SK Academic: English Tutoring And Guitar Lessons
I've been on both sides of the tracks. In grade school I was a mediocre student at best, struggling to stay afloat or even interested in academics. In my senior year, a switch was flipped and I learned to take ownership of my studies. I went from getting C's and D's to seeing straight A's and immense confidence in myself. I had finally tasted success and I became eager to take that momentum into college and into every other part of my life.
This success and fulfillment is what I wake up every day excited to help others find. I know what it takes to win at academics, to go from 0 to 100 in confidence and capability, and the importance of patient, empathetic and dedicated teachers and mentors in a person's life.
1.) I've seen students start a project with no idea what they're doing, and then connect the dots to reach a real confidence and mastery of that subject. When this happens enough times, the habit of overcoming challenges deepens and becomes part of them: nothing put in front of them seems too hard. That's my aim and my thrill with every student.
2.) The relational aspect of tutoring is unparalleled. I made so many interesting friends as a peer tutor in college, and I realize how vital my mentor relationships were with adults when I was younger. I value that dynamic of tutoring greatly.
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Frequently asked questions
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
ENGLISH: I hold a degree in Biblical Languages (ancient Greek and Hebrew) from Moody, one of the world's premier Bible academies. I began formally tutoring for my Hebrew classes before I had even finished the introductory class, with a reputation among my classmates for being extremely patient, clear and relatable as I helped each student fill in the gaps in their understanding that naturally arise from group instruction.
While Greek and Hebrew are obviously not English, the classes proved revolutionary to honing my sense of grammar, idiom and countless other universal language and composition principles that bolster a mastery of one's mother tongue. Having a natural talent for writing, I also specialized in tutoring all manner of English classes and general writing needs for any undergraduate--and several graduate--classes at Moody. My reputation grew to the point that professors were recruiting me privately to help them review their doctoral work.
Since graduating with highest honors from Moody, I have worked with young kids (ages 6-12) in an after-school program in Goshen and I currently tutor with Sylvan Learning Center in Mishawaka, helping with all ages K-12. I bring a wealth of passion, talent and experience to my role as an English tutor.
GUITAR: I have been a die-hard musician virtually since I was born--my parents said I was singing along with Aerosmith at 3 years old, and I do remember being transfixed by their music videos at that age. But I've been especially active since age 13 as a guitarist. I have played for countless church and parachurch settings, including Teen Mania's in-house touring band for their nationwide mega conferences, Paul Baloche's church in Garden Valley, TX, and Russell Fragar's church in Fairfax, VA. I've also played with several smaller artists out of Nashville, including Shane Scheib and The World in Lights.
I have always enjoyed working as a freelance guitar instructor and apply the same principles of patience, empathy and inspiration that I apply to my English lessons.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
Pricing for hour-long lessons is discussed before hire.
How did you get started teaching?
I've always been a helper. I've also always been a strong empathizer, able to recognize where a person is strong or weak, how they feel about a subject and to what types of help they respond best. Thus, it has always come naturally to help someone get from where they are to where they want to go.
I began implementing this professionally while living in Nashville, where I started teaching guitar to friends and my entrepreneur friend helped me market myself more broadly.
My English tutoring developed in a similar way, with me always being available to help fellow students or friends with their writing or editing needs. But when I got to Moody, that's when I really tapped into my love for it. I jumped into the Peer Tutor position as quickly as possible and haven't stopped teaching since.
What types of students have you worked with?
I've thoroughly enjoyed working with people of every age range, from 6 years old to young professors to 55-year-old graduate students, and several with cultural or language barriers. One of my first formal tutoring experiences was with an after-school program in Chicago's Chinatown, where many of the elementary-age students spoke little English or no English at all.
In my last weeks at Moody, a Korean classmate I barely knew was struggling with a final paper that we both had due the next day. I had finished mine, but at 9pm she had just started and felt overwhelmed. Part of the problem was her language barrier--she wasn't sure of some of the professor's instructions. I spent 30 minutes getting her on track, then met with her the following morning to proof her paper just in time for class. She said she could not have done it without my help.