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Nancy C.

Holland, MI

$30/hour

Experienced professor of German and Literature - loves to teach

In-person lessons
4.9 average from 11 ratings
Excellent
— Carrie, Grand Haven, MI on 10/21/16

$30/Hour


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Earlham College (Richmond, IN)
English
Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)
Master's
INdiana University (Bloomington), IN)
PhD

Education

Earlham College (Richmond, IN) (English)

Indiana University (Bloomington, IN) (Master's)

INdiana University (Bloomington), IN) (PhD)

About Nancy

Greetings, students and friends!

In your position, I would want to know the background and type of person and teacher a potential personal tutor would be. The answer is that I am quietly enthusiastic, dedicated to advancing your education and skills, creative and flexible in my teaching methods, and eager to begin setting up the right learning environment for you to succeed in reaching your goals.

I am a college professor with 35 years of experience in both universities and liberal arts colleges. Teaching is my passion, along with a lifelong love of learning. I have a B.A. in English from Earlham College, an open, innovative academic community. The excellent professors there were always available to students. They set very high standards but were always willing to "go the distance" with the students until they reached a full understanding of the material, teaching attentively along the way, being active listeners, and bringing out students' strengths. Then they challenged us to integrate this new knowledge into our lives until we truly understood it. At the same time we learned how to develop a critical voice and how to engage ourselves fully in the learning process. Many years later, I had an opportunity to return to Earlham for a time as a faculty member, teaching German language and literature. Experiencing Earlham's unique educational philosophy from both sides was an invaluable experience that has shaped me not just as an educator, but also as a person.

I am also a musician; I play the oboe and wrote my dissertation (and first published book) on the interrelationship of words and music in opera. I have performed solo repertoire and played in chamber music groups, symphonies and opera orchestras. My teaching is infused with my creativity, which is one reason I have such a passion for it. Logistically, it also allows me to think of many different approaches until one works perfectly for you. The word "education" has its roots in Latin, "educo-", which means "to draw out." My belief is that when teachers draw students out, and students make full use of a professor's resources, true education follows.

The rest is a long story, but a good one: formal graduate work in German (M.A.) at Indiana University; a Fulbright scholarship to Freiburg, Germany to do research on music and literature for two years; two years working as a grant writer in the arts in Washington, D.C., then back to Indiana University for a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (looking at literature and its ties to other disciplines, such as history, philosophy, the arts, psychology, and so on). During this period I was an adjunct Professor of German at Earlham College, my alma mater. I taught German and Cultural Studies at Hope College for 29 years, then German at Interlochen Fine Arts Academy (the premiere performing arts high school in the country with world-class facilities, situated in the pine woods of northern Michigan ) and, most recently, at Kalamazoo College teaching Modern German Culture using just the Internet. That course was especially engaging for me because I have always enjoyed course development and experimental curricula. On the plus side, I can pass along this flexibility and creativity to students without sacrificing content or structure in the lessons. On the minus side, I am not as good with multiple choice tests, strict systems, or "teaching to the test" (i.e. tutoring a student for a specific upcoming text).

To summarize, my background in liberal arts subjects combined with the expertise of comparative methods and style combine to make me what I am, which I can offer to you. The rest is about you as I become your personal resource and facilitator. I am invested in your success and hope to show you how to become a lifelong learner.

GENERAL INFORMATION & POLICIES:

* Disclaimer: I am happy to work with any type of learner, including those with dyslexia and other challenges. I do not, however, have formal training for any learning or psychological disabilities, ESL, standardized certification in SAT/ACT/GRE tutoring, or a K-12 teaching certificate. I have taken the GRE exam twice, successfully.

Students: I work best with high school, college, graduate and adult students, but I have taught all ages (K-12) in various capacities and I love kids. For the same hourly fee, I offer academic tutoring for groups of 2-3 and German language instruction for groups of 6-8 (any age). Groups are responsible among themselves for sharing costs. I am flexible in my schedule, but must know 6-24 hours in advance if you need to cancel or reschedule; otherwise there is a cancellation fee through WyzAnt.
Greetings, students and friends!

In your position, I would want to know the background and type of person and teacher a potential personal tutor would be. The answer is that I am quietly enthusiastic, dedicated to advancing your education and skills, creative and flexible in my teaching methods, and eager to begin setting up the right
Read more

Policies
Cancellation
8 hours notice required

I charge $30 / hr. for WyzAnt students. I have a Ph.D. and 35 years of college teaching experience. I will consider taking groups for language instruction for the same fee.

Travel Radius
Travels within 30 miles of Holland, MI 49423
In-person lessons

"Excellent"

- Carrie, Grand Haven, MI on 10/21/16

"Fantastic teacher, can not recommend enough."

- Stephen, West Olive, MI on 11/20/15
Language:
German
Elementary Education:
Reading,
Vocabulary

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 always loved reading. It takes me into different fictional places and stokes my creativity. It challenges my thinking in non-fiction, and activates my imagination in drama. My favorite areas are drama and poetry, but I read lots of different things. My parents taught me how to be a lifelong learner and I endeavor to instill that value in my students. Whether I am teaching elementary, middle school, high school or college does not matter to me. Each has its own challenges and joys. I treat each student, regardless of age, as a whole human being with intrinsic value and inherent skill.

I have a B.A. degree from Earlham College with a major in English. Earlham students are held to very high standards when it comes to interacting actively with the books they are reading and with other students, finding a "critical voice" of their own in paper writing (having an opinion and arguing it well), comprehending the text in more than one way, then listening actively and speaking clearly in discussions. I took these skills and developed them during my M.A. work in German studies in Freiburg, Germany on a Fulbright Fellowship, and then a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. Comparative Literature candidates must have three languages other than English (German, French and Italian), two national literatures other than English (French and German), and competency in a field outside of literature, in my case music. One of the most engaging and fun tasks in this field is finding or creating just the right way to compare and interpret two books. After earning my doctorate, I became a college professor of German Language, Cultural History and Comparative Literature for 35 years, now recently retired. I would like to think that age has imparted wisdom and perspective. I know that I am adaptable to every teaching situation and really enjoy people for the individuals that they are. Every student brings something to me as well. All of these skills qualify me to teach reading, and the joy I take in it always affects my students' attitudes in a positive way.

The word "education" comes from the Latin, "educo-" which means "to draw out". As a teacher, I know that it is my responsibility to draw out each student. Conversely, through their individuality and special talents, students draw out the best in me, too.

German

I have been teaching German on the college level (all four years: language, literature and culture) for 35 years. I am completely fluent; occasionally a German tells me that I sound like a native German when speaking. Though my main field of study is literature, I love teaching grammar; it's just plain fun for me and I can usually infect my students with that enthusiasm. I studied for two years on an extended Fulbright research grant where I took advanced German courses and received all A's. My dissertation was about the German legend of Doktor Faust, specifically Ferrucio Busoni's modern opera version, Doktor Faust (in German). About 80% of my research here and at libraries in Germany was in German, and the dissertation itself is in both German and English, text as well as critics. I even had an interview with 12 members of the Fulbright Commission in Bonn to justify the second year and had no problem responding to their questions.

Literature

As a broad overview, I am a retired college professor with over 30 years of teaching language and literature at every level. I have a B.A. in English Literature, an M.A. in Germanic Languages and Literatures, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, which is the study of literature and another subject, for example, history, theology, science, psychology or the arts, areas in which the comparatist has double competency. My area is "Literature and the other Arts", in particular music, opera and art song.
What this list doesn't tell you is that I am literally passionate about teaching. I enjoy teaching students who have many different ways of learning (visual, auditory, etc.) and with distinct personalities and motivations. I take each student where they are and start there. I am positive, in that I don't believe in "mistakes" or strict grading; my focus is always on keeping the student engaged academically and emotionally. My greatest days in teaching are the ones when students forget that I am there, so to speak, because they are learning independently, asking the right questions in their minds (or asking me), then forging ahead enthusiastically. I also believe that literature is a great resource for learning about life, culture and people outside one's own experience and world view. I am deeply satisfied that students have responded well, and consistently, to my teaching methods over the years and I am sure that, together, we can find a way that works for you. Another factor to consider is that I love writing, almost even more than reading, so I can help with that, too. The two, reading and writing, are inseparable anyway. I would be happy to help you in any way I can.

*** I am best with high school and college students, so I don't usually work with younger students, but am open to discussing options case by case. ****

Proofreading

I have had experience proofreading documents for arts organizations in Washington, DC. I was a grant writer and worked visiting embassies to determine how to help American artists overseas. I had a job for a while proofreading government documents as well. In my work as a student, scholar, writer and editor, I have proofread countless documents. I enjoy it and am reasonably sure I would do well at it.

Reading

Reading takes us to other places and to people, real and fictional, whom we might never meet any other way. It teaches us to consider our values and encourages us to live with integrity, often by depicting situations that might develop if we don't. Some literature creates fictional works so convincing that we think of the characters as real people. I attended a liberal arts college where every freshman was taught how to read effectively and to find a critical voice in writing papers by letting the book "work on you", so to speak, and then responding with your own "voice", instead of restating facts and plots with nothing to drive them conceptually. To some ultra-concrete readers, Samuel Coleridge asked for a "wiling suspension of disbelief," meaning an conditional acceptance of a fictional world, long enough so the reader can take in a maximum experience of that world before deciding how to respond.
If reading is difficult for you, there are endless ways to approach it, ways that play to your strengths so that the process of reading becomes enjoyable. It follows that you will begin to enjoy reading more and become better at comprehension. Reading came naturally to me at a very young age and that interest stayed with me right through a Ph.D, in Comparative Literature, by which time I could also read in French, German and some Italian. I just couldn't get enough. Not everyone feels that way about reading--some even detest it--but there are still ways to make it a positive experience.

Vocabulary

The entire history of my education, specifically writing and reading, have led me to increase my vocabulary. I also just like to find new and better words that are more specific and best suited to the thoughts I want to express. A large part of grading college papers, both in German and in English, is providing better words in my notes, or challenging students to do the same. I actually read the dictionary for fun (yes, really) and I use a thesaurus when I am not sure that I have come up with all possible words to describe a thought or emotion. I enjoy these activities in English, but also in German, a language in which I am completely fluent. Here the challenge is even greater to find specific, expressive words to fit any situation, the more the better. As you can see, learning vocabulary is part of the fabric of my life, and I know many ways to help students to master vocabulary, from flash cards, to writing sentences containing the words, to making a good paper a great paper. My son calls me an "editing machine and walking thesaurus," but of course when I teach, students don't know that. I present suggestions calmly and in intriguing ways, so as to keep the students' interest and motivation moving forward. I also use these skills in business editing and in writing grants. Please do not be put off by my qualifications. I can and do meet each student where they are, assess their problems and strengths, and devise lesson plans that work for them. I love kids and they respond well to me. I particularly enjoy adult students, because they always know so much but don't realize it.

Writing

I have been teaching students how to write for almost 40 years now, and writing academic papers for longer than that. My three degrees in literature required a writing style that demonstrated a strong inner structure and words that were both accurate in meaning and artful in their use. Each subject paper requires a unique approach to its challenges and subject matter. I also insist on hearing the student's voice in their writing. that is to say, some evidence that they have interacted with the text, in agreement or disagreement, and then supported that position in the paper. Of all the literary genres, I like drama the best because it uses condensed text in order to leave room for actors to develop their characters and to interpret the story.

Grant writing is fascinating for me because of the need to work with other people in the organization, to figure out what each person wants, then to incorporate it all throughout numerous revisions..
I take their initial ideas and get them on paper, then the text is edited over and over as a result of weekly meetings. In the end, the grant must be pinpoint accurate both in describing what the organization can do and what it can accomplish that has never been done. I am proud of a grant I wrote at Opera America. a central clearinghouse for operas around the nation I chose to compare Verdi's opera, Otello to Shakespeare's play, Othello. We did i the same for Verdi's Macbeth and Shakespeare's Macbeth. The course was a two-week workshop for K-12 teachers. It was the first grant ever to be funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for an
arts organization.

Earlham College (Richmond, IN)
English
Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)
Master's
INdiana University (Bloomington), IN)
PhD

Education

Earlham College (Richmond, IN) (English)

Indiana University (Bloomington, IN) (Master's)

INdiana University (Bloomington), IN) (PhD)

Excellent

Nancy came well prepared each week and was very patient with our family of four ranging from 10-39! We enjoyed our lessons with her!

— Carrie, Grand Haven, MI on 10/21/16

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $30.00

Cancellation: 8 hours notice required

I charge $30 / hr. for WyzAnt students. I have a Ph.D. and 35 years of college teaching experience. I will consider taking groups for language instruction for the same fee.

Travel policy

Nancy will travel within 30 miles of Holland, MI 49423.