Tutoring is a process of providing or guiding, not telling or instructing, so I work directly with students and families to ensure edifying and fulfilling learning experiences that are predicated on student wants and needs, not personal predilections or inclinations. I have no agenda and make no assumptions about the nature of the work nor the needs of any student; the only goal is to give students the guidance and preparation they need to produce their best, and that can only come about when the work, especially writing, is accountable and authentic. In addition to directly addressing the specific criteria of any given assignment a student is working on, I introduce a repertoire of reading and writing approaches that can provoke one to perform his or her best work on any given assignment. A tutor's job is to elicit a student's best reading and writing by way of instruction, advice, and encouragement not imposition or enforcement of paradigmatic or generic patterns or practices.
I love my "day job" as a teacher at a local high school, where I teach a variety of courses in the Humanities, including AP Language & Composition, Philosophy, and African-American Studies. Tutoring affords me the opportunity to continue to work with emerging readers and writers year round, which allows me to continue to learn from students, who are our most important teachers. My instructional practices in the classroom and in tutoring settings are alwyas informed and guided by the students; given the opportunity to read and write guided by the new ways of seeing the work we do that students provide always inspires me and pushes me to be a better teacher, person, and, indeed, parent to my daughter and son.
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All of my work with students is predicated on THEIR wants and needs, not any assumptions I make about the nature of the work or generalized ideas about what is the value thereof or the right or best way to go about it. The best way, which is always the right way, is to make sure students, their families, and I are on the same page regarding what they want and need, and to ensure that the two are not at cross purposes and that everything ultimately is student-centric. To that extent, it is really helpful to build trust with students and families by ensuring that there are opportunities throughout the time working together to personalize the experience as much as reasonably possible. We can't white-knuckle our way through all we do without taking a breath here and there for focus and prespective. We're here to work, but we have to always be mindful that the best work comes from sustained and authentic engagement; especially when it comes to writing, work that is entirely divorced from the individual experience risks landing inert on arrival.
Over the years, I have taught at a variety of public schools in the Greater Boston Area, with a focus in ELA and literature. Currently, I teach Advanced Placement Language & Composition, which I have taught for seven years, ELA classes, Philosophy, and African-American Studies.
I work in public schools and I am an advocate for public education, but I did attend private high school (Phillips Academy, Andover '88), so I am familiar with a variety of assumptions and expectations about education, for better or worse.
I have a degree in English Language/Literary Studies, and I have a great deal of formal experience with Classical Languages (Greek and Latin) and early forms of English, i.e., Old and Middle English, which inform my understanding and appreciation of languge and writing and the potentials thereof.
And on occasion, if called upon, I can speak some more than passable Spanish!
I am more than happy to work with students and families to arrange fair and affordable schedules, rates, etc.
Whatever a student's background, disposition, inclination, persuasion, or style, I treat each and every one as an individual, and I tailor or "differentiate" our work predicated on what each student wants or needs.
We all learn at our own pace and in our own ways, so labels or types matter less, especially once we get to know each other. I operate on a "need-to-know" basis, responding directly to what students want or need from me as their tutor.
In my capacity as a public school educator, I provide differentiated educational opportunities for all students in all classes all the time. ELL, SPED, AP, CP - I have and continue to work with students at all "levels" and from all backgrounds.
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