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post #5 of Old 12-02-2004
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Sailing Tutor Needed


I''m an experienced teacher and sailor and I''m very interested in the teaching position with your family. I have a 7th-12th gade teaching certificate (in English) and a PhD from Berkeley, and I''ve taught from 9th grade through college, but mostly I''ve taught first year and advanced college writing and college literature, including for the past four years at the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee. I''ve just resigned to take on my own (part-time) sailing adventures (among other things), and I love teaching and kids (I come from a big family, both nuclear and extended) so your situation looks like it could be a pretty good fit. I have a wide range of interests and knowledge, so I can be a good teacher across the curriculum--in fact, I just finished a year teaching classes in which I help prospective teachers write about their own subject areas.

I''m a humanities/history/art and culture guy (with a strong background in European history, culture and, to some degree, languages), but sailing has helped stir up my interest in sailing-related science and the math that goes along with it (I did once make it through college calculus!). Before seeing your notice, I had already been thinking about--and I''d really enjoy putting together--a thoughtful, interesting and varied curriculum that makes use of a cruise''s obvious learning opportunities, including the math and science of sailing and seamanship; the sea and its environment, biology and weather; and the cultural side of cruising in different countries, exploring different cultures and meeting lots of different people.

As an example of how I teach, one of my regular first year classes is about writing and the environment, and I have students from the humanities, sciences, and maths, architects, nurses and artists, all working at it from diferent angles--and they all learn from each other. Kids are naturally all these things to some degree--so this kind of multiple perspective doesn''t have to be college work. I think approaching a topic they''re interested in from all sides is how kids learn best at all levels, and I think all the things they''ll need to know back at a land-based school can be learned this way on board. I can bring your kids'' different levels, skills and interests together in a way that can really set them up for the kinds of thinking they need to be able to do for, say, high school AP classes and college, using the experience of the cruise as the base.

I''m a good teacher: my own educational background has given me high standards, but I think I''m also very humane, very concerned about the person learning, and I''m thoughtful and creative and flexible enough about method that I can teach up to those standards. Of course, I can give you teaching references and copies of what students have said about me, along with lots of other references--professional, personal, sailing--including from friends (often teachers) whose kids I''ve spent time with.

You can tell from this that I''m serious about this project, but I''m not all serious. I''m easy-going, self-reliant, with a sense of humor and can be a plus on a boat (including as a cook)--the people I spent three months sailing from Hawaii to and around Tahiti with will tell you that, I think.

I would love to learn more about you, tell you more about me, and discuss what kind of schooling and sailing plans you have in mind.


Dave Baggott

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