“As a professor, I love teaching my subject. As a tutor, I love teaching my students.”
Grant Bergland was an intern at The New Yorker, taught at Columbia University, worked as a part-time Professor at The New School, and helped countless students earn top tier (and sometimes perfect) scores on standardized tests, including the SAT, ACT, and ISEE tests.
Part of Grant’s secret to being a great educator is that he comes from a family of teachers and has worked as a special education teacher. Over the past 25 years, Grant has taught students from the ages of 8 to 89 as a classroom teacher, private tutor, wrestling coach, curriculum writer, Executive Function Coach, and Adult Education instructor.
Grant Bergland published his thesis at Columbia University and holds a Master’s of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Writing. A Master’s degree in English Literature and dual teaching credentials in English Rhetoric/Composition and Art History/Design round out Grant’s background as a master educator. 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.
As an undergrad, Grant wrestled for Arizona State University’s Division I program and met Dan Gable, Dave Schultz, J. Robinson, Lee Roy Smith, Dan Severn, and trained with two time Olympian Zeke Jones. Grant was a Sun Devil “Spark” award-winning athlete and followed a pre-med curriculum before being hired by Arizona State’s Writing Center where he discovered his love for 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 is hard work. Actually, when you think about it, getting someone to understand you is the most important work we do in our lives.” Grant says.
Within a month of graduation, Grant Bergland was hired by Mt. Diablo Unified School District where he taught for ten years. His first assignment was teaching Economics, Earth Science, and Biology in Clayton Valley High School’s Special Education department. “I learned how to be a great teacher while teaching students with learning differences. I had to teach several classes simultaneously through a combination of various levels of scaffolding to fit my students’ needs. Also, I learned to be an entertainer and “sell” whatever it was that I was teaching at the time.”
Grant Bergland was a case manager for high school students and managed their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), which involved anticipating ways to meet the needs of students with 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 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 hard to achieve them, Grant 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 hand saying: ‘I never thought I’d ever get in!’ It’s a great feeling to know you helped someone start living the life of their dreams,” Grant says.
In 2010, Grant Bergland moved to New York City, aided by a full tuition scholarship from Columbia University and 97th percentile ranking on the Verbal section of the GRE. At Columbia, he studied with notable writers, interned in the Fiction department at The New Yorker magazine, introduced George Saunders to a crowd of over a thousand, and was accepted into the prestigious Bread Loaf Writer’s Workshop founded in 1926 by Robert Frost.
As an academic coach with My Learning Springboard, Grant Bergland has coached dozens of students to earn perfect scores on their SAT and ACT writing prompts and top 1% or perfect scores in all sections. He also tutors middle school students the same skills for the SSAT and ISEE exams with the same level of passion and success. Grant co-authored the ACT and ISEE curriculum for My Learning Springboard and has written both ISEE and ACT test. Moreover, he’s worked as a homeschool teacher for Manhattan families, helped hundreds of students with writing coaching and executive function coaching, and gained a reputation for being able to advise, inspire, and work with any student.
“So much of who we are depends on identity,” Grant says. “Some students think they can never do something and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s my job to help them see and eventually believe they can do more than they ever thought possible. Work is effortless for students who believe that they are writing their own amazing story. I help them find that truth (whatever that might be for them) and get them started on an exciting life. In this way I feel I have the noblest of professions.”
He is a father of two, wrote and directed an award-winning short film, wrote four novels, traveled the world, and rides a very big motorcycle.