For years I’ve worked with students and applicants who have a variety of needs -from help writing essays for graduate school to moving beyond the fourth grade “book report.” I coach students in techniques for everything from improving test performance to editing poetry for publication. I have been teaching for more than twenty years, including in public high schools and at The Evergreen School’s gifted/talented program in Shoreline, WA. I practice what I preach as an essayist, poet, memoirist, and soon, a novelist.
Writing is an unnatural act. It requires a lot of practice, as well as insightful feedback to master the rules and to gain the confidence to handle whatever task comes our way. I teach a core format and process that serves whether the work is a sixth grade research paper, an ISEE or SAT essay, or a graduate school thesis. My goal is for my students to experience how much fun and how deeply rewarding it is to express ourselves with ease and power.
Test preparation is most efficient with talented support. There are some “tricks” that require practice, and there is also a lot about the English language that can be difficult to sort. I help my students with reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary development. There are also some areas of background content which I help my students to have at-the-ready for answering challenging essay prompts.
Academic Support requires broad awareness of the factors behind success. When parents ask what I teach I like to answer, “Children.” A student’s self-esteem, confidence and motivation are just as essential as skills, and it’s important to consider all of these factors rather than keeping a narrowly academic focus. I bring wide interests and diverse experience to teaching as a historian, traveler and student. I’ve taught Global History from the ancient world through modern times, US History, Environmental Science, Literature, and Theater Arts.
Editing efficiently requires knowledge of rules and conventions, but also a sense of style in well-ordered prose. I work to your deadlines to help your writing make the impact you need –even checking your facts, when appropriate. Through experience gained in earning an MFA in creative writing I will ensure that your own voice will be preserved and enhanced.
Academic Rescue Operations are long-term commitments. The issues that contribute to low performance are very complex and they take time and patience to sort out. Even the most highly capable students will develop a variety of behaviors whose goals -while they appear harmful and counter-productive- are to protect self-image, assert independence, favor areas where success is more readily achieved, or relieve short-term anxiety. My near-term approach is to help the disaffected student to experience success. This can involve school assignments, but when the performance pressure is off it’s often easier to do the work required to find the joy in working. Finding the joy of reading and writing is essential. Without it, a focus on skills becomes a hateful experience that only highlights and exacerbates the problem. If you and your child are prepared to proceed through a long-term process for life-long results, give a call. If it’s possible to do so, I suggest starting during the summer months.