University of California San Diego (UCSD) (English Literature)
United States International University San Diego (USIU) (Master's)
I always strive to reinforce the unique qualities in each student. Over the years, I've found that a number of academic problems stem from poor technical skills: an inability to grasp core themes, develop ideas, take and/or utilize notes or adequately comprehend tedious prose. A sharp awareness of individual student needs or challenges and effective approaches comes through experience. I've had my own highly successful tutoring service for the past 10+ years, personally assisting 350+ students (fifteen were placed in the Ivy League). In comparative terms, I logged 14,000+ hours tutoring over that span of time. Hence, I am only new to the Wyzant "online" family. As the Internet can often be uncertain, I've made a point of meeting prospective clients first, before any formal arrangements. I hold a Bachelor's in American and English Literature and a Master's in International Relations.
Over the years, I've skillfully worked with English composition and literature (with essay writing in all forms and subjects), creative writing, speech, world history, social studies, political science, health, psychology, philosophy and sociology. In addition, I've trained students for the SAT (reading comp, written structure and essay sections), the ACT (reading comp, written structure and essay sections) and TOEFL exams, and I've helped prepare personal statement essays for university applications, along with any college counseling needed (and private school apps/essays as well).
(Just no math, chemistry or physics)
All my students have additional access for homework questions (via text, talk or e-mail). I set out to initially protect their grades, while working ahead with what they will be seeing in class. I tailor coursework for the individual needs or challenges of a given student. The majority of my students are between 5th and 11th. I can also work with a few students together, depending on age/skill level, adjusting fees accordingly. Aside from tutoring, I'm a full-time published/working writer, and college lecturer. I always strive to reinforce the unique qualities in each student. Over the years, I've found that a number of academic problems stem from poor technical skills: an inability to grasp core themes, develop ideas, take and/or utilize notes or adequately comprehend tedious prose. A sharp awareness of individual student needs or challenges and
Mark is a fantastic teacher. My son, who’s a reluctant reader, learns many ways to meet the challenges of reading and writing in school. I always appreciate Mark’s summary of what took place during each lesson and the various strategies that he uses to keep my son interested. Mark has the patience and years of experience to help my son to gain proficiency in processing information, which is very important in the modern world. I look forward to working with Mark for many years to come.
In our initial meeting, I was impressed when Mark asked very specific questions and listened very intently to the responses in order to recommend a tailored solution for our teen’s tutoring needs. He’s clear about areas where he can help (protect the grades, prep for ACT/SAT, writing, etc.), as well as areas that are outside his wheelhouse (math and science). I appreciated Mark’s balance of focus (he quickly gets right down to business!), humor (he put our teen at ease and kept her engaged and enthusiastic through the session) and professionalism (he is quick to communicate and respond to questions). We were feeling a little overwhelmed with all the college prep work that needs to occur during the junior year in high school and I am confident Mark would be an excellent strategic ally for any student who wants to do well in school and get into a great university.
Mark takes time to really understand what my son is passionate about and pushes him to develop ideas. My son really appreciates the structure that Mark provides.
He is very patient, and knows what both my daughter, and I need. I could use a bit more patience, but fortunately he has that in spades. I can't say how happy I was to see my daughter excited about trying out new study methods... really?!? Worth every penny.
For my first lesson, he showed me different ways of developing ideas, which are basics of writing. I got to know that he has different skills and therefore available to teach me in different ways. I could plan my schedule out based on those various resources he has.
Mark is a well rounded and enthusiastic tutor. My daughter liked him and found him helpful in reviewing for SAT/ACTs.
He responds promptly and made efforts to work within her challenging schedule. Thanks Mark!
Mark was very helpful for our son. He was very responsive, on time and was well prepared for our sessions. He definitely helped our son improve his grades.
My son just started lessons with Mark a month ago and yet I already had seen remarkable changes with my son's approach to studying. He had greatly improved with his time management skills and feels more confident with any new subjects. My son feels comfortable with each lessons and finds lot of effective techniques that he now applies to his day to day learning. We are looking forward to years of learning with Mark.
Mark has been tutoring my son who is a high school sophomore on English composition and literature. He's developed great rapport with my son and is providing useful tools to help him along the way. He is easy to reach and always responds promptly which I appreciate very much.
Mark helped my daughter with PSAT and writing. She’s got the best PSAT score in the school. Mark is very resourceful, organized, and punctual. I recommend him highly.
Mark was on time for sessions we had. He did great editing on essays and had good insights on topics.
From the first session, Mark was ready with his own materials in addition to being able to address my son's specific class concerns. Mark has focused on writing and reading specifically within my son's areas of interest. We are really pleased with Mark's enthusiasm and expertise!
Mark has been great for my daughter. She has learned valuable skills to help her become more efficient at studying and completing her homework; spending her time more wisely. She's become more confident and less stressed about her honors classes.
My son needed help working on his college essays. It was apparent from the very start that Mark is very experienced in helping seniors through the college application process. During our first meeting Mark took the time to understand what our goals were and what we were looking for, and gave some really good input on the college application process. By looking at the preliminary drafts that my son prepared, he quickly identified and diagnosed the biggest problem area my son had and was able to help him improve on that. Throughout the process Mark was patient and had really good suggestions on how to put together a winning essay. He helped my son outline his essays, reorganize his paragraphs, and sharpen the focus of the essays. The end product was much stronger essays that were made possible with Mark’s expert help. Mark was very easy to get a hold of and responsive throughout the time we worked together. Highly recommended!
Mark is a great tutor. He is reliable, very helpful, and understanding. He assisted my son with his college essays and SAT writing test preparation. Mark was very adaptive to my son's needs, gave him excellent ideas to improve his writing skills. He has been great to work with.
Mark has been a great influence on our son, helping to increase his interest and skill in writing and reading through his patient tutoring. We believe that Mark's tutoring will be instrumental in helping our son do well on the SAT test next year. We recommend Mark for anyone considering tutoring in preparation for their SAT exams.
Mark was really easy to approach when I first met him. I'm working with him on test preparation (reading) this summer. He quickly points out the areas I need to improve and we start practicing with his designed strategy. He is also knowledgeable in various subjects such as literature and social studies (such as American history) besides test prep. Great tutor. Schedule is flexible. Easy to reach by phone.
My Bachelor's degree is in American and English Literature. Our course load wholly encompassed the "classics." Our American analysis spanned 350 years, through the colonial writings of Bradstreet, to Cooper's Pathfinder, to Franklin's Autobiography, to Emerson's Self Reliance, to Poe's Raven, to Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby, to Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, to Faulkner's Sound and Fury. Our English analysis encompassed about 650 years, through Milton's Paradise Lost, to Shakespeare's Macbeth++, to Wordsworth's, Tennyson's, Browning's and Arnold's poems, to Bronte's Jane Eyre, to Wilde's Importance of Being Ernest, to Kipling's Kim, to Conrad's Typhoon, etc. My Master's degree is in International Relations. Our course load included Tocqueville's Democracy in America and Ikle's How Nations Negotiate, among many others. My lower division courses included classics in Psychology (Freud, Jung) and Philosophy (Plato, Spinoza, Voltaire, Spencer, Nietzsche, etc). In fifteen years of tutoring, I've read/worked on many contemporary classics in history and literature: Animal Farm, Catcher in the Rye, Ender's Game, etc. My private reading encompasses classics in Architecture, History, Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy, Economics and naturally, fiction and non-fiction. Also, I recommend and lend "teen classics" to students, from my extensive library.
Over the past fifteen years of private tutoring, I've worked on 5+ university applications per year. So much of the process is searching through a student's relative fog of "what I want to major in" or "who I want to be." Aside from planning and editing personal statement essays, a quarter of the time may be spent assessing aptitudes and what I refer to as "resonances." I've utilized Myers Briggs tests and even the What Color is My Parachute workbooks, in order to help steer students in the right direction, and most importantly, avoid having them switch majors mid-stream, thereby tacking on a year or two to a degree. I've become very proficient as a university counselor.
Public speaking or speech classes were included within my American and English Literature degree. In addition, my International Relations degree focused on "Peace and Conflict Studies," which boiled down to actual speech protocol within State Department and White House venues (our professor was a former assistant to the US Secretary of State). Over the past fifteen years of private tutoring, I've worked with dozens of students in speech classes, creating and refining the actual written prose and tailoring the presentation and overall credibility of the public presentation (along with methods for holding the interest/eye contact of the audience). I've also worked on numerous school government speeches with students. My own work in front of classrooms at Seattle University and Lake Washington Technical College has furthered my ability to effectively convey useful speech techniques.
A great deal of my private tutoring of the past fifteen years has involved "efficiency techniques" (what I call "survival skills"). I preach "balance"----an ability to effectively prep for tests, extended essays or projects, while retaining a bit of "me time" (I call it "sanity time"). My first or second lesson with most students encompasses a "long-term memory" system, which utilizes a series of cards in a revolving pattern (albeit a more enjoyable approach). Additionally, I utilize many "proactive" systems of production, which bypass frequent student delays of "considering" (more often daydreaming). At Seattle University, I was invited to other classes, as a "guest lecturer," to convey my unique card system method, and other organizational essay "technique tricks."