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Bridgewater University (History)
Harvard University (Other)
As a former secondary education and GED teacher, I experienced first hand how stressed and frustrating it is for students to overcome learning hurdles -- whether challenging concepts, insecurity with specific subjects, or simply overcoming the fear of returning to school after a multi-year layoff.
As an IT professional with over 20 years of experience, I encountered these same obstacles in the day to day work environment. Very bright computer consultants overwhelmed business customers with technical jargon; though impressive, the unnecessary complexity with which they disseminated information unintentionally inhibited communication and hindered the objective at hand. These experiences strongly influenced my teaching philosophy: determine the student's knowledge and confidence level and intentionally design lessons to improve both. My aim is to create a stress free environment that facilitates learning and enhances confidence over time.
As a person with diverse interests who enjoys different teaching and learning styles, I can accommodate the student's preferences as well. For example, if a highly structured instructional approach is desired to advance one's Spanish conversational or written skills, I can design lessons that focuses on established paradigms and substitution drills; but if a flexible conversational approach is preferred, lessons can favor free form dialogues -- or anything in between!
Let me share a little about my background. During my college years, I developed a love for history and antiquities. This led to graduate study in biblical history where I obtained an M.T.S. degree from Harvard University. One of my favorite authors is James Michener, and it was after reading his book, The Source, that I went on my own archaeological dig; the problem is that it was on my honeymoon! But I convinced my wife to undertake a small expedition and we actually made a significant find in southeast native American history. As a college student I minored in Spanish, but my skills or classroom studies were strongly solidified by the extensive practice I got by growing up in a community with a strong Latin American presence. While not fluent in Spanish I am conversant and consider myself an advanced intermediate Spanish speaker who can be of great help to students on a variety of levels.
If you would like to improve your skills in computer programming, mainframe development, SQL, Cobol, object-oriented concepts, MSO, ACCESS, project management and a variety of related topics in the IT field, I can provide guidance and helpful instruction for you. In addition to the aforementioned, I have advanced skills as a guitarist. Playing guitar has been my avocation since high school. I have written a number of songs, produced one professionally, enjoy all sorts of styles, and love sharing my skills with others. If a student is interested to learn guitar basics, reading music, writing or reading Tablature, finger picking, rhythm, basic music theory, or how to play some popular songs, I can help the interested learner acquire those skills.
I spent 7 years helping adults to prepare for the GED test. This part time night school position afforded me a unique insight into the world of adult learners who aspired to accomplish what they couldn't in their teen years -- obtaining a high school diploma. Our approach for these intrinsically motivated adults was simple: (1) make them feel at ease as they often nervously entered the school for the first time, (2) administer a basic diagnostic test to determine math and reading level, (3) make a flexible schedule that suited their personal and work schedule, (4) provide math and reading exercises that matched their current level, (5) slowly begin introducing more challenging work so that the learner could build confidence as s/he advanced through high school grade levels. This approach was built on one critical assumption: the student operated at his/her own pace. While the students studied together in one large classroom, each learner worked on individualized lessons while the teacher floated around the class and assisted with questions, administering quizzes, assessments and eventually GED practice tests. This experience sensitized me to the challenges each individual faces when going back to school to accomplish a major goal. If you would like to contact me to see if my background and skills are a good fit for you, I would love to speak to you how my approach and experience and assist you in your educational pursuits. As a former secondary education and GED teacher, I experienced first hand how stressed and frustrating it is for students to overcome learning hurdles -- whether challenging concepts, insecurity with specific subjects, or simply overcoming the fear of returning to school after a multi-year layoff.
I have been impressed with Lee's maturity, knowledge and expertise in teaching. He appears to also be a transformational leader, making a far-reaching impression on his students.
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 over 25 years experience with mainframe COBOL. This background involves the examination of existing code to identify and fix coding defects. It also includes that writing of many cobol programs from scratch. The COBOL coding also involved the interface with various DBMS such as CICS, IMS and DB2. Also intricately connected to the coding itself is the utilization of various compilers and linkage editors to generate executables. Lastly, since this is mainframe cobol, I have extensive experience developing and enhancing the job control language (JCL) that is used to actually introduce the executable to the mainframe where it can be executed.
I started out playing guitar in 1973. I learned most basic chords and rhythms but felt I needed to expand my skills. In 1980 I took a finger picking class from the famous guitarist Patty Larkin. This opened new dimensions to my guitar ability. In the following years, I have played in a couple of music groups for church services, and this experience enabled me to understand the dynamics of collaboration -- that is, I learned that the music isn't about me or my skills but the sound produced as a team. I learned how to read both traditional music and tablature and thus can work with the form that suits the learner. Lastly, I have arranged a guitar song and produced it professionally.
Whether the student is a beginner or an intermediate player, I can use the above background and understanding of chord and guitar theory to assist the learner on a variety of levels. Lastly, I would apply the approach outlined in my profile to the guitar tutoring, which should put the novice at ease and quickly build confidence and guitar skills.
Some background on my Spanish qualifications: (1) minored in Spanish in college, (2) applied my college academic skills to communicate with Hispanic/Latinamerican in my community, (3) assisted in translation in a trip to Guatemala.