Before I started teaching, I flirted with academia (presenting a well-received paper on the history of black magic at the 2009 Religion – Belief – Superstition conference in Manchester), dallied with entrepreneurial publishing (commissioning, editing and publicising the science fiction collection 'Remnants' in 2007) and involved myself with amateur dramatics, both on and off the stage, for almost twenty years.
As a subject specialist, I can cover any period of English literature (specialising in Victorian and Middle Ages) or critical/media theory (specialising in narratology and Marxism). I'm also interested in tabletop, traditional and computer game design theory, gamer/geek culture, and the theories and policies of education.
As a teacher, I have mentored students in academic and creative writing at every level from beginner to postgraduate; I have an excellent record of formal practice in teaching English and Drama in Further Education. I specialise in building a bespoke, accessible programme for learners which focuses on their needs and interests, building transferable skills for the longer term.
I am available to deliver personal tuition, small-group workshops/seminars or lectures (classroom or public) anywhere in the UK, or via Skype (username - kaptainvon).
Terre des Langues run an intensive two-week learning experience for students learning a foreign language. They travel to a country for two weeks, stay alone with a host family, and spend five hours of every day with a tutor who delivers workshops in grammar, expression and usage and leads educational visits. Constant exposure to English and the absence of interpreters hothouses their communication abilities in a more real context than the classroom, and the tuition can be targeted towards areas where the student needs to develop skills, knowledge or confidence.
As a TdL tutor, I deliver fifty hours of intensive and personalised tuition, primarily to International Baccalaureate students. Key areas of focus include grammar, idioms and dealing with accents. I use visits, tours and board games to develop conversational English vocabulary, intonation and phrasing.
Jul 2011 - Aug 2011
I delivered a series of interventions for either single pupils in need of a skills boost before they entered Year 10, or for pupils retaking GCSE English and Drama coursework. Improvements of up to three grades were not uncommon, with particular advances made in the Shakespeare coursework unit at GCSE.
Sep 2010 - Feb 2011
City College Plymouth
During my teacher training I was highly praised for my small group seminars, breadth and depth of subject knowledge, and ability to engage with students. As well as teaching English Literature (specialising in the Pre-19th century Literature and Drama paper), I also taught Performing Arts, supporting a group of twenty students in producing and performing a version of Sarah Kane's '4:48 Psychosis'.
Sep 2009 - Jul 2010
PGCE with DTLLS
September, 2009 - July, 2010
University of Plymouth
Specialisms included curriculum design, interdisciplinary visit planning, and bespoke tuition.
September, 2008 - August, 2009
University of Manchester
Specialisms included Marxist criticism, medieval religious writing, the literature of madness and Arthurian literature. I also presented a paper on medieval death traditions at the Religion - Belief - Superstition conference in Manchester.
September, 2004 - June, 2007
University of Wolverhampton
Specialisms included: storytelling in computer games and film adaptations; Victorian literature; genre fiction; deviant philosophy; writing in cyberspace and identity in postmodernity.