Evergreen State College (Interdisciplinary American Studies)
(1) University of Southern California (Master's)
Fielding Graduate University (PhD)
To Prospective Students:
I approach tutoring as an opportunity to share with clients some of the knowledge and strategies I have picked up since I began working with students over twenty years ago. My teaching experience has been diverse, spanning the fields of martial arts, combat medicine, and college math and writing. Ten years before I became a parent myself, I was tutoring high school students in the humanities, and fellow soldiers who were preparing to take college equivalency tests. It was at this time, in the 1990's, that I became interested in the work of Howard Gardner, one of the pioneers of multiple intelligence theory. While some of that theory is still debated, much of it harmonized with my experience as a tutor and instructor, which taught me that everyone learns differently. Each of us must identify and practice strategies to maximize our learning experience.
This belief was reinforced when I began as a writing tutor at Evergreen State College, while I was earning my undergraduate degree. In the college writing center I encountered many students who were frustrated as they realized that they had graduated from high school with a shaky foundation in reading and writing, skills typically taken for granted in someone offered admission to college. Even more surprising was my work with graduate students, many of whom were aspiring scientists who were very competent in the quantitative reasoning department, but struggled to articulate themselves on paper.
While I had gone through several trainings as an instructor in the military and at the writing center, and studied educational theory and psychology, one of my harshest and most effective lessons came after a motor vehicle accident in which I sustained a concussion. After the first phase of my recovery, I began working with veterans coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq for medical care. Many of these service members had experiences similar traumatic brain injuries and were, in effect, having to relearn how to learn. I began working with specialists in cognitive learning techniques. These techniques systematically identify and improve areas of diminished or inhibited capacity, to strengthen memory and improve processing speed and quality.
As I approached my middle years, I took stock of my work experiences and realized that by far the most satisfying ones were those in which I was working with others to share some knowledge or solve some problem. This realization led me to decide to become a full time educator. Toward that end I enrolled in a Master's in Teaching program and am currently in my second term. This program, through the University of Southern California, emphasizes incorporation of online technology in education. Because of this emphasis, I have expanded the ways I can teach, learn, and present material to students. Opportunities for learning have grown exponentially in the last decade, with no loss of velocity on the horizon.
The importance of the ability to think critically and take charge of one's own education cannot be overstated. I saw plenty of examples of this simple truth in my work as a probation officer. As a tutor, I work hard to ensure that my students develop and apply metacognition, the ability to think about their own thinking and learning. The ability to recognize and reflect on where we need help is one of the best tools a person can possess. I look forward to each new teaching experience as an opportunity to learn with someone and the goal of sending them away with a box of tools that they know how to use. To Prospective Students:
I approach tutoring as an opportunity to share with clients some of the knowledge and strategies I have picked up since I began working with students over twenty years ago. My teaching experience has been diverse, spanning the fields of martial arts, combat medicine, and college math and writing. Ten years
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My undergraduate degree was an interdisciplinary American Studies, much of which involved cultural studies. My doctoral studies have included social psychology, applied linguistics, and epistemology shaped by anthropological principles. My dissertation proposal revolves around the culture of higher education.