What I enjoy about teaching English is the opportunity to guide students to discover universal, timeless themes in literature – to get them to think more deeply than “factually” about what that literature suggests and how it causes the reader to wonder. I also love all languages. The point of teaching language is to show students the tools that all language provides and to get them to become masters instead of avoiders. I particularly enjoy teaching writing because it is such an essential mode of communication, including in modern business and in the field of technology. Most of all, watching a student transform from a reluctant to an eager and independent writer is the pinnacle of satisfaction.
IYE respects and teaches beautiful language, the conventions of language, and memorable literature, such as that found in our Library of Classics. Too often these essentials of learning are ignored in the classroom in favor of fads, shortcuts, and a generally minimalist approach to reading and writing. I have seen these approaches short-change students both in high school and later in college, when high levels of reading comprehension and fluency in writing are essential for success, regardless of the student’s major.
My colleagues are the principal reason I originally applied to tutor at IYE, and those colleagues are also the principal (but not the only) reason I stay committed to the company. It’s quite a privilege, and quite unusual, to work with peers whose high standards match my own. Any one of my colleagues could be academics (and some are!), and all of us have professional standards not found in any other Bay Area tutoring company with which I am familiar. As I have worked in the Bay Area my entire adult life, that’s a significant observation.