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.
Jean Snyder, an experienced math and literacy specialist, brings to her students a passion for teaching and learning in all facets of life. Having retired from a 25-year teaching career with Montgomery County Public Schools, Jean looks forward to leveraging her classroom teaching experience at Somerset Elementary for one-on-one and small group tutoring. Jean has always approached teaching with the goals of sparking excitement for learning through hands-on exploration and helping students to become lifelong learners. Committed to her own professional development and continuous learning, Jean regularly participates in workshops, seminars, and word travel to share with her students.
Born and raised in a small Midwestern town, Jean always had a strong desire to travel and explore the world. She graduated from the University of Michigan with degrees in English and Spanish and a Secondary Teaching certificate. In her first career after college, Jean traveled the world for Pan American World Airways as a flight attendant, trainer, supervisor, and sales representative. A teacher at heart, Jean later pursued a Master’s degree from the University of Maryland in Elementary Education and began her second career as a 4th and 5th grade teacher. Her love for learning about absolutely everything—from world cultures to current events to math to literature to science—inspires her students and helps Jean to build a special connection with each learner.
Jean was part of her school’s leadership team and her upper elementary classroom experience has included work with many international students with limited English, students with a variety of special needs, and students with extraordinary academic abilities. Jean is a master at differentiating instruction to address varying skill levels and creative tendencies, while encouraging students to stretch to achieve their personal best as they become increasingly independent and organized. Special emphasis on helping students develop math concepts as well as computation skills has been central in her classroom. She sponsored and coached Math Olympiads, an after school math enrichment program, for many years and helps her students to become persistent, resourceful, and strategic problem solvers. Jean also loves helping students discover and develop their own personal stories through the integration of reading and writing.
She currently volunteers one day a week in an elementary school in Anacostia, DC, where there are many at-risk students. She also recently worked in the Foreign Language Enrichment Program at her neighborhood DC public school where her own sons formerly attended school K-6. Three days a week she conducted a before-school beginning Spanish class for second graders. She also serves as a substitute organist-pianist-choir director about once a month at her church.
In her free time, Jean loves to travel, play the piano, sing in a choir, read daily, in-line skate, and hike. She and her husband reside in northwest Washington, DC. They have two grown sons, one a teacher and one a lawyer (like mom and dad!).
Lilyan Aloma is an established educator with more than 20 years of experience as a Spanish teacher in New York City independent schools. Lilyan specializes in developing creative foreign language programs in Spanish and French for individuals and small groups, elementary level through high school. In addition, Lilyan is a highly acclaimed Fine Art Photographer, who has taught photography to Grades 5 through 12 for Project Arts, a division of the Department of Education, as well for independent schools.
Whether she is in a classroom or privately tutoring a small group or an individual student, Lilyan bases her teaching on the Language Experience Approach. This approach makes the clear distinction between learning a new language and truly acquiring a new language. The idea is to allow the student to “pick-up” the language almost in a subconscious manner, in much the same way we acquired our first language. Opportunities for listening comprehension are an essential component of this method. Language acquisition is fostered by the use of age-appropriate tasks that are meaningful. Props, games, stories, poetry, and visual art provide authenticity and help support traditional textbooks. Students acquire new languages when engaged in activities that are fun and relevant to their development. Lilyan provides individualized study plans that challenge her students and inspire a love of language learning.
Education and the arts have been interwoven throughout the course of Lilyan’s teaching career. As a Fine Artist and professional photographer, Lilyan has received international recognition for her work through acquisition, competition, and exhibition. In 2010, she was awarded a Fellowship from the Aaron Siskind Foundation for outstanding achievement in photography. Lilyan sculpts individualized photography classes for MLS students interested in learning the basics of photography or for those who are interesting in expressing themselves through the creative vehicle of photography.
Finally, Lilyan has professional experience in the world of school admissions, specifically at the elementary level. She worked closely with the Former Director of Admissions at the Village Community School (VCS), a K-8 independent school in Greenwich Village. She was responsible for conducting parent interviews, managing children’s playgroup assessments for incoming kindergarten placement, and visiting nursery schools to observe potential candidates. Lilyan played a similar role at Waterfront Montessori in Jersey City, NJ. She has a keen ability to determine what schools might be the right match for a particular child and enjoys working closely with families throughout the challenging admissions process.
Andrea Cukier has been privately tutoring Spanish and English both with individuals and corporations since 1991. In addition to being a certified Spanish teacher, she holds a dual Masters degree in Art Education and Fine Arts. For many years she has been working as a visual artist and as a Spanish teacher.
Andrea was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina and now resides in New York City. She is a US citizen and is fully bilingual in English and Spanish, as well as fluent in Hebrew and Italian. She has traveled extensively in South America, exploring variations in Spanish language and culture and helping her students understand and deal with those differences.
Andrea has worked as a bilingual art teacher for New York City’s public school system and as a private Spanish tutor for children in elementary, middle and high schools. She loves combining the different skills that she has acquired through the years in guiding children in the fascinating process of acquiring a new language.
Andrea also enjoys teaching grown-ups. Among her clients are HSBC Bank, H&M, Former New York City Comptroller Bill Thomson, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, CNBC’s Michelle Caruso Cabrera, and a large number of U.S.-based executives doing business with Latin American colleagues.
When she is neither teaching nor painting, Andrea is usually listening to classical music, going to museums or, weather permitting, taking hikes in nature and bird watching. She loves animals and is a passionate advocate for the conservation of our fragile natural habitats.
Please click here to learn more about Andrea’s art.
For nearly 30 years, Glenn Glazier has worked with students as a classroom teacher and private tutor. His areas of expertise include elementary, junior high, high school, and college Math, Physics, Chemistry, and Statistics, with mastery in standardized test preparation. Glenn has helped hundreds of students to prepare for the ACT, ISEE, SSAT, PSAT, SAT I & II, LSAT, and GRE.
Glenn began his teaching career in 1982 at a private boarding school in Connecticut, working as the school’s Math/Physics tutor before joining the faculty in 1986. There, he instructed Math, AP Physics, and SAT preparation. He also coached cross-country & track, headed dormitories, and served as Dean of Boys to an International Summer School. Following his teaching post in Connecticut, Glenn relocated to New York where he taught Mathematics at an independent day school. In 1995, Glenn launched his private practice and has continued to tutor full time.
As part of tutoring in math and the sciences, Glenn specializes in helping learners of all ability levels to see the logic behind these disciplines. Glenn works to carefully build conceptual understanding so that all levels of math and science become intuitive and not just memorization.
When he is not teaching, Glenn is an avid cyclist and a student of the martial arts.