Summer Reading and Writing Program

Hey everyone – Dru here!

Looking for English and Language Arts tutoring? You’ve come to the right place. Not only do I substitute teach for Park County School District #1, I have years of experience teaching every grade in just about every setting out there. This includes private school, homeschool, one-to-one, preschool through college, and of course tutoring.

Tutoring is such a fun way to engage students while connecting with them personally. I feel strongly that a little caring attentive tutoring goes a long way toward academic success.

Join me this summer at The Powell Makerspace (no membership required) for reading and writing skill building. Each class is an hour long and is Common Core aligned.

To register in advance, please email or call.  You can also register and pay in-person at the first meeting.

Contact:

Email: Dru@wordsprouts.com

Call/Text: (307) 254-9623

Private Tutoring:

Please call or email for current availability. $18/hour

Group Tutoring:

Each Punch Card is $100 which equates to $10/class. Each class is 1 hour. Cards are only valid for the session they are purchased.

Summer Session (valid May 30th – August 22nd)

Winter Session (valid August 23rd – January 12th)

Spring Session (valid January 13th – May 24th)

Group Tutoring Schedule: (for the grade level your child is entering)


Reviews:

“English is a challenging topic for my son, but Dru helped him raise his grades so he could continue playing sports.”

– Pamela L

“We loved how easy going Dru was with our daughter. She creates a low-pressure environment that really worked well for Cara.”

– Chris P.

“My son was struggling with reading at grade level, but Dru was able to reach him and now he’s doing much better in school.”

– Sarah H.

Educational Background:

2003 Graduated High School

  • Through a high school / community college program, I graduated high school early and completed several college credits.

2011 Graduated from West Valley Community College

  • A.A. Degree in Liberal Arts
  • Editor-in-Chief of Voices, the college’s literary magazine
  • Student Council Board Member
  • Award-winning Campus Event Coordinator

2013 Graduated from San Francisco State University

  • B.A. Degree in English
  • Dean’s List

Experience:

2012 & 2013 Teacher at San Jose State University

  • Contract Teacher for Summer Exchange Program Students

2013 Preschool Teacher for Montessori Preschool

2014 – 2016 Tutor & Substitute Teacher

2017 Private Middle & High School Teacher

  • One-to-One learning environment

2018 Substitute Teacher for Park County & Tutor

When is it Plagiarism?

Summer is an important time for kids to recharge their emotional and mental batteries. As parents and educators, it is easy to forget that as students, they are under a lot of pressure and face stressful challenges everyday. One stresser that I’ve had come up many times with students is whether or not what they are writing is PLAGIARISM.  Here are two relieving ways to be 100% positive you are not plagiarizing:
We will use the example of writing a research paper on famous scientists.  Your teacher tells you that you have to submit your final paper to Turnitin.com and get back a 100% green, plagiarism-free, paper.  Well, I can tell you right now that will be a challenge.
First of all, there are only so many ways to say things. Phrases like, “Copernicus was a Renaissance era mathematician and astronomer” are going to be flagged because that exact wording is in (according to Google) “About 257,000 results”.  Nevertheless, Turnitin.com will highlight it and students will worry about not being allowed to submit their paper to their teacher.  Stressful. Students should not have to deal with unproductive distractions like this when they should be focusing on the quality of their work. The solution here, at least the only one I can think of and have recommended, is to remind students of this fact in advance. However, as a parent when your child is freaking out, tell them to remind their teacher of this fact. All you can do sometimes is stand your ground and defend yourself and your work. (Frankly this is a good skill that will be needed upon entering the business world, not to mention college.) If you know that what you wrote falls into this category, know you have NOT plagiarized anything.
Secondly, plagiarism is, as defined by dictionary.com: “an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, as by not crediting the original author“.  This simply means that if you use someone’s research as research YOU did that you’ve in fact stolen their intellectual property. That IS bad, and there is NO excuse for it.  However, If I am writing a paper on Copernicus and want to discuss his childhood I will read and learn about it. Then as I am writing, I might feel like what I’m writing sounds very similar to what the article said. This can feel like plagiarism, however it is not. There is a fine line here and it is easy to cross. Nevertheless, you know that you are simply writing about something you’ve learned.  You have to trust yourself and understand that plagiarism is an INTENTIONAL choice to make a bad decision.
So, simply put,
1) You have to trust yourself.
2) Have the confidence to stand by your work.
3) Above all, understand that changing your work to prove you haven’t plagiarized, at the expense of your work’s quality, should not be necessary.
Just do your best. Stay honest. And, when in doubt, cite it. You can never cite too much.

Practice is an Art

So many people ask me how I can think of stories to write or how I can teach students creative writing.  I really must say, the answer is the same as what you’d hear from any singer, or illustrator.  Practice makes perfect.

Math is certainly not one of my best skills, however if I applied myself, there’s no doubt in my mind I would learn it. My mind, however, works better with stories and dialogue. I look forward to my next adventure. Getting kids excited about creating an adventure is equally fun for me. It is therapeutic as well. Imagine controlling your own universe!

As with everything though, it takes time to master things. I am always reminding my own kids that I’m super old (32) and have had a million years of practice to get where I am today. When they are super old like me, they’ll be telling their kids the same thing. So make sure you allow yourself that time to learn. Enjoy it. Learn from your mistakes.

The best paintings started with a single drop of paint. The best you starts with a single act – trying. Where you go from there is up to you, so reach for the stars and don’t be afraid to look back at the amazing view once in a while.