas of this comprising study sessions between tutor and student.

On-line prep involves:

•Practice tests with real ACT test questions

•Practice essays for the new optional ACT Writing Test, with real-time scoring

•Comprehensive content review for the ACT's required test in English, Reading, and Science

•Diagnostic test and personalized Study Path

Some students prefer a more formal approach which can be accommodated as well although I believe using the materials provided by the ACT themselves provides the strongest basis for securing maximum test results.

ADHD

I have been specially trained in developing individually specific curriculum and programs for people with ADD/ ADHD starting with experience as a Peer Worker at Forest Psychiatric Hospital. I have worked with children and adults with moderate to high disabilities – and spanning inattentive, hyperactive, and combined types. I find the best way to get ADD/ ADHD individuals to learn is to find their learning style strengths and preferences and focus on complimenting these. Teaching good study habits is imperative and taking plenty of breaks during teaching sessions is a must.

ASVAB

The ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) is one of the most widely used, multiple-aptitude tests in the world, developed and maintained by the Department of Defense. More than half of all high schools nationwide administer the ASVAB test to students in grades 10, 11 and 12 (sophomores cannot use their scores for enlistment eligibility). Students may also take the test at another school or through a recruiter and may retake the test at any time.

The ASVAB consists of the following eight individual tests:
General Science
Arithmetic Reasoning
Word Knowledge
Paragraph Comprehension
Mathematics Knowledge
Electronics Information
Auto and Shop Information
Mechanical Comprehension
Students are provided with scores on each of these individual tests and three Career Exploration Score composites: Verbal Skills, Math Skills and Science and Technical Skills. The battery takes approximately three hours to complete, and test results are returned to schools in a few weeks.

The Military uses students’ ASVAB scores to identify the occupations that best suit their abilities. Junior, senior and postsecondary school students can use their ASVAB scores for enlistment for up to two years after taking the test.

Biology

I studied Biology along with Psychology at Northern Illinois University (NIU) and received my B.Sc. in 1992. My particular focus centered on behavioral ecology and neuroscience; and I was a research assistant in the graduate program from sophomore year until graduation.

After graduation following a year working at a lab in North Chicago as a Technical Product Developer, I enrolled in a research scientist program with the University of Mexico. There, we performed various basic research projects in ethology and applied projects addressing human impacts to the coastal zone environment.

Following a year at the University of Mexico I took a year-long contract at a crocodile nursery as Managing Director. MY goal was to breed the threatened species Crocodylus molinetti. The program was a success the first year and I answered a call to work in the oil and gas field in Azerbaijan as an ecologist and environmental consultant.

I have since been a professional environmental consultant, assisting oil and gas companies with their environmental and social performance requirements under local, state, national legislation, and financial institution requirements. This profession has be travelling worldwide to some of the largest field developments ever to practice my profession. It involves a lot of research, writing, public speaking, and engagement with local and government project stakeholders. To this day I handle all ecological issues personally and have been responsible for starting endangered species management programs on behalf of my clients on several occasions.

I like to tutor biology using a mixture of coursework from required texts and real world examples and experience. I have a strong sense of the job market for graduates and often do a bit of consultation on this subject during the study sessions.

College Counseling

My first year of University, at Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio, I taught outdoor environmental education at Glen Helen Nature Reserve with its raptor rehabilitation center. This involved both academic and practical lessons.

I left Antioch to study Behavioral Neuroscience at Northern Illinois University (NIU) where I worked for two years with the Deacon Davis CHANCE Program, whose “guiding mission … is to identify, recruit, admit, and assist otherwise capable students whose pre-college education has not fully enabled them to take maximum advantage of their potential and the opportunities of higher education at NIU”. I tutored with the often pressing aim of getting students passing so they could enroll again.

Since university I have taught English for TOFEL Students in Azerbaijan, tutored environmental science to a number of students in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and mentored ambitious university students during my professional time in environmental consulting.

COOP/HSPT

COOP is the acronym for Cooperative Admissions Exam, and HSPT is short for High School Placement Test. These tests are given as entrance exams at most Catholic high schools across the country. Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of New York have adopted a slightly different test called TACHS, or Test for Admission to Catholic High Schools.

Accordingly, tutoring COOP relies heavily on sample questions and answers that will familiarize students with question types, format, and degree of difficulty. Review questions applicable to all three exams are presented to test students’ academic strengths and weak areas. I usually present two practice COOPs and two practice HSPTs that reflect the most recent exams in question types, length, and degree of difficulty. After practice tests students and I discuss the answers and explanations.

ESL/ESOL

I am a Northern Illinois University (NIU) graduate. While attending NIU I worked with the CHANCE Tutoring program as a peer advisor and tutor. There, I assisted many students speaking English as a second language complete their coursework including formal english language classes.

Since graduating in 1992, I have worked in the oil and gas industry as an environmental and social performance consultant, primarily in developing countries. In these same countries in SE Asia, Middle East, North Africa, and Mexico, I have taught English as a Second Language in classrooms and one-on-one tutoring sessions.

I have continued teaching ESL for the last 15 years and do so now based in Glenview, Il.

GED

The GED Test measures how well someone has mastered the skills and general knowledge that are acquired in a four-year high school education. The test does not expect someone to remember numerous details, definitions, or facts.

You are expected to demonstrate the ability to think about a variety of issues. You are tested on knowledge and skills you have acquired from life experiences, radio, television, books, newspapers, consumer products, and advertising. Therefore, one should not be at a disadvantage if he/she has been out of school for a period of time.

The GED Test has changed periodically to keep up with the knowledge and skills needed in our society. The last change was in January 2002. The changes reflect what a high school graduate in 2002 knows and can do. The GED test in use today is the January 2002 version.

You must have a minimum of a 9th grade reading level. This means that you have the ability to read and understand newspapers, forms, and letters. You must also have the ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide by hand. Developing strong reading and thinking skills are the keys to succeeding on these tests. Regular study is also needed to earn your GED.

The best way I have found to study for the GED is to take practice exams and go over the rough spots, if any with your teacher, or tutor. For areas where rough spots keep coming up on the practice tests we develop an individualized remedial study plan to cover this. Tests taken after a bit of study for particular subject almost always show the merits of this effort.

You are ready to take a test if you have scored above your state’s minimum standard score for passing. However, it is a good idea to score a little bit more than you need on a practice test before you take the official test.

I have dozens of practice tests available and we can even so much of this on-line given the busy schedules of many of those people taking the GED. Some face-to-face meeting is of course useful especially in the beginning to establish our relationship.

General Computer

Longstanding relationship with personal computers since their advent in the 1980's.

Knowledge of all major software packages for professional and personal purposes.

ISEE

The ISEE is an admission test that has three levels: A Lower Level, Middle Level, and Upper Level. The Lower Level is for students currently in grades 4 and 5 who are candidates for admission to grades 5 and 6. The Middle Level is for students in grades 6 and 7 who are candidates for grades 7 and 8. The Upper Level is for students in grades 8 through 11 who are candidates for grades 9 through 12.

At all levels, the ISEE consists of three parts:

(a) carefully constructed and standardized verbal and quantitative reasoning tests that measure a student's capability for learning

(b) reading comprehension and mathematics achievement tests that provide specific information about a student's strengths and weakness in those areas

(c) an essay section

Preparing for the ISEE has three steps:

1) Take a practice test and take a candid look at the results to see areas where immediate remedial assistance is required, other areas where mere practice will elevate a students ability in that area, and areas where students do naturally well – these requiring the least attention for study sessions between the tutor and student.

2) Following the initial assessment study sessions are broken into three parts divided by small breaks. These parts coincide to the remedial actions, continued practice, and for areas where students excel, the chance to challenge that area of expertise to promote continuing development.

3) Homework is designed to address mainly remedial requirements at a pace comfortable for each student.

4) As a primer for the test itself, time is spent towards the end of each session dealing with test-taking strategies, stress-coping mechanisms, and creative activities aimed at nurturing the essay writing portion of the ISEE.

This general syllabus applies to lower, middle, and upper level test preparation; only the subject matter changes with progressively increasing expectations for aptitude.

MCAT

My university degree (B.Sc.) in biology and psychology, with a minor for chemistry, qualifies me for coaching MCAT preparation. The MCAT is broken down into biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. Additionally, it serves to assess examinees’ capacity for problem solving and critical thinking.

My approach to tutoring the MCAT is first, providing a diagnostic exam to gauge each student’s current score level and to understand initial strengths and weaknesses. (If they have already taken the GMAT, I would want to collect past test scores). Students usually meet with me once or twice per week, usually for two hours at a time. At each session:

-Students have the opportunity to discuss questions on their homework and re-assess their overall progress
-New topics are covered in-depth or weaker areas are reviewed
-Specific homework and practice exams are assigned for completion between study sessions

Ideally, students prepare for the GMAT for 2-4 months. However, I have also helped students successfully optimize a shorter time frame for maximum gain.

PSAT

The PSAT/NMSQT includes the same types of critical reading, math, and writing skills multiple choice questions as the SAT.

Preparing for the PSAT primes students for the coming SAT, and taking it following some preparation can decrease SAT anxiety through shear familiarity with the types of problems presented in a similar format.

Areas of focus include:

Critical Reading

Sentence Completion questions measure knowledge of the meanings of words and ability to understand how the different parts of a sentence logically fit together.

Passage-Based Reading questions measure ability to read and think carefully about a single reading passage or a pair of related passages

Math

The math section of the PSAT/NMSQT requires a basic knowledge of number and operation; algebra and functions (though not content covered in third-year math classes--content that will appear on the new SAT); geometry and measurement; and data analysis, statistics, and probability.

Students can use a calculator to answer math questions, but no question on the test requires a calculator.

Multiple Choice questions ask students to decide which is the best of the five choices given

Grid-ins, or student-produced response questions, require students to solve a problem and enter their answer.

Writing Skills

The multiple-choice questions on writing skills measure ability to express ideas effectively in standard-written English, to recognize faults in usage and structure, and to use language with sensitivity to meaning.

Identifying Sentence Errors questions test knowledge of grammar, usage, word choice, and idiom. Students are required to find errors in sentences or indicate that there is no error.

Improving Sentences questions ask students to choose the best, most effective form of an underlined portion of a given sentence.

Improving Paragraphs questions require students to make choices about improving the logic, coherence, or organization in a flawed passage.

Preparing for the PSAT is best approached by first, taking a mock exam, then analyzing which of the three sections will require the most work for the Tutor and Student.

Because the test structure is predictable and there are vast resources for practice questions in each subcategory, lesson plans include more subject and questions type testing for weaker areas shown by the initial mock exam, and less for areas and question types a student has shown more than satisfactory aptitude for.

In short, test preparation, aside from some discussion on test-taking strategies and how to cope with stress, tends to be repetitive and can seem dull at times.

This dullness can cause deistraction for high-functioning special needs students who may not adapt as easily to such rigor. For these students, it is the tutor's responsibility to liven up the exam and ‘bring the problems off the paper’ into a more interactive, reinforcing environment. After these more active sessions these students find returning to the provincial test taking method more bearable

Public Speaking

As a consultant dealing with environmental and social performance, it has, for the last 15 years, been my responsibility to ensure public works projects are explained and discussed with communities prior to their approval to proceed.

Transferring this knowledge to tutoring public speaking I like to focus on who the audience is, how best to pass on a message or argue a point in their comfort zone, and how to ensure one reaches the maximum number of attendees.

I then feel role-playing mock scenarios with the student particularly helpful. For this I play the audience and let the student present. At the end we look at lessons learned and how to make the next presentation even more effective.

Sociology

I received by B.Sc. in Biology and Psychology. As part of the Psychology coursework, I took numerous Social-Psychology courses and did well in all of them.

Apart from academia, my profession as an environmental and social performance advisor has me travelling around the world wherever there are projects seeking my assistance. This puts me in touch with SE Asia, Middle East, North Africa, various US States, Mexico, among many other countries. The exposure to this myriad of cultures and lifestyles gives me a front row seat from a sociological perspective.

I like to mix coursework from the required text(s) with real-life experience to instruct my lesson plans for sociology.

Study Skills

For students wishing to polish their study skills or many special needs students where this is an absolutely essential foundation for achievable coursework, I like to focus on four study skills fronts; namely:

1) Getting Ready
• Organizational Tools
• Study Environment
• Goals
• Will and Motivation
• Learning Styles

2) Taking In/ How to get information.
• Time Management
• Procrastination
• Listening
• Notetaking
• Textbook Reading
• Library Research
• Concentration
• Stress Management

3) Remembering
• Visual Organization
• Memory Improvement

4) Output
• Test Anxiety
• Objective Tests
• Essay Tests

Each student possesses strengths and weaknesses on these four fronts and with each front’s aspects. We undertake a gap assessment as a schedule priority and agree which items would be most appropriate to spend the most, and least time on for our lesson plans.

By the end of our agreed schedule of sessions each student will have developed their own ‘roadmap to study skills’ based on their learning lessons and including particular elements of method that each student finds to work for them.

Students are encouraged to further develop their ‘roadmap’ throughout their education and I am always available for comment months down the road as applicable.

World History

Academic Writing

I am familiar with the types of writing students may encounter while in primary and secondary school, preparatory schools, and colleges. I utilize a range of resources from rhetorical approaches for writing, to document organization, to sentence level work, such as clarity.

Common Writing Assignments

I am accustomed to assisting with completing specific types of writing assignments, such as annotated bibliographies, book reports, and research papers. I also have experience collaborating with students on writing academic proposals for conference presentations, journal articles, and books.

Mechanics

I provide solid quality control for sentence level organization and style. Also, I normally advise on writing issues, such as active and passive voice, parallel sentence structure, parts of speech, and transitions.

Grammar

With the students participation we ensure correct grammar in your writing. If required I can go through remedial grammar topics, such as count and noncount nouns, articles (a versus an), subject-verb agreement, and prepositions.

Punctuation

I will of course help students with punctuation, such as using commas, quotation marks, apostrophes, and hyphens.

Visual Rhetoric

I can also help students understand and work with rhetorical theories regarding visual and graphical displays of information. This includes assistance and examples on analyzing and producing visual rhetoric, working with colors, and designing effective slide presentations.

Undergraduate Applications

I provide assistance for application sections required while applying to undergraduate institutions. In particular students and I often work together writing effective application essays.

Graduate School Applications

I am comfortable assisting students though the process of applying to graduate school. Students and I work together developing graduate school profiles to help with decision making, drafting a graduate school personal statement, and the etiquette of requesting references.

Writing

Academic Writing

I am familiar with the types of writing students may encounter while in primary and secondary school, preparatory schools, and colleges. I utilize a range of resources from rhetorical approaches for writing, to document organization, to sentence level work, such as clarity.

Common Writing Assignments

I am accustomed to assisting with completing specific types of writing assignments, such as annotated bibliographies, book reports, and research papers. I also have experience collaborating with students on writing academic proposals for conference presentations, journal articles, and books.

Mechanics

I provide solid quality control for sentence level organization and style. Also, I normally advise on writing issues, such as active and passive voice, parallel sentence structure, parts of speech, and transitions.

Grammar

With the students participation we ensure correct grammar in your writing. If required I can go through remedial grammar topics, such as count and noncount nouns, articles (a versus an), subject-verb agreement, and prepositions.

Punctuation

I will of course help students with punctuation, such as using commas, quotation marks, apostrophes, and hyphens.

Visual Rhetoric

I can also help students understand and work with rhetorical theories regarding visual and graphical displays of information. This includes assistance and examples on analyzing and producing visual rhetoric, working with colors, and designing effective slide presentations.

Undergraduate Applications

I provide assistance for application sections required while applying to undergraduate institutions. In particular students and I often work together writing effective application essays.

Graduate School Applications

I am comfortable assisting students though the process of applying to graduate school. Students and I work together developing graduate school profiles to help with decision making, drafting a graduate school personal statement, and the etiquette of requesting references.

Zoology

I am a NIU Graduate in Biology (B.Sc.). As part of the core curriculum required for a Biology major zoology courses are required. I relished the opportunity these courses gave to students to learn to practically 'flip through' natures card catalog; to organize life on earth in a logical fashion rather than on as needed basis.

My favorite zoology course was entomology, in which we were required to grasp phyla of arachnids, myriapods, earthworms, land snails, and slugs. We were expected to appreciate all classes, orders, and families which followed. And on some occasions we focused on particular families and learned all taxonomic groups down to the genera level.

Although requiring a great amount of rote memorization, appreciating zoology and its deconstruction of the animal or plant kingdoms, provides the student reference required to view under the looking glass at evolutionary forces working around us.

When tutoring zoology I expect students to attend to the basic science, or rote memorization of taxa on their own. I believe there is more value for students if the tutor attends to course material based on application of the underlying material.

For an entomology course this may entail a foray into forensic entomology or one of its interesting subclasses urban, stored-product and medico-legal/medico-criminal entomology!

Northern Illinois University
Biology
Lehigh University
Graduate Coursework
(UNAM) Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
Other

Education

Northern Illinois University (Biology)

Lehigh University (Graduate Coursework)

(UNAM) Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Other)

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $30.00

Cancellation: 4 hours notice required

I am flexible according to subject.

Travel policy

Charles will travel within 15 miles of Blue Island, IL 60406.