Joyce D.

Asheville, NC


Published Author Excels at Coaching Young Writers

In-person lessons
50+ Hours
Background check passed as of 4/10/13
4.8 average from 20 ratings
Kind & Patient
— Staci, Weaverville, NC on 2/26/13


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Florida International University
elementary education


Florida International University (elementary education)

About Joyce

With more than five years experience teaching in the NYC Public School system, I began tutoring homebound students with special needs. Student C, a Chinese-American boy who'd not attended school even one day of his sixth grade year, needed over the summer to pass the test to advance to the seventh.

C at first refused to leave his room. He'd been traumatized by the "tough" school in his new neighborhood. I'd been at the school to pick up text books, so I knew what he meant. Outside his door I commented to his sister that I wouldn't have wanted to attend such a chaotic school myself. Out he came hiding under his "hoodie."

I taught C math, social studies, science, and English in lessons specially designed to capture his interest. For instance, for English grammar I used cloze paragraphs about Albert Einstein, a subject whith which I was familiar having just read "Einstein in Love." For science and social studies I assigned him computer tasks utilizing the Hubble Telescope site and The Library of Congress site. Happily C who'd been ignorant of even the simplest subject/verb agreement rules of English Grammar, passed into the seventh grade.

At this time I am not certified in New York and Florida, the states where I taught, because jobs were not available and I let the certificates lapse. However, I remain a published author, with a summa cum laude degree in elementary education. My approach to any student is to determine his or her needs first by assigning an appropriate project such as an essay or themed report, which I will then evaluate. I am good at honing in on attributes that will support communication skills.

I believe it was my compassion, patience, and a real rapport with the young that contributed to my success.
With more than five years experience teaching in the NYC Public School system, I began tutoring homebound students with special needs. Student C, a Chinese-American boy who'd not attended school even one day of his sixth grade year, needed over the summer to pass the test to advance to the seventh.

C at first refused to leave his room.
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There will be no charge if the lesson is cancelled at least one hour ahead of scheduled time. If there is no notice of cancellation the cancellation charge is $15.

Travel Radius
Travels within 10 miles of Asheville, NC 28803
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons

"Kind & Patient"

- Staci, Weaverville, NC on 2/26/13

"Knowledgeable and patient tutor"

- Victoria, Hendersonville, NC on 6/14/17


- Susie, Asheville, NC on 6/3/17
Elementary (K-6th),
GED, Prealgebra
Elementary Science
ACT English, ACT Reading, English, ESL/ESOL,
Grammar, Literature, Proofreading, Public Speaking, Reading,
SAT Reading, SAT Writing,
Vocabulary, Writing
Test Preparation:
ACT English, ACT Reading, ASVAB, GED, SAT Reading, SAT Writing
Special Needs:
Elementary (K-6th),
Elementary Science, Phonics,
Special Needs,
Study Skills
Elementary Education:
Elementary (K-6th),
Elementary Science, Grammar, Phonics,
Spelling, Study Skills,
Vocabulary, Writing
Public Speaking, 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.


Since beginning my teaching career in 2003 I would estimate that at least 70% of my students have had to cope with some level of ADD/ADHD. At Florida International University from which I graduated Summa Cum Laude in Elementary Education, I learned several strategies to deal with this problem: an emphasis on kinesthetic activities such as construction of pyramids using plastic straws, and use of manipulative tasks in math.

While all these strategies were useful in my teaching, I found the greatest benefit to be my patience and engagement with the students. My own enthusiasm, it seemed, help them to focus.

In five years of teaching adolescent boys at the jail, Rikers Island, called Island Academy, I found that often ADD/ADHD, when not properly addressed in early years, contributed to a boy's preference for life on the streets. There, the percentage of these students was much higher, and required every facility I had for engagement. My success in preparing boys to take and pass the GED has been acknowledged in letters from a former assistant principal, and verbal thanks from many parents.


Having danced professionally with San Francisco's Ballet Celeste company, I am well versed in ballet technique, terminology, and have taught beginners classes in Asheville, NC.

I studied with Tommy Armour at the Miami Conservatory, Madame Swoboda at American Ballet Theater's school in NYC, among others.

Beginning ballet classes should emphasize plies, tendues, and petit battements without forcing turnout in fifth position. Slowly moving through floor exercises focusing on epaulement and clear body positioning is best for a beginning student.


Dyslexia can assume a wide variety of manifestations. But, the condition is always characterized by a difficulty when decoding words that stems from seeing letters that are either not part of the word or not in the proper order.

An analogy can be made to returning a tennis ball that has been hit with spin or slice. To return such a ball the player can wait for the ball to stop spinning before hitting it, or compensate for the spin by the way he uses his own racquet. If the reader is patient, the letters should eventually appear in the right order for the word. In many cases the dyslexic person can train his brain to compensate for the seemingly scrambled order of letters.

Recently I tutored an 18 year-old with severe dyslexia. Using patience and repetition along with the Wilson Method of parsing words into letter sounds and syllables, he was able to advance in one year from a first grade reading level to GED prep.

Before the above experience I worked for five years with Special Ed students at an alternative high school at the jail on Riker's Island in NYC. Many incarcerated adolescents suffer from dyslexia and other learning disabilities. In fact, it is thought that these difficulties and their resulting drop-out rate are related to criminal activity.

Elementary (K-6th)

I graduated from Florida International University in 2003 Summa Cum Laude (3.9) with a BS in Elementary Education. My teaching experience was in New York City where I received state certification after passing the requisite exams. First I taught 3r grade at PS 1 in New York's Chinese district, working specifically with children below grade level in reading and writing. My ESL Endorsement from FIU enabled me to work well with students new to the US. For five years I taught at the Alternative High School on Rikers Island, a correctional facility for adolescent boys called Island Academy. There I was well equipped to write and implement lessons focused on the needs of students who lacked basic skills. Specifically, I prepared them in class and special tutoring sessions for the essay requirement in the GED. I was particularly effective with the many boys there with emotional and learning disabilities. After leaving Rikers I tutored through the Dept. of Ed. in private homes in all subjects. I am also a published Author with a YA novel, MYSTIC.


I was required to take two credited courses in ESL strategies in which I received A's. I am ESL Endorsed by Florida International University.


At least three courses in my elementary education curriculum stressed phonics and word and letter morphology as useful methods for teaching students to read.


Graduated Summa Cum Laude from Florida International University with a degree in Elementary Education. Also have an endorsement for ESOL students. Trained for teaching strategies specifically for the dyslexic student through the Buncombe County Literacy Council.

SAT Writing

I have years of experience preparing high school students for essay exams. As a teacher in Florida and New York I was required to take licensing exams in both states which included writing essays on supplied subjects.

Also, I am a writer, with a published Young Adult novel to my credit.

Special Needs

Teaching English Literacy for five years at a NYC alternative high school I became well acquainted with the needs of learning and emotionally disabled adolescents.

Working one-on-one there and here in Asheville I have successfully utilized the Wilson Reading System with both adults and adolescents. By patiently and methodically deconstructing words into letter sounds and syllables my students have gained the confidence needed to begin fluent reading.

One of my students who has a speech processing problem had been diagnosed with disorders so severe his parents were told he would never learn to read. With my tutoring he is now reading at a fifth grade level. It took a year, but this methodical and slow approach really works.

I have great respect for the Wilson method which discourages "guessing" and focuses on taking one letter at a time. I also have a summa cum laude degree in elementary education.

Study Skills

As a teacher of many students who had missed years of schooling, I had to inform them of methods of study and closely monitor their efforts. For instance, skills like brainstorming, outlining, and research needed to be modeled step by step. In addition, I coached students to be patient and methodical when solving problems.


I was a professional dancer/singer before returning to college for my teaching degree. I performed Off-Broadway, in summer stock, and dinner theaters. Last summer I taught dance for the Methodist Theater Camp in Stonybrook, NY and choreographed THE LION KING and THE LITTLE MERMAID. I studied acting with the Hollywood Actors' Repertory Theater in Los Angeles, choreographing David Rabe's IN THE BOOM BOOM ROOM starring Julie Newmar and also appeared in the production.

World History

Having been a lifelong reader of books that cover various aspects of world history, I am well qualified to teach this subject.

Along with college courses, my curiosity is what leads me on a never ending quest for understanding about our world and how we got to where we are now.

Most recently I read FOUNDING MOTHERS by Cokie Roberts, which gave me new appreciation for the boldness and bravery of the colonials who fought to establish the United States. For instance, the stories of women like Abigail Adams, the wife of our second president, who expressed in her letters to husband John, a forward thinking and inventive mind that he found indispensable.

Other periods of history on which I'm widely read include Industrial Revolution England and the Napoleonic era in Europe. I've also read extensively on Russian history, my interest stemming from my Russian ancestors.


Author of a Young Adult Novel.

Editor of a biannual publication - a magazine of poetry and prose written by the inmates of Rikers Island

Five years successfully coaching young writers for the NYC public school system

Florida International University
elementary education


Florida International University (elementary education)

Kind & Patient

Joyce is a very patient tutor with my son who struggles with dyslexia. In just a few lessons my son was able to learn more than he had with several lessons with past tutors. Anyone who has a child who is struggling with reading and dyslexia can tell you how heartbreaking it is watching your child go through this. Joyce has given our son back the confidence he needs to show him that he can succeed.

— Staci, Weaverville, NC on 2/26/13

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $35.00

There will be no charge if the lesson is cancelled at least one hour ahead of scheduled time. If there is no notice of cancellation the cancellation charge is $15.

Travel policy

Joyce will travel within 10 miles of Asheville, NC 28803.