About this pro
Because we are small, we are able to offer a far more personalized approach than many large tutoring houses. Yet, we have the tools, training, and know-how of a large academic institution. For each student, we systematically work to identify problems, and then collaboratively create a plan to solve them using innovative curriculum design. Above all else, we are passionate about what we do! We care about genuine knowledge and understanding: we look beyond the numbers. We teach students to set their own goals, not merely jump through the hoops in front of them. We strongly believe that any student can succeed with the right combination of guidance, enthusiasm, and challenge.
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- Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?Maya is a sophomore who came to me already loving to read and write. She had recently signed up for AP English, and was struggling with the increased work load. While Maya is a natural reader, she struggled with organizing her thoughts on the page, and had done so much rhetorical analysis that it was starting to suck the joy out of English. We took a two-pronged approach: one, to give her the practical skills to organize her writing and analyze arguments, and two, to make English fun again. She was already a busy student, so I had to do this without adding too much to her already-full plate. The first thing we did was break out the highlighters. We created graphic organizers to help her keep track of her ideas, and I taught her how to look for patterns in things she read: specifically, how to identify logos, ethos, and pathos. As I got to know her, I realized she is very interested in public speaking and social advocacy. She mentioned that she was giving a persuasive speech about the need for more campus resources for depressed teens, and I asked if she'd ever read The Pact by Jodi Picoult. I let her borrow my copy, and the next week, she came to class raving about it, saying "This was the best book ever, and I used a lot of it for my speech. Thank you so much!" Maya, like so many busy students, needs to find ways to multi-task: how to find books that she can use in more than one way, and actually enjoy reading. My extensive content-area knowledge helps students do just that.
- What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?When looking for a writing or English tutor, we recommend finding a provider who is a subject matter expert. If a teacher is truly passionate, he or she will have a degree in English, a long list of favorite writers, and strong opinions about whether or not we should split infinitives. At RCG Education, we go far beyond grades and test scores to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each of our students. This enables us to tailor our lessons accordingly, with custom curricula for each student. This often yields far better results than simply "teaching to the test."
- What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?Tristen is a passionate educator, published author and founder at RCG Education. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Davis. Upon graduation, UC Davis offered her a full scholarship to complete her Master of Arts in English. Tristen's Masters work included the study of advanced pedagogy techniques and evidence based instruction. She completed action teacher research in the field of adolescent vocabulary development and student performance on the Critical Reading portion of the SAT I. At UC Davis, Tristen edited both the undergraduate student literary magazine Produce and the graduate literary journal The Green Belt Review; she is currently Copy Editor at Skate[Slate] Magazine magazine. She has also published a university guide called College Prowler: UC Davis. Tristen is currently completing work on her first novel. Her short stories have appeared in Pif Magazine literary journal. Tristen has taught English and Creative Writing at UC Davis, and currently teaches writing at the Palo Alto Adult School. She has also taught at the Communication Academy, JEI, Woodland Community College, and Foothill Community College. Tristen has a contagious passion for literature, writing and education. She also speaks Spanish and taught English in Costa Rica.