50 Years Working With Words
15 Years Helping Students
How It Started
When I started Step Write Up in 2005, it was to help students become better writers. Then parents asked me to work with their kids for the ACT and SAT “verbal” sections and I quickly realized that offering tutoring for these tests was a natural progression. But over the years I’ve had just about as many writing students as I’ve had for the standardized tests. Sadly, the education system in this country does not do a good job teaching kids how to write. Teachers either don’t know how to do it, or they don’t have the time to do it. That’s where I come in. I’m a writing coach who has had a lifelong love affair with the English language. My passion for words is just as important as my insights into writing. The kids I work with can sense how excited I am to teach them how to be better writers, and it rubs off on them.
My Pledge To My Students
I promise you this: if you put in the work, you will see the results. Your standardized test scores will improve, your grades will improve, and you will feel more confident about putting your well-organized thoughts down on paper. I tutor All Things Verbal. That includes the ACT, SAT, AP English Language, AP Literature, AP US History, ISEE, SSAT, SHSAT and HSPT. As a writing coach, I don’t write papers, but I will help plan them and guide the rewrites that are always needed. Everything is done in a 1-on-1 setting. Work with me and you will learn skills that will serve you throughout your life. I taught young journalists for 30 years and now I do the same for middle school and high school students.
What I Do
ACT / SAT
Each student will receive my extensive study notes that break down every aspect of the test, be it the ACT or the SAT. I go slowly at first, taking time to properly explain the nuances of the questions and answers. And believe me, there are nuances galore. I feel that six sessions are needed for most students to be prepared for their first time taking the test. At minimum, four sessions. If unusual circumstances arise, and I can’t meet with a student face to face, Skype is an option, as long as it’s not our first session. I’ve skyped with students in Shanghai (China, not Missouri), San Jose, Scarsdale, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Stamford.
Now let me offer an opinion: I feel that the ACT is the better test. But it’s not one size fits all; some students will do better on the SAT. That’s why I always sit down with new students and their parents to talk things through.
AP Language and Literature, AP US History
I’ve worked with many students on both AP English exams, as well as on the SAT II. But AP U.S. History? Yep! I know a great deal about American History and I have had great success with this, too.
ISEE, SSAT, SHSAT, and HSPT
These standardized tests to get into prep schools or Catholic schools or New York City’s elite high schools are right up my alley. After all, it’s all about words, or as I like to put it, All Things Verbal. These tests differ somewhat, but there are many similarities. And although most of my students are high school kids, over the years I have worked with many middle schoolers on these tests and on their writing. The same precepts I stress with the older kids on their standardized tests apply here, for the most part, and I also understand that working with a 12 or 13 year old requires a different approach. As with all my students, my watchword is Encourage!
College Essays and Supplementals
Stress, stress, and more stress. I know how difficult it is for seniors and their parents to complete those college applications. Specifically, the Common App essay and the supplement essays that just about every college requires. I prefer my students to start writing them in the summer between their junior and senior years. That way they can be done carefully and deliberately so that there is time for a well-written and well thought out essay. The worst thing that can happen is for October 15 to roll around with nothing done. Talk about stress.