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David's Profile

David's Profile
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Name: David
Gender: MALE
Education Level:
Language: N/A
Subject: Math, World Languages, Test Prep
Bio description: I have been extremely fortunate with respect to my education. I had the opportunity to attend a prestigious high school and a more-than-well-regarded university. And while a school is often ranked according to the merits of its students, the real mark of excellence in a school has more to do with its teachers. That is to say, one might be able to find bright, self-motivated, diligent students anywhere; however, truly great teachers are essential to make a quality education attainable for every student. A great teacher must “go beyond the lesson,” so to speak, to ensure that his or her students have a reason to retain what they learn. I had a 9th grade English teacher insist that the purpose of education was “to get the jokes,” and he proved this point by having us watch an episode of The Simpsons based on Golding’s Lord of the Flies (after we had read the novel, of course). My 11th grade physics teacher used his experience in martial arts to explain the scientific principles behind breaking blocks of wood and concrete; he then demonstrated this feat. In 12th grade my Latin teacher drew parallels between the poetry of Catullus and a then-popular song by James Blunt. I have no doubt that lessons like these made all of my fellow students want to learn; in addition to this, such lessons made me want to teach. Not only were these teachers doing their job by spreading knowledge to young minds, it was patently obvious that they genuinely enjoyed what they did. I found this incredibly inspiring. This is the philosophy I take toward teaching. Any literate person can read the information in a textbook, but it takes a special kind of person—one with a passion for teaching and the desire to teach beyond the words on the page—to have a truly positive effect on students. I have always tried to make my classes enjoyable for my students, and in turn, I have enjoyed these classes immensely. I have learned an invaluable lesson in instruction thanks to the example of my outstanding teachers. I have been able to employ this ideal in a number of settings. In the summer of 2007 I was a counselor at a Zionist summer camp. In addition to supervising groups of middle school-aged children, I was responsible for leading educational activities focused on different aspects of Judaism. I led an alternative service based on שים שלום, (Sim Shalom, a prayer for peace), as well as an interactive activity based on the operation of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), both of which were well-received by campers and counselors alike. In the fall of 2010 I student-taught at Metro Academic and Classical High School, the top-ranking public high school in Missouri (having earned the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence from the United States Department of Education for the 2004-2005 academic year). I was responsible for leading an IB-Level Latin class in translating the poetry of Catullus and Ovid. Also, in my cooperating teacher’s absence, I taught the Latin I and Latin II classes. Having earned my B.A. in Classics early, I spent a semester in Houston teaching ACT- and SAT-prep courses at numerous Houston-area schools. I taught in both classroom and private one-on-one settings, earning a 100% approval rating based on student surveys and boasting average score increases of 3 points on the ACT and 250 points on the SAT for graduates of the class. I returned to St. Louis in the fall of 2011 to work on my Master’s in Teaching, where I performed classroom observation at the St. Louis Priory School (which included floating and assisting students, grades 7-9, with their classwork, as well as teaching an engaging lesson on gerundives). That spring semester I spent seven weeks student-teaching at Visitation Academy (three sections of 7th grade Latin I, one section of Latin III for grades 9-11, and two sections of Spanish V for seniors). I also had a seven-week rotation at Ladue Horton Watkins High School, where I student-taught Latin I-IV to high school students of all ages. While working on my Master’s in Teaching, I continued tutoring Latin and test prep (both privately and for two St. Louis-based companies). Tutoring helped me gain practical experience with a variety of learners with largely different needs. At the same time, my Master’s courses provided me with knowledge of the underlying psychological and developmental components of the teaching-learning process and its best practices. Additionally, my personality—specifically my passion, energy, and unique sense of humor—has helped me connect with all types of students. I have been a full-time teacher for eight years: I taught two levels of Latin at Parkway North High School, a public school in St. Louis County, Missouri; I taught three levels of Latin (Introduction to Latin, Latin ½ A, and Latin I), as well as enrichment courses (for 6th grade math, 7th grade English Language Arts, and Algebra I) and an SAT Prep class (for 7th graders participating in the Duke TIP) at Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan Middle School, a new magnet school in Houston ISD; I taught Latin 1A and 1B and Computer Technology at Hill Country Middle School; and I currently teach Latin 1A and Latin 1B at both Hill Country Middle School and West Ridge Middle School. In all these classes, with students (grades 6-12) at varying levels of proficiency, I have been able to apply my philosophy toward teaching, and in all these classes I have helped my students succeed; these students met and exceeded goals I had set for them and goals they had set for themselves—some of my formerly struggling students even went on to become the first members of their family to earn a high school diploma. It is this philosophy that I would employ as a tutor for TutaPoint, ensuring that students surpass all expectations and find success (however they may define it) in all that they do.
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