"I'm not a good writer. How can I write a strong essay?"
A question that has tripped students up for so many years. In my experience, students often come to the table without the necessary tools to create the thing you've asked them to create. The skills you've learned in previous grade levels have often not been developed enough to really help you move forward in writing. Think about it. You wouldn't ask a carpenter to build a chair with toothpicks and a squeaky hammer, would you? (Well, maybe you would. It would be fun to see him try.) We know, though, that the end product is not going to be a strong, well-crafted, beautiful chair. So you're stuck, sitting in front of a page with a fledgling set of skills and a pencil. Now what? I think the answer is obvious. You need better tools! We can work together on developing your strengths and improving weaker elements so that you have what you need to create a strong, well-crafted, beautiful essay.
"I hate this book! Why can't we just read what we want?"
You can! I can help you find a book you'll love. Unfortunately, you won't always get to choose in a class setting. The sad truth is that students are often required to read the same story as their peers, and at a very fast pace. But we don't all read and process literature at the same speed, and we're not all interested in the same topics. Clearly, slower readers and uninterested readers will fall behind. Frustration will build, and suddenly, you feel like you hate the book. Some even decide they hate reading altogether! It doesn't have to be like this, though. We may not always be able to change the text, but we can change our approach to the text. I have resources available to make your reading experience easier and more enjoyable.
"English just isn't my subject, so I'm just trying to get by. What will make it easier?"
There are two types of students that ask this: those who have a true affinity for subjects other than English Language and Literature, and those who have had a number of bad learning experiences in the subject. Either way, I have strategies that will help you. When we're done, you won't just "get by" for the rest of this year; you'll be set up to succeed any time you need it in the future. Let's say math comes very easily for you, but English has always been tough. In my mind, we should focus on writing and reading with a logical, detail-oriented approach that will compliment your skills. I have a great plan of action that we can put into play. On the other hand, perhaps you like reading and writing, but you had a bad teacher, and you've been behind ever since. We'll work on developing a plan to catch up that suits your skill level AND your interests. Wherever you're at, you can be successful. We'll find a way that works.