John R

Eau Claire, WI

Nine Year Teacher Of Most Disciplines



I had started university on track for a physics/engineering major but switched to philosophy and literature. I was neck and neck with the eventual valedictorian in my engineering class before switching. Most my courses thereafter were in literature, classical languages, and philosophy, despite my degrees being in political theory. And I maintained a 3.7 with a heavy and difficult load. I passed out of eleven courses in French, Latin and Greek entering Marquette, finished in three and a half years, and studied a wide range of disciplines. Similarly my Master's covered a broad spectrum of study, and I began my Interdisciplinary PhD at UD in four disciplines. I have competency and training in all areas I've taught and very much enjoy most of these courses, but I eschew teacher's licensing. I'm adept at math, and my goal therein has always been to help students get homework done in class by lecturing concisely to provide time to help individually, well improving their skill at the same time. I don't like overburdening students and try to help them learn more in less time with more interest. The challenge and burden is thus on me not the student. Latin was my greatest challenge but I've found a way to make it fun and not burdensome. There is always work to do to reach every student. But tutoring I find far easier since I can tailor help to the individual and not worry about challenging the best while bringing along slower students at the same time.

I have taught classes in most subjects (except science), grades six through twelve, for about nine years at excellent, classical schools. This includes AP Latin and AP Calculus AB, but with a little work I can help with most others: I enjoy such challenges. Teaching is a much forgotten art, not learned through courses so much as by sound mentoring and long practice. I've learned from the best and always have more to learn. I've taught at the best schools and visited more around the country, always trying to learn better what and how to teach. I am friends with or consult the best teachers in the country: it's a passion of mine. As a result I have good success in all disciplines, whether tutoring or in the class room.

I am quick to diagnose areas that need improvement and to find remedies that are efficient, effective, and light. My passion for teaching runs deep, and I have a love for students. My primary aims are "to foster the love of learning" and "non multa sed multum" ("not many things, but much" or as Newman says, "little but well"). Experience in a broad variety of subjects has helped me to teach all things better and even easily take in hand new materials and guide students. That is also a result of spending so many years with authors like Plato, Aristotle, and Shakespeare both at school, at home, and with friends for the last twenty years. And I try to tailor my guidance to the capacity of the learner. Finally, I have good rapport with students and enjoy their company.

Learning should be enjoyable and I make it a point to help youth take delight, often not hard to do. Though at times even the best must slog through, enjoying what we do, as with any work, makes the burden light. The most famous education system was renowned for learning twice as fast and better than anyone else, in large part because they made the most difficult work enjoyable, a game even (and the Latin word for game and school are the same: it needn't be drudgery or banal either). I have tried imitating them for years now — and it takes years to develop — I have more work to do, always. But it does work; I cringe at boring, tedious, uselessly repetitive methods whether in Latin or writing or anything. It's not that I discard discipline. No. It's just that I hate useless work.

(I'm not an expert in SAT / GRE and am a bit rusty, but I have significantly boosted my own scores and know my own tricks even for scoring perfect in most tests. It does take some study but can be done. Considering how heavily these tests can be weighted, some time prepping for these can be worth it. I think they are overweighted.)

I have a deep passion for many subjects, especially in the areas of philosophy, theology, literature, writing, and Latin. I've both studied and taught most the great books for over twenty years. In addition I've mined the old methods of writing from Quintillian to Erasmus, More, and the Jesuits. That too is almost an obsession: I'm always looking for better methods and I've found the old ones are vastly better than contemporary.

I am long experienced at tutoring and teaching every level of mathematics as well though I prefer Euclid to most modern treatments.

I also enjoy the outdoors, fine arts, and all things beautiful. I have a large family with plenty of turmoil and no ordinary struggles.

Finally, my rates are negotiable and depend upon how much time I have. I will do whatever it takes to help students get back on track or improve their studies as fees I merely view as compensatory. I would work for free if I could, but now I can't.


B.A. & M.A. Marquette University 3.7 (PhD work at University of Dallas, but unfinished) with significant study in physics, math, philosophy, literature, politics, theology, Latin, Greek.

Subjects of Expertise

SAT Math, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, ACT English, PSAT, GRE Math, GRE Verbal, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus, U.S. History, Writing, Reading, Grammar, Vocabulary, Pre-Calculus, World History, College Counseling, Career Counseling

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1 Tutorial by John R

The best writing practices after 2500 years

I’m new to the roundtable and haven’t read my colleagues’ advice on writing, and I am sure some is sound. I haven’t taught composition long — only three years. I haven’t published anything though at long last I have a few things that may be worth writing, and more importantly worth reading. My credentials are…