August 30, 2015

Grant Bergland (English, Literature, and Test Preparation)


Grant Bergland

“As a professor, I love teaching my subject. As a tutor, I love teaching my students.” 

Grant Bergland comes from a family of teachers and has always loved seeing his students achieve. Over the past 18 years, Grant has taught students from the ages of 8 to 89 as a classroom teacher, private tutor, wrestling coach, curriculum writer, and Adult Education instructor. An internship in the Fiction department of  The New Yorker magazine, teaching at Columbia University, and working as a part-time professor at The New School are his newest achievements.

Grant just finished his thesis at Columbia University this year with a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Writing. He also holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has dual teaching credentials in English Rhetoric/Composition and Art History/Design. Grant is a member of the National Education Association (NEA), holds a Cross-cultural Language and Academic Development (CLAD) certification, and has a College Reading and Language Association (CRLA) Master Tutor certificate.

During his undergraduate career, Grant attended Arizona State University, and was a Sun Devil “Spark” award-winning athlete for their Division I wrestling program. In his first two years, he followed a pre-med curriculum before being hired by Arizona State’s Writing Center where he discovered his love of composition.

“I’d never seen how important writing was until I started looking at my student’s successes and near-misses. Being able to present your thoughts in a way that any other person can feel on the page is hard work, and the most important work we can do in our lives—to be able to explain ourselves.” Grant says.

Within a month of graduation, Grant was hired by Mt. Diablo Unified School District and remained there for ten years. In his first years, he taught Economics, Earth Science, and Biology for Clayton Valley High School’s Special Education department. “I really learned how to be a great teacher while teaching Special Ed. To do a really good job, I had to learn how to teach several classes simultaneously through a combination of various levels of scaffolding to fit my students’ needs,” Grant says.

Grant also was a case manager for a dozen high school students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), which involved making plans to meet the needs of students who had learning disabilities and other obstacles to their education. To complete these IEPs, Grant conducted collaborative meetings with curriculum specialists, speech pathologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers, principals, and parents.

Grant also worked in the English department where he taught every level of High School composition (Grades 9-12), standardized test preparation, wrote curriculum approved to meet the A-F requirements for the University of California, and served as the department chair.

Under the banner of having big dreams and working to achieve them, he helped many students write admissions essays for applications to top tier colleges: “I can’t tell you how satisfying it was when I’d see a student run towards me across the school quad with an acceptance letter in his hand saying: ‘I never thought I’d ever get in!’ It’s a great feeling for me when I knew I’d helped someone get a jump start on a future they were really excited about,” Grant says.

In 2010, Grant moved to New York City, aided by a tuition scholarship from Columbia University and 97th percentile ranking on the Verbal section of the GRE. At Columbia, he studied with notable writers and interned in the Fiction department at The New Yorker magazine.

As a tutor for My Learning Springboard, Grant has coached students to earn perfect scores on their SAT and ACT writing prompts and top 1% scores in the verbal sections as well. He also tutors middle school students the same skills for the SSAT and ISEE exams with the same level of passion and success. He’s worked as a home-school teacher for Manhattan families, helped hundreds of students write term papers and admissions essays, and gained a reputation for being able to advise, inspire, and work with any student.

Currently Grant is a part-time Professor at The New School where he teaches “Writing for Jazz Students” in the Fall and “Writing the Essay” in the Spring. He also professes Fiction Writing at Columbia University during the summers and taught “Introduction to Fiction Writing” in the Spring of 2013.

Grant likes dogs, being a tourist in the city where he lives, and, of course, writing.

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