I graduated from the University of Albany with a degree in Honors English in 2005. I taught English, history, and chemistry at a high school in the Bronx for six years. I was promoted to Head of the English Department after my first three months, a position I retained for the rest of my time there. During this time I also tutored students ages 4-18 in reading, analytical writing, SAT, ACT, and the ISEE. After my first year of teaching, I realized I needed a better way to reach more of my stu... [more]
I have taught AP biology at the high school level for 3 years. I have tutored individual students in biology from elementary to college and am comfortable with most specialized topics.
I was thrown into teaching chemistry when a handful of my students came to me for help knowing I loved science. I offered to start tutoring them before school. Before long the class grew from 3 students, to 5, to 12, to 22! I kept on teaching chemistry for several years after and have since helped students of all ages find their own love of this most fundamental science.
I love grammar. It appeals to the nature of people to search for patterns and meaning. I studied under Dr. Craig Hancock at the University at Albany. It was here that I began to understand you can't separate the words from the context. This is often why formal grammar teaching often only leads to modest gains. I have used various techniques for teaching grammar and it comes down to teaching the student in context. Most students already have an innate sense of grammar and by showing them this you can see them light up.
During my time in the Bronx, I learned quickly that I would have to teach reading. Most of my 9th graders came in with a 6-7 grade reading level, some 4-5, and a handful 2-3. All of my students moved at least 2 grade levels in an academic year and many moved 3-4. Those who came in for 1-1 tutoring moved 4-5. I have continued to learn about reading instruction and have a strong base in phonics and grammar. The key is to find books that make students want to read. Once they find their match- they are hooked and progress is rapid.
I have taught writing for the past six years. I have taught the standard five paragraph English essay, research papers (English, science, and history), and creative writing. My passion is for argumentative writing and analysis. I think it is imperative for students to learn how to convey themselves simply, clearly, and concisely. They need to find the joy in creating this themselves. To not see an essay as a limit to the creativity, but to see language as the vehicle to direct the conversation.
10 years experience, 6 of those years in the Bronx. Masters of Science in teaching English, as well as a Bachelor's in Advanced English Studies. Teaching licenses in teaching ELA 7-12, special education, and gifted education. Experience with ages 5-adult. Wilson Reading Program certified.
Government & Politics
I have a minor in political science from the University at Albany. I taught American History at the high school level for two years. Both government and politics are heavily involved in the student's understanding. Once I began to teach English, I also ran unit that examined what my students believed to run concurrent with the presidential elections. Government and politics are fundamental to who we are and how we function, or not function, as a society. Plus, the history of both are filled with interesting hidden gems.
I have helped over 23 students pass the GED, working both 1-1 with my high school students who wanted an alternative pathway, and 11 adults who wanted access to better job opportunities a GED can bring. Passing the GED is an individual endeavor and I assess each student differently. This allows an individual study plan to be made and specific skills focused.
I love this section of the ACT. By learning a few grammar rules that are frequently tested students came dramatically improve their scores. I regularly score between 35-36 on this section.
Okay, so I love this section of the ACT too. This section is all about clarity. You have to learn to think a bit like a writer. The ACT test wants you to avoid redundancy, state things simply, be clear, and be aware of context. With a few lessons I have seen scores gain anywhere from 5-15+ points depending on the students starting score, and practice outside of our sessions. I regularly score 35-36 on this section.
This section of the ACT says Science, but is more of another reading section. By learning to read closely and follow the data, scores can be greatly improved. I regularly score between 35-36 on this section.
I have taught at the elementary level for two years. My experience is primarily in grades 2-6. I also worked with several primary students with IEPs and 504s, as well as handling the enrichment for the gifted classes.
Even though I taught high school, many of my students were at least 2-4 years below grade level on average. A few of them have been on a 2nd or 3rd grade level. This required me to figure out how to teach phonics one on one. I have used the Glass Analysis Method and Wilson Reading System in the past. I was trained in both of these by the Head of the Special Education Department in my school. I also like to bring in my own manipulatives and change lessons based on how the student is developing and what they need, which may not necessarily be what the program may prescribe. Phonics is actually really neat and helping a student learn to love language is a passion of mine. This way I know eventually someone will put that first book they will love in their hands.
After working with my 9th graders for six years, I can tell you THESE are imperative to learn. One of the hardest things to figure out is how you best learn so when you do study it is effective. I normally introduce a few core study skills to my students. We then talk about other factors that influence learning: time of day, places to study, level of focus, how information sticks with them, etc. From here creating a system that works for them is what is important.
I taught at theatre school for six years. Arts was embedded in all aspects of the curriculum. I have attended multiple theatre workshops, including Theatrical Teacher Training Institute, Shakespeare Teaching Teachers, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. I presented annual shows with 120+ students (and a great deal of staff and parental support!). In preparation for the shows I taught monologue delivery, tableaux, physicality on stage, blocking, warm-ups, and costume selection. I have also worked with Broadway Teaching Artists and Directors to present many of the above lessons. I also created a script analysis unit in conjunction with Roundabout Theatre Company in order to support students close reading.
I have my Master's of Science in Special Education from Lehman College. This program in specific focuses on a wide range of needs. My training is primarily ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum (PDD), LD, ED (including ODD), and gifted education. I have focused on students ranging from ages 12-18, but have worked with students as young as 6. After having worked with students of all abilities and backgrounds you come to realize that all of us are in need of extra support at one time or another.
I have had multiple ADD/ADHD students over the six years. I have modified instruction for them as needed and worked on developing academic behaviors. I often allow students to move if needed. The addition of medicine balls as chairs helped several of them. The most extreme student was able to stay on task through a time interval token economy system. This student was making amazing strides in English class and had the only positive behavioral support from me and my co-teacher. I would be happy to share this system with other parents and tutors as needed.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
I worked as a Paraprofessional for up to three students with PDD (Austim) in Milton Elementary School. I worked with up to five students with PDD (Autism) in a secondary setting in the Bronx. Created a variety of documents and materials (e.g. games, schedules, visual supports, observation and success logs, etc.) to promote and track student development. I studied Applied Behavioral Analysis and Functional Behavioral Assessments under Dr. Bahadourian at Lehman College. I used both Applied Behavioral Analysis techniques and Functional Behavioral Assessments in my classroom for 4+ years.
During my Master's in Special Education, I discovered Dr. Sally Shaywitz. Her science based programs for overcoming dyslexia are wonderful. I have used these methods with over 20 students over my six years of teaching. All students improved in fluency, and understanding. They also increased their ability to read under pressure.
I have tutored many students in the ISEE (ERB) exam. Most of my students have taken the Lower Level exam. I have had several take the Primary exams. All the exams test the same basic skills: math, grammar, vocabulary, reading comp, logical reasoning, and essay writing. All students have passed the exam and gone on to be admitted to wonderful schools!
I passed the Praxis for middle school and high school English in order to get my teaching certificate. I have helped 12 other student teachers prepare for the exam. All have passed on their first attempt.
I taught Regents preparatory program for six years in NYC high school. I ran an after school accelerated program for 9th and 10th graders who wanted to take the Regents early (in my school most waited until 11th grade). I also ran programs to raise pass rate of target populations based on student need (students with IEPs, English Language Learner, students scoring in the bottom third). I saw a doubling of ELA pass rate during my first three years teaching (I was also acting Department Head). I left school with an approximate pass rate of 87%, with a marked increase in higher scoring students and target populations.
Co-taught 11th grade American History for two years. When I became an English Teacher, I spiraled my own literary units to support the history curriculum. This way students saw the material twice, in different contexts, and presented in different ways. I have developed the following units to link with the history department: Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, The Dark Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment, Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing Across Cultures, The Dust Bowl, WWI, WWII, and Civil Rights. My teaching experience is primarily in 9th and 10th grade Global Studies, but am comfortable teaching American History or Government. I have a political science minor from the University at Albany.
I have been embroidering for eight years. I prefer to work on smaller hoops and cross stitch. I am proficient in the following stitches: running, double running, back, stem, chain, split, tent, cross, satin, and french knots. I have also been knitting for 2 years. I am comfortable with knitting on straight needles or in the round. I prefer knitting with 4 or higher weight yarn. I am proficient in: knit, purl, seed stitch, slip stitch, yarn-over, casting on, binding off, stitch orientation, pattern reading, measuring fit, yarn weights, needle sizes, gauge, blocking, attaching buttons, and circular knitting. I have completed many projects in both areas. I am comfortable teaching any age level to knit, but would prefer embroidery be reserved for older students.