I firmly believe that a high quality education should be available to anyone seeking it. I have launched my business with the intention of offering educational services to young people and adults who are interested in gaining an intensive and engaging education but without having to pay exorbitant fees to achieve it.
I have spent many years in higher education and have been working with undergraduate students for seven years. I have seen over and again how expenses -the high cost of a university education- have forced students to study subjects primarily for their practical value in the job market rather than out of a genuine interest in the subject. Too often students are forced to choose practicality over their desire to become well-read, literate people. This is unfortunate.
While I recognize very well that each and every one of us needs to be employable and acquire basic skills to succeed in the workforce, I do not believe that we should be required to forego the pursuit of our own literacy. It is for this very reason that I have decided to become an independent educator.
I am concerned that students are not being given the opportunity to read extensively and omnivorously; to hone their expository and creative writing skills; and most of all, engage in discussion about what they are reading and thinking about. I believe that discussion is not only essential to acquiring knowledge but that it is good conversation which allows each one of us to gain confidence that we have the ability to ask questions, think critically and speak at length about complex subjects. A great education is about being with people who are deeply committed to learning and about enjoying the opportunity to explore great, timeless questions in a community bound by a spirit of mutuality and friendship. I believe that a great education is imbued with a spirit of civic-mindedness and generosity, thus a well-educated person can become a better neighbour and a good, conscientious citizen.
My personal mission is to provide small class settings and one-on-one tutoring based upon the Socratic method of classroom discussion and participation. I offer two different educational services:
1.) One-on-one tutoring & Directed Readings:
I offer two tutoring options.
A.) Academic coaching designed to help your child improve their understanding of the subject(s) they are having difficulty with. This includes proofreading their writing, discussing reading material, offering study guides, suggesting readings for further comprehension and mapping out studying strategies. I am available to work with students on the basis of their individual needs.
B.) I offer directed readings courses which are designed around the principle, used at Oxford University, that a student should be allowed to read extensively in a subject area they have chosen and meet on a weekly or bi-weekly basis (your choice) with their tutor to discuss in-depth what they are reading. These sessions are modeled on the Socratic question-and-answer format. I arrive at each of our meetings prepared with a series of questions to ask your child and we can cover that list. I also encourage students to come prepared with their own questions. We will settle on a theme for each week’s meetings and prepare to grapple with that theme in our conversation. As our meetings proceed, I will encourage your daughter or son to take the lead in directing our discussions. I offer an essay option whereby your child can write a paper (due at the end of the course) on a topic of their choosing which grapples with the themes and questions we have been covering.
Directed readings courses are organized around a humanities or social sciences subject of your choosing. I am prepared to offer my own courses or consult with you and your child to design a course together.
2.) Home School Teaching:
I have experience teaching the humanities, writing & grammar to students in grades 7-12. I also have taught political science and history to undergraduate students. I am an experienced classroom and seminar teacher and I am prepared to offer courses in the following fields:
English & English literature: Elizabethan, Romantic, Modern & Post-Colonial
History: Canadian, American, Modern European, Environmental & Social Movements
Writing: Creative & Expository, Grammar
Social &Political Studies: Government & Civics, Political Theory, Political Ideology
I also have experience studying political science and political philosophy and would be interested in providing courses in these fields upon request.
I am looking to teach small groups of students in programmes designed to meet the academic needs of the home schooling community. Before a class begins I will consult with parents about the curriculum they are following and present to them my course outline which will include subjects to be covered, recommended readings and assignment schedules.
My classes combine lectures and in-class assignments with weekly seminars designed to give students the opportunity to learn how to participate in, prepare for, and lead classroom seminars. Classes are designed in 50 minute blocks with 90 minute sessions reserved for the seminars. My primary goal is to make sure that each student feels that she is able to take charge of her own learning process and not become a passive participant. I emphasize a classroom setting that is polite, respectful and open to the free exchange of ideas. At the beginning of the course I will provide a code of conduct for classroom participation and how we will conduct successful discussions.
My goal is to provide a high quality education to adults and children that is both affordable and rigorous. I am passionate about teaching and I am excited about the opportunity to work with students and their parents to construct courses and programmes of instruction that allow for the exploration of subjects and literatures not normally available outside of a university setting. -Jeremy Marks