Priscilla Cole

Priscilla Cole

1 employee
3 years in business

About this pro

I offer individual tutoring in language arts and other subjects, as well as teach drawing (both realistic and abstract), painting (acrylic and water color), and piano lessons (how to read music and understand the patterns of music theory).

I'm good at teaching people and kids of all ages.  I have taught Sunday school and various youth, teen, and adult groups.  I have played piano for congregational singing and have directed the music for a couple of VBS 's.  I have taught drawing and painting at Oswego Michaels Craft store for the past 3 years and have an original mixed media painting hanging by the computer room on the second floor of the new Santori Public Library downtown Aurora, titled "From the Elements Given to Man".  I graduated of Aurora University with a major in "Writing and Language" and a minor in "Christian Studies".

I love teaching, because I love learning. I love watching students grasp new ideas and try them out for themselves. 

I worked at Blackberry Historical Farm and Village for over 15 years, where I loved getting kids to think for themselves.  When they commented how cheap a sewing machine seemed from a catalog listing, I would mention that $1 a day was the average pay at that time.  If they were old enough to multiply, I'd guide them through a simple proportion to figure the inflation.  They would suddenly realize that $15 was the equivalent of $1,200 or more. 

In the spinning and weaving cabin, teachers would ask if I would explain what I was doing (as they thought I was ignoring their students while they were talking among themselves -- teachers need a break too), I'd give the same question back to the kids, and they would eagerly explain it all to their teacher.

It's best to call and leave a message (630)851-8344

I love seeing students' art work and journals, or hearing them create short improvisations based on their understanding of music theory.  It's a privilege to watch students grow and learn.

It tickles my heart to see them gain confidence and to try out new things, they weren't sure they could do; as well as, recognize the things they are learning about, occur in the world around them.  I feel successful if students continue on with their own work beyond lesson time and share this with others.

I love teaching, because I love learning.  I love watching students grasp new ideas, gain more skill and ability, and reach deeper in their understanding.

I have worked at Blackberry Historical Farm and Village for over 15 years, where I loved getting kids to think for themselves.  When they commented on how cheap a sewing machine was (from an old catalog listing).  I would mention that $1 a day was the average pay at that time.  If they were old enough to multiply, I'd guide them through a simple proportion to figure the inflation.  They'd suddenly realize that $15 could be the equivalent of $1,200 or more.

In the spinning and weaving cabin, teachers would ask if I would explain what I was doing (as they thought I was ignoring their students, while they were talking among themselves -- teachers need a break too).  Instead of answering, I would ask the kids, and they eagerly explained it all to their teacher.

A parent of a high school piano student (who had taken 2 years of piano with someone else, before resuming lessons with me, with a few years of no lessons between time) commented to me after a few months, how his playing was starting to sound like real music.

Another parent of a piano student (who I taught from her first 3 years -- 2nd-4th grades) mentioned how her high school band teacher asked her where she had learned all she knew --as he was surprised how much music theory she understood.  She accredited it to my teaching (not her current paino teacher).

An adult art student complained that she was using up her art supplies (she'd been saving for her later retirement (when she might not be able to get out and about).  I responded, that's a good thing, right?  It means you are painting and doing more art.

These are the things that makes teaching so enjoyable.

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Aurora, IL 60505
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

I will travel to you're house or we can meet at another public place.

After a phone conversation, I will provide a free interview with prospective students and their parent(s) to get a better feel of where they are at and what they want to learn, along with other activities they are involved in, so I can get an idea of their commitment, and they can have an understanding of my teaching style.  Then, we can set up a schedule for weekly lessons (day of the week and times) and a monthly pay schedule.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I am a graduate of Aurora University with a b.a. in "Writing and Language" and a minor in "Christian Studies".  I took a drawing class (at AU) my last semester from Dr. Lowery, and other art classes after graduating, besides continuing to work and study on my own.  I painted a backdrop for a Yule Tide program at Blackberry for visitors to have their photo taken in an antique slay, and helped Pam Carron (a professional muralist) with back drops for church plays.  I'm Grumbacher certified through teaching at Michaels craft store.   I have a certificate from the Institute for Children's Literature (for writing).

I've taken piano lessons for over 12 years, along with organ at Aurora University (from Rosemarry Wood for piano, and Rossalie Cassidy for organ).  I arranged an independent study in high school to study music theory.  And taught myself to play acoustical classical guitar.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Art works better with a minimum of a one and 1/4 hour lesson, and preferably a 2 hour lesson. 

My fee is $35 for a 45 min. lesson (piano or tutoring), $45 for a 75 min. lesson (1 1/4 hr), and $60 for a 2 hr lesson -- as long as you are within a 1/2 hour drive from my house.

I do not provide 30min. lessons (1/2 hour is not enough to catch on to a new concept, even for piano.  I want to do more than merely listen to students play their assignments and send them home to learn new pieces on their own, without understanding the new concepts they are working on.)  I have an active style of teaching with questions, rather than merely giving out information, and this takes a bit more time.

How did you get started teaching?

My second grade teacher in an advanced learning class believed that a person learns better when you have to teach.  So true!  I grew up in a family of teachers and preachers, and have a curiosity of life that encourages teaching and learning. 

In high school I tutored a friend in algebra so that she could understand her biology and chemistry classes, and go on into nursing. 

I took most of all the classes needed for a teachers certificate at college because I was not only interested in writing, but also in mission work.  Because of my changed plans, I did not finish the student teaching part.

What types of students have you worked with?

All ages, from 2 and 3 year old Sunday school, through grade school, Jr. High, high school, and adults.  I love Jr. High the most -- they are very similar to 2 and 3 year old's, with their newness to expanded thinking (more abstract not only concrete; seeing not just the now, but recognizing past and present, along with who they are), and yet young enough to still be impressionable in learning. 

I've had a few piano students, and teach art at Michaels craft store in Oswego for the past 3 years.

I've lead small and large groups.  Blackberry Hist. Park would average 1,000 visitor and more on a school group day.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Piano:  Watch the teacher's technique (are their fingers curved or flat)? What knowledge do they have of piano? What would they do if a student is good at playing by ear, but not catching on to reading music? What method does that teacher use (a middle C, a 5 finger scale, interval, or other)?  Does the teacher notice much difference between playing on a good quality keyboard or an actual piano?  What music does that teacher like working on for themselves (more than merely sight reading)?

Art: Can they draw/paint realistically? How did they learn to do so? What makes up good composition? Can anyone learn to draw? Do they mix their own colors (or usually use premixed colors)?  Can they mix flesh tones from red, blue, and yellow?  What art projects are they doing besides teaching it?  Ask to see some of their work?

Language arts:  What things have they been reading or writing? What education have they had?  Have they published anything? How would you explain the difference between an adverb and an adjective?  Have they ever learned a foreign language (at this often required a much better understanding of one's native language)?

Math:  Do you like story problems?  Why? Why not?  Do you ever give your students an extra problem to solve, beyond the workbook?  Do you explain how, what they are working on, relates to everyday life? Do you try to think of different ways of explaining the same thing?

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

What do you want to gain from lessons?

What is your purpose in taking lessons?

Are you open to learning new things? --things that you might not even considered how they relate to the subject you want to learn?

What other activities are you involved with?  Do you have time to invest in lessons?

How do you best learn? (as a teacher, it helps me to know what other subjects you enjoy learning about? and what various subjects you are knowledgeable about?)  Do you know your preferred learning style(s) and are you open to trying new or different ways of learning (at least trying them out, until you discover how they are working).

Do you have the money to pay for continual lessons? Often it takes time to learn something, do you have the finances, time, and energy to commit to lessons or at least a group of lessons?

What kinds of things motivate you?

Can you describe what level you are at in your leaning of a subject?  (It's OK, if not -- this is the teacher's job to figure out, but stating this can help.)

What other teachers or classes have you had in this area or similar areas?  What learning have you done on your own (read books, talked with other people, and/or experimented with trying it out on your own)? 

Are there any physical, or emotional, or other limitations that would be helpful for the teacher to be aware of so these can be taken into account in planning lessons?

If someone else is paying for your lessons (a parent, guardian etc.): Do YOU want to take these lessons? Do you want to learn this?  Would you pay for them if you had some income to do so?

Lessons offered

Painting Classes Abstract Painting Lessons Acrylic Painting Lessons Craft Classes Drawing Lessons Illustration Classes Watercolor Painting Lessons