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Debra tutors in Chicago, IL

Debra S.

Private tutor in Chicago, IL


Ph.D. 2004, University of Maryland at College Park, Journalism & Public Communication M.S. 1996, National-Louis University, Evanston, Illinois, Creative Nonfiction B.A. 1984, Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois, Broadcasting Undergrad - 3.5 years, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Theatre


MY APPROACH Creative. Different. I make our sessions relevant to the student by using the student's own experience as a teaching tool. That helps the student connect the material to the real world, and builds confidence. My approach delivers quick results, instills confidence and excitement in the student and cultivates the student's love of discovery. Critical thinking results easily from the student this way, frequently much to the student's surprise! EXPERIENCE I am a professional writer and editor whose batteries get recharged by tutoring and coaching writing and test prep. For more than 20 years I've worked with middle and high school students, and university undergrads and grads who chattered effervescently about their resulting success. Most recently a high school freshman I'm working with brought home an A for the quarter, up from a C the previous quarter, and he expects an A for his final grade. That's after just six weeks! A senior in high school I'm working with is seeing similar results. We're also preparing for the SAT. Both say they look forward to our sessions because working with me is fun and they feel their minds opening because of my creative approaches. I've also worked with students to improve their performance on Arizona's AIMS test and the Stanford 10, coached aspiring writers in fiction techniques and story development, and taught business communication at the university level. Teaching Experience 2011-present Independent Tutor, Phoenix AZ area Focus: SAT Prep, Writing, English, Writing Arguments, Creative Nonfiction 2009 - Summer Visiting Professor, Science Journalism Waseda University, Waseda Research Institute Corporation, Tokyo, Japan Led master’s class in science journalism. Wrote extensive teaching strategy and course assessment report for curriculum development purposes for Waseda Research Institute Corporation. Published in Japanese only. 2007 - Fall Visiting Professor, Writing and Journalism Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin Sabbatical replacement at small, private liberal arts school. Led courses in Introduction to Journalism and Writing Environmental Arguments (theme course for English Composition). 1994-2007 Adjunct Professor and Student Newspaper Advisor Assorted universities and colleges in the Chicago area and Maryland. Undergraduate and graduate students. School list available. Courses taught: *English: Composition 100 and 101, Poetry Writing, Technical Writing, Writing Environmental Arguments *Communication: Speech, Environmental Advocacy, Business Writing, Communication Theory *Journalism: Environment Reporting, Feature Writing, Introduction to Journalism, Writing for the Media 2005 - Summer Writing Coach Fairfax Scholastic Learning Academy, Fairfax, Virginia Taught, tested and assessed 12 students between grades eight and 12, some preparing for the SAT. Provided extensive accounting and evaluation reports to parents. South Korean clientele. Key accomplishments: * Reduced student fear of writing, increased student confidence in skill. * Strengthened students’ persuasive writing and argumentation skills, written voice, vocabulary and writing through original exercises. * Improved intercultural communication through creative dramatics. * Improved student understanding of literary interpretation using videos, reading aloud and acting out the story. 2004 - Summer Curriculum Consultant Classroom, Inc. & Phoebus Communications, New York City & Washington, D.C. Led eight weeks of professional development three or four times per week in the District of Columbia Public Schools. Taught five instructors in two schools how to implement a cross-curricular computer interactive course using an innovative approach to coaching reading, writing and math in grades six and eight. Key accomplishments: * Managed curriculum implementation, including instructing students and classroom leaders. * Supervised curriculum implementation in five classrooms. 1982-1984 English Tutor Roosevelt University Writing Lab, Chicago Taught students rhetoric, grammar, sentence structure, paragraphing, punctuation, idea development, etc. through assignments and discussion. Helped students interpret literary works, including classical poetry and prose, by explaining and defining various forms, styles and jargon used in writing. Also edited and organized several master’s theses in economics, politics, business and science. 1982-1983 Writing Instructor – Poetry Discovery Center, Chicago Popularity of poetry writing class at Truman College created a following for this non-credit course. Meetings drew an average of 10 students per six-week session. 1982 - Fall Writing Instructor – Poetry Truman College, Chicago Introduced students to various poetic forms and had them demonstrate each, prescribing techniques for accomplishing the goal. Main ideas covered include the difference between poetry and prose, using stream-of-consciousness writing as an example; how and when to use accented and metered word groups; what justifies line breaks; how to know when the poem is finished; the effect of alliteration and repetition; and cadence. Also touched on performance poetry. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND * Extensive public speaking experience in communication and writing * Extensive workshop leadership in writing and interviewing, including business writing and humor writing * Widely published journalist, including international exposure beyond the Web * Author of the book, Writing Green, published by Apprentice House * Contributor to assorted textbooks about writing * Editor and writer for reference encyclopedias about Mental Health; Environmental Policy; and Social Issues (Specialties: science, the environment, technology and health, including entries about medical marijuana, vaccines, environmental cleanup, and biosciences)


Any day at any time

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Up to 45 minutes away for no additional charge


I compose music on piano and guitar; keep rhythm with rattles, bongos and hand drums; create paintings in oils and acrylics; swim, ski, ice skate, roller skate, hike, camp, bike, etc.

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