Oberlin College (Creative Writing)
University of Houston, Main Campus (Master's)
Studying and teaching languages is my passion, one that I did not discover until the end of my sophomore year in college. But it's too late to learn a language then! Many might say. Yes, it can be difficult and awkward. I can say that through my own experience as well as studies that I read for my Master's degree coursework in Spanish language and linguistics. The best time to begin studying a foreign language is well before adolescence.
But through a lot of determination, a sustained effort, and some good teachers, I not only became fluent in Spanish, but also developed my skills to a point that I beat out native speakers for several bilingual positions. I worked at the consulate of a Spanish-speaking country,as a government translator, and as a bilingual communications manager for a law firm. But I realized that I really preferred teaching. To me there is nothing so worthwhile as watching someone not only overcome their fears of reading, writing, speaking or understanding a foreign language, but really start to feel confident. Since I not only survived but (eventually) thrived during this journey myself, I not only understand the process... I feel their pain!
While I lived in Spain, I taught English as a Foreign Language in a number of settings, including to groups in language academies and doctors in the local hospital and individual tutoring to high school and college students. I realized how difficult English is, so I greatly admire those of you learning it as a second language! From 2003-2014 I taught Spanish full-time, mostly in a Houston public high school. I enjoyed that, but with more focus on testing and core subjects every year along with constant reductions of resources, personnel and time from foreign language, it got to a point in which I felt most of the reasons that I got into foreign language teaching were no longer there and unlikely to return. Perhaps some teachers can teach three different levels (I did for years, including Spanish 3 pre-AP and Spanish 4 AP Language and Culture) and teach thirty or more kids/class effectively, but I feel that I could make a bigger difference working with fewer students. In June 2014, I left my full-time Spanish teaching position. Since then, I have been tutoring ESL and Spanish through employers including Premiere English, LCI Houston, Memorial Private High School, and several tutoring websites. My students include engineers and other professionals from Italy, South America and Japan as well as Houston-area high school students.
Every student and situation is unique. I do everything possible to find out my students' goals, interests, resources, strengths and weaknesses and tailor my classes around all of those elements. I strongly feel that student input and effort is essential to success, so I welcome feedback. Whether you would like to improve your conversation skills in English or Spanish over several months or improve your chances of performing well on a particular test in a few weeks, I can help you.
I prefer tutoring near my home (Spring Branch ISD), but if you live or work in an area that is along one of the travel routes for some of my other employers, perhaps we can work something out. For example, I drive to Bay City on Tuesdays and Thursdays to tutor engineers and their families in ESL. Occasionally I have classes there from morning to night, but due to travel and other obligations that come up with them, more often than not, I have gaps in my schedule. So if you live in Richmond, Sugar Land or Stafford and have some flexibility, I'd be happy to work you into my schedule on Tuesdays and Thursdays to complement those hours. I usually have a class in Katy on Saturday afternoons, so another class in that area on Saturdays would also be a possibility. I presently have openings on Mondays (until 3 pm) and Fridays all day, so as long as that is the case, I'd be willing to drive to other areas for classes. Studying and teaching languages is my passion, one that I did not discover until the end of my sophomore year in college. But it's too late to learn a language then! Many might say. Yes, it can be difficult and awkward. I can say that through my own experience as well as studies that I read for my Master's degree coursework in Spanish language and
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 nearly a decade of experience teaching or tutoring ESL, including seven years teaching English as a Foreign Language when I lived in Spain during the 90s. I have also taught in language academies in Boston and Houston, most recently as June 2014 part-time through a new employer. During my 12 years as a public school teacher, I earned a Texas ESL teaching certification for grades 6-12. Since I learned a second language as an adult myself, I understand the difficult process that teens and adults go through when they study a new language. I am a published writer in both English and Spanish, so I can also help students with writing.
I earned Texas Spanish teacher certification (grades 6-12) and a Master's degree in Spanish. I have 12 years' experience teaching in a Houston area high school, so I know the Realidades curriculum very well along with the AP Spanish Language and Culture. I have also published an original fiction story in Spanish and the few non-teaching jobs that I have had were bilingual ones for which I beat out native speakers. However, I prefer teaching over translating or writing because I really enjoy creating personalized classes and connecting with students.