- Levels Taught:
- Elementary, Middle School, High School
- Teaches students:
- Ages 5+
- Teaching since:
My greatest passion is teaching. I love to help people learn and grow. My teaching style is always personalized to the learning style of my students, with a focus on helping them to experience lots of those epiphany/discovery moments (when the lightbulb goes on and knowledge becomes understanding) that deepen their own appetite to learn.
Although I have a degree from M.I.T., I’m far from your typical M.I.T. grad. I’ve been a news anchor, a radio disc jockey, a missionary, a pastor, a corporate trainer, a consultant, an executive officer, and a business entrepreneur. I would love to share as many of my experiences as can help you in your particular subject of interest.
Regarding Speech and Public Speaking, I've been a public speaker, teacher, and presenter to groups of three to three thousand for over twenty years, and have coached students from five to sixty-five in how to confidently connect with people in a broad range of contexts, from very private to frighteningly public. But my lessons are about much more than saying the right things in front of people. Life is about relationships and all relationships start (and sadly often fail) with communication. Being a great conversationalist, story teller, or compelling public speaker is all about connecting with your audience, whether with one or one thousand. My goal is to help you learn to confidently listen, express yourself, and connect at a heart level. In our times together you'll learn things like:
• Organizing your thoughts in a way that resonates with your listeners
• Actively engaging with people and not just transferring information
• Turning fear and timidity into powerful tools for connecting
• Cultivating approachability and confidence with your audience
Regarding Math, some people are naturally good at math and some are like deer in the headlights. Studying Physics, Engineering, and Architecture at M.I.T. meant learning and doing *lots* of math. I find the greatest delight helping those who aren’t naturally good at math learn to appreciate and conquer it in the context of their regular, day to day lives. My greatest accomplishment in this respect has been teaching one of my daughters who hates math to embrace it as a wonderful, dependable, and mysterious, faith-building part of life. My approach is to make math real, that is, to connect math to life so that not just how to do it, but why doing it, is valuable and makes sense.
Regarding Art, I began drawing in three dimensions at the age of two (it was a stuffed panda bear doll if you must know). I am a keenly visual person, and began winning awards in art in elementary school, and eventually went on to become student artist of the year in New York state while a sophomore in high school. That same year I had a show in a gallery in Manhattan. The following year I made my own short animated film and was hired by a private academy to do all their creative print marketing. My approach to teaching art is similar to my approach to teaching communication. Sometimes art is about telling a story. Often it can be about making a point (even if that point is just about beauty or dysfunction, or beauty in dysfunction). But whatever its purpose, art is *always* about seeing, with more than your eyes. The best forms of art capture and captivate all of who we are and how we perceive, whether we’re talking pencil sketches or making movies. While I teach lots of different styles, techniques, and media (including pencil, pen and ink, charcoal, pastels, watercolors, acrylic and oil painting, graphic design, and print forms, among others), this fundamental how you perceive approach to the creative process is what I strive to teach when I teach art.
Regarding the Bible, I have been an exhaustive student and teacher of the Bible for 32 years and would welcome the opportunity to help you either learn it, teach it, or both (which is what often happens). Nothing that I have taught in my life is as important as the truths and life lessons I have learned and taught from its pages. It is scary and funny and crazy and tender (among many things) but most of all it is more than what most of us have heard (especially in church), and it will change us if we let it. Our studies would include language, history, culture, geography, and even science, combined with lots of thought provoking questions, and creative insight. We won’t shy away from the difficult topics that often cause doubt or division, but we will certainly avoid the canned, off-the-shelf answers that do more harm than good in helping people digest this book. This is not a safe class. If you already think you have a pretty good handle on the Bible, then this class is probably not for you. But if, like me, something about the profession and practice of Christianity around you seems terribly off, or missing, then this may be exactly what you’re looking for. Expect that much of what you thought or believed (but perhaps never really read or studied) will likely be challenged. This is not an academic study, but rather an upfront and personal interaction with The Truth.
First off, I am absolutely terrible at all things math related.
As in, two plus two equals five, sort of bad. Okay, maybe not that bad, but still... ;-) Mark helped make math easy and understandable for me, in a way that textbooks or even lectures (regardless of how "good" they might be) can't. Many people have head knowledge, and are labeled as a teacher because of their textbook understanding, but the real test for a good teacher is how to transfer that head knowledge to another person in an easy, understandable and fun way. Mark does all that and I believe more in everything he teaches. He has mastered how to reach every person on the level they're at and explain not only what they are trying to learn, but also the "why" behind it.
He is not just a one trick pony either. I've heard him speak on many occasions, and each time, regardless of what he's speaking about he sounds deeply passionate and thoughtful.
I also enjoy acting, (not necessarily as a career, but I have done a few productions here and there) and often times a character I will be representing will need an accent to distinguish it. Mark can pick up just about any accent and guide you into mastering it. The longest it has taken me to learn at least the basics of an accent under his guidance, has been two days. Now that doesn't mean everyone will have a perfectly mastered accent in that same time, but it does say something about his abilities as a teacher.
All this to say, I believe one of the best qualities of a truly great teacher is the ability to be a student, and be humble enough to learn themselves. I think the proof of this quality is very evident in Mark's varied abilities, and I would highly recommend him to many.
Mark has been my instructor for many years in a variety of subjects. He has a gift for helping people to not just have head knowledge, but practical, every day, what he would call heart knowledge. He is more than a teacher and his influence on who I am is greater than the lessons he taught me. It is important to him that one sees the big picture, even if it isn't always what we'd like it to be. He is passionate about using the talents God has given him to serve others. He explores the Scriptures diligently, as well as very thoroughly. It is more than a gift but I believe it is a huge purpose of his life to help others come to a more full knowledge of God and the relationship He desires to have with us.
I have also taken lessons from him in all of the other subjects he teaches and have found the same fundamental principles of his instruction methods/style to hold true. He loves to help people to really understand what they are learning in an applicable way. He knows how to adapt to his students' needs for optimal learning and growth. From visuals to stories and examples he always finds a way to make each lesson not only memorable but fun. I would highly recommend him as an instructor in any one of the lessons he offers.
I first met Mark over 20 years ago when he was a missionary in eastern Europe. We worked together on the mission field and I had opportunity to see first hand that he is indeed a man of many talents. Though Mark's primary job overseas was to teach and preach the Bible, I quickly realized that I had never before come across an individual with such talent and gifts in such a wide range of subjects. Mark is a true Renaissance man. Though he studied astrophysics at one of the world's most prestigious universities, namely MIT, he is also an incredibly gifted artist. He can paint, draw and write beautiful poetry just as easily as he can preach and teach powerfully and persuasively. He breaks any subject down into digestible parts, making it easy to understand. He is fun to listen to and learn from as he shares lots of stories and anecdotes that bring to life whatever subject he is teaching. And it never ceases to amaze me that he is equally gifted in math, which is my weakest subject and one I have greatly feared and avoided for the better part of my life. Yet when explaining any mathematical problem, he makes it seem so easy and doable. Mark is extremely intelligent and a quick learner and is able to master whatever subjects interest him. But it is his ability and passion to transfer his knowledge and skills to others in a fun and memorable way that is his greatest gift.+ Read More
What could be more important in life than studying The Bible? I say nothing! I've been a Christian for over 20 years and I have NEVER heard a better teacher than Mark. He connects the Old and New Testaments in a way that is thought provoking and eye-opening. He continually questions and challenges you in your walk with Christ. He's genuine in his faith and that is refreshing! I recommend highly that you study the Bible with Mark as my family continues to do!+ Read More
I have attended church for the most part of my life since I was a child. I have read the Bible and many of the verses numerous times over. Over the past year since we have started studying with Mark, my eyes have been opened to a lot of truths in the scripture that I have missed. Mark has the unique ability of dividing the word of God in a way that many truths that I had missed before are revealed.
Studying with Mark over the last year has been very convicting and has helped me change in many areas of my life where I was lacking. I look forward to continuing to grow with Mark’s help and learning how to look thoroughly at Gods word without any preconceptions.