You CAN Learn to Write Well
You CAN Learn to Write Well
For 36 years, I was a Teacher of English at Westlake High School in Thornwood, New York, from 1974 to 2010. I left teaching in 2010 because of aneurysm surgery serious enough to require retirement in order to protect the financial stability of my family. In the process of my career and later, I have assisted friends, students, teachers, and administrators with writing tasks ranging from education and nursing to business and even advertising copy, and, for years, I have heard variations on the familiar theme that, because of some personal, intrinsic lack or other, writing is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Thus, an important part of my task as a tutor has been to reinforce one simple reality: Writing is not difficult because people are stupid; Writing is difficult because Writing is difficult. Period. After all, Writing is Speaking with ALL of the non-verbal emphasis removed, emphasis that ultimately assists in the clarification of meaning, clarification that must be achieved with the more limited tools that writing provides.
What I love about tutoring is that it provides the opportunity for us to identify particular issues and to achieve confidence in mastering the techniques necessary to the clear and organized communication of ideas, whatever they may be. In many instances, it is bit like being present at a birth, the emergence of The Voice of The Writer, a voice that deserves to be heard clearly.
Someone once suggested that they didn't teach English so much as they taught students. I've tried never to forget that. For 35 years or more, both in school and out, I have specialized in the "teaching" of writing. Not writing for the sake of writing itself, but writing as a vehicle that will allow the writer to present herself or himself in the best possible light. Perhaps one of the more daunting aspects of the writing task is that, very often, the piece of paper with words on it that we've managed to produce is our first impression to the eyes of a virtual stranger. Good or bad, like it or not, The Writing is US. Alongside this is the equally daunting reality that, whether in high school or college, the challenges of TEACHING writing are formidable indeed. The TEACHING of writing requires time - in a classroom setting with upwards of 25 students, a great deal of time - and, too often, adequate time is the problem: it is simply not available. For these reasons, one-on-one tutoring is, I think, the MOST appropriate, the most successful, and the most satisfying way to achieve significant results. Everything is designed to assist the individual student in presenting herself or himself in the best possible light, whether the issues are organization, grammar, emphasis (yes, emphasis is possible, even on the written page), proofreading, vocabulary, paragraphing, or whatever. Whether writing a report, a presentation, a speech, or a letter of introduction, the essential supporting pillars we have identified are constant. It is the achievement of these that make tutoring so rewarding for both the student and the teacher.
Please contact me for an evaluation of your writing. Let's see what we can do to help.