Writing

Mahlon C

Mahlon C

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I blew into Arizona by the winds of the Kansas plains. In college, I double-majored in my passions:  Literature & Writing and History & the Social Sciences. I went on to earn a master’s degree in English and do post-graduate work in both majors.

My career led me to teach in two award-winning high schools over the course of 20 years. I built the largest academic debates teams in Kansas, taught English, history, speech, and philosophy. In addition, I joined several effective teaching cadres and led local and national in-services on educational topics.

As the Midwest tornados blow, I arrived in Phoenix in the year 2000, and embarked on a different teaching adventure. I shifted from teaching in huge, award-winning, public schools to little, award-winning, private schools. I continue delivering in-services on educational topics in the Valley and nationally and have been a published writer my whole life.

In two states and in two entirely different types of schools, I have received Teacher of the Year awards (That is something surprises me, but also makes me proud).

I am all about learning and growing. I am every bit as keen a student now as I was growing up. I've had incredible people help me along the way and they instilled in me a strong desire to do the same— to be one of those people who helps. I've worked hard through my life to make learning real, important, fun, and memorable and I’ve mastered an array of techniques and insights to learning. Come learn with me; we will add success and fun to the learning process. I look forward to working with students in any of the following areas: Language Arts, writing, history, social sciences and general homework help.

 

Alix B

Alix B

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What I have to offer students of all ages are the fruits of a lifetime spent cultivating conversations among writers, thinkers, creative artists, and researchers on significant matters that affect our daily lives. As a constant seeker of knowledge myself, I endeavor to be the most supportive facilitator and guide possible for students in their academic searches for important questions that generate writing, reading, and critical thinking fluency. I am passionate, not only about the possibilities of creating personal meaning through the artful and persuasive use of language, but about the fact that spending extensive time and effort to acquire the power to use language critically enables students to be fully enfranchised members of their communities and cultures. 

This teaching philosophy developed out of my own intellectual journey through an Honors B.A. in Sociology/Women's Studies/Political Economy at Manhattanville College; the M.F.A. in Writing/Teaching of Writing at Sarah Lawrence College; and a year of PhD studies in the Sociology of Education and Medicine. I began my career in education teaching first graders how to read, and have taught on the elementary through graduate school levels for the past 35 years. My professional background includes dual former careers as a Social Worker and Librarian, and I have worked with American, British, and diverse international students in the U.S. and the U.K.  My teaching and tutoring subjects include: composition, creative writing, reading, literature and poetry, sociology, political economy and economics, women's & gender studies, academic success skills, Common App prep, PSAT/SAT/ACT test prep, library and research literacy, French, and a variety of humanities courses. 

I am the author of On the Verge, a chapbook of poems (Plinth Books, 1997), and my full-length poetry manuscript is under publication consideration. My awards include a Pushcart Prize nomination, a CT Commission on the Arts Artist Fellowship in Poetry, and a Commendation in the U.K.'s Poets of the Year Competition. While resident on the East Coast, I served as Writing/Humanities Division Chair at The Learning Annex/CT, an adult education institute formerly in Hartford, CT, and worked as an adjunct professor of composition and creative writing at colleges and universities in CT, MA, and NY.  In addition to tutoring for Focus Tutors AZ, I serve as an Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing & Composition at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Chandler, work privately as an editor of creative and scholarly manuscripts, and continue to write and edit an alternative textbook for college-level writing entitled The Question Tree.

 
 

Kristina M

Kristina M

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Kristina graduated cum laude from Holy Names University in 2012, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development.  Upon graduation, Kristina taught early childhood education.  In 2015, Kristina earned a Master of Education degree in Special Education, an endorsement in Structured English Immersion and teaching certification in both Elementary Education and Cross-Categorical Special Education from Arizona State University. She graduated with memberships in Kappa Delta Pi, the National Education Association and the Nation Association of Science Teachers. After graduation, Kristina taught in a fourth-grade general education classroom where she taught using Singapore Math. Now, she runs the special education department as the Special Education Coordinator at a 7th-12th-grade college prep arts school in Phoenix. She offers support for elementary and middle school students in the following areas: general homework and organization support, basic math, reading, and writing. She also offers support for high school English and organizational skills.

 

 
 

Paige W

Paige W

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I teach to empower.  Studying International Development at Tulane University, I learned that education is the cornerstone of all progress—healthcare, civil rights, environmentalism, and the like advance hand-in-hand with knowledgeability of the populace.  For that reason, I decided to go into education.  Well, that and the fact that kids are hilarious; high impact plus good company makes for an easy career choice!  In addition to International Development, I studied Spanish and Psychology at Tulane.  Upon earning my Bachelor of the Arts degree in 2012, I moved right out to Arizona.  Two years later, I graduated from Arizona State University with a Master of Education degree.  Since that time, I’ve enjoyed teaching special education in the valley with students in grades K-8.  I’m thrilled to be part of the Focus Tutors team, and I look forward to sharing my passion and expertise in: organization and time management, study strategies, ADD/ADHD coaching, executive functioning support, test-taking skills, Spanish, and elementary & middle school mathematics, reading, writing, spelling, and grammar.

 

 

 
 

Sara P

Sara P

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For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a teacher  (it even said so in my 2nd grade yearbook!). At the same time I had a creative itch to work in the advertising industry. So I had to try both!  I earned my Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communications and Spanish from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. I worked as project manager at a healthcare advertising agency for a short time. Everyday there was a part of me that felt unfulfilled. I knew that void would change when I became a teacher. In the fall of 2013, I began my career as an educator at Alphonsus Academy in Chicago, IL.  It was there I fell in love with teaching primary grades. During my time at Alphonsus I tutored students in grades K-4, and led after school enrichment programs. While working, I also pursued my Masters of Education degree in Elementary Education from DePaul University graduating with distinction in 2015. Changing careers is without a doubt the best decision I’ve ever made.

When an opportunity fell into my lap to call Arizona “home”, I had to take it! I teach 2nd grade at a local Title 1 school. I focus on building meaningful relationships, differentiating instruction, and providing my students with choices when demonstrating understanding or mastery of a concept. A lifelong learner myself, I have attended a variety of professional development opportunities to enrich my teaching experience and practices. I am certified in Orton Gillingham (a reading intervention program), Handwriting Without Tears, On Cloud Nine (a math program focused on visualization and building number sense), Positive Discipline, and Responsive Classroom. I am eager to share my love for learning and myriad of experiences with more students through Focus Tutors.