I manage a non-profit SAT prep center for high school juniors. I coach high school seniors through the college application process. And I teach incoming college students in a first-year writing course.
I’ve coached more than 60 high school students through vibrant essays for The Common Application.
In the summer program at Lexington Prep School, I serve as writing coach and classroom teacher for international high school students. Marie watched the devastation of Haiti from her backyard, as the buildings toppled in the valley below. David escaped a repressive religious community, because he wanted to read Jon Krakauer. Peter saw his grandfather’s name on the cover of Le Monde, accused of a terrible crime. Sophie designed school club to make and sell native crafts in her East African school. Mira failed in a Rube-Goldberg Invention contest, when her team lost interest in their project, but she learned to give her best, anyway. George stopped a gangfight in Russia, by carefully deescalating the situation for himself and his friends. I get to witness as these memories develop from sketchmarks to fully-formed and mature stories that reflect the character of the writer. When Matt Hurley gained entrance to a competitive program at The University of Virginia, he wrote: “Your suggestions made the quality of my essays go through the roof.”
During fall and spring semesters, I teach Gordon College’s The Great Conversation, on reading, thinking and writing. The small-group seminar course helps incoming students wrestle with questions of vocation and calling, while improving and clarifying writing skills.
Here are some testimonials from my students from the fall semester of 2011:
“On each of the personal essays, my teacher challenged me to further develop my thoughts and take my ideas from surface level generalizations into deeper ideas that reflected experience of my own life.” ~ Abigail N.
“Coming into college I knew all my many weaknesses, but didn’t really know my strengths. My greatest weakness in writing is that I would over analyze way too much and wouldn’t let my creative juices flow. I still struggle with this, but now I know that when I am hung up I can free write and work out a draft. Learning about revision, revision, and revision has helped calm my nerves when writing.” ~ Sam C.
“This class… has given me strategies to help me work through the things I struggle with [as a student]. The readings have given me quotes, which I put on sticky notes on my laptop to encourage me when I’m starting to stress out about a paper. This class hasn’t completely cured me of my writing phobia, but the [writing] process comes much easier to me than it did before…. I enjoy writing much more now.” ~ Hannah D.
“Before entering The Great Conversation, I wrote quite poorly. In high school, I was never given appropriate feedback or encouraging advice that would help me to improve. When it came time to revise a paper, that meant checking for spelling errors and grammar. Now after taking the course, my writing has improved significantly. I have learned what it means to revise, and that sometimes it is necessary to tear apart a paper and start from scratch. I am now able to organize my thoughts in a more effective way.”
~ Moriah O.
“I developed a critical eye for writing. I am grateful for the amount of writing required from me and the fact that my professor pushed me to limits that I did not think I was capable of. The Great Conversation is a course that will serve as a foundation for every other course in my future years at Gordon College by providing me the guidelines for how to write a well organized and thoughtful paper.” ~ Katie B.
During the school year, I also manage the Hamilton flagship site for Episcopal City Tutoring, providing individual tutoring for the SAT exam. Our Hamilton site fully funds a second SAT tutoring site in inner-city Boston.
Professional teaching experience:
The Great Conversation: Reading, Writing and Thinking, Gordon College. 2009- Present
Lexington Prep School. 2012-Present
Episcopal City Tutoring. 2012-Present
Seminar leader at the 2011 Jubilee Conference, Pittsburgh, PA.
Cultural Day for marine biology class: T.S.Eliot’s Cape Ann, with tide pools. May 2010.
Academic Writing Tutor. Designed a plagiarism seminar for 200 students, Endicott College Writing Center, 2006.
See also Professional Crafting Experience, under “I make stuff.”
I teach children, teens, college students and adults, in academic settings and informal settings. I can teach almost anything I know how to do. I teach about writing. I write about teaching.