Hi! I'm Robert McKay,
TEACHER, TUTOR &WRITER
with a decade of diverse, dynamic experience.
Writing and teaching are my ways of "paying rent for living on the planet."
I write -- and publish -- everything from SEO copy to crime fiction, social posts to poems.
I tutor students and writers of all kinds, from middle school through adulthood.
But my once and future calling is teaching high school social studies, because the world badly needs global citizens rooted in their communities. I strive to cultivate not just knowledge, but a lively interest in world affairs. I want my students to be not just knowers, but doers; not just scholars, but citizens. I help them build the inner resilience, pragmatism & capacity for collaboration that are the lifeblood of a vibrant democracy.
FROM TEACHER TO TUTOR
AN EDUCATOR'S JOURNEY
I started Ignite Tutoring just as I was ending my five years as a full-time high school history and English teacher. I wanted to have the freedom to keep bringing students the innovative, interdiciplinary and Socratic style of education I'd practiced as an envelope-pushing member of the Waldorf school movement.
I entered Waldorf education in 2011 in order to cut my teeth on a pedagogy that excites me, with the express intent to transition into high-needs public schools after investing in my own skill development. In my five years of intensive classroom and administrative experience in small, teacher-run Waldorf schools, I have engaged diverse students in multi-modal, project-based exploration of global social studies and literature, and have seen my students blossom in their capacity for what I like to call "global citizenship, rooted in place."
In addition to my pedagogical work, I've led meetings and sat on committees, and have led the development and outreach effort for the past two-and-a-half years at a fledgling school. With another five years in outdoor and farm-based education, I can now bring an extremely dynamic, flexible skill set to the public school teaching corps. I fully expect to find this shift full of challenges and learning opportunities, and I aim to enter service with humility and openness to learn from students, colleagues and community.
Robert is extremely insightful and intelligent... with a positive, productive, can-do attitude... Robert was responsible for supporting an upper elementary student... established a relationship of trust with the student that led to many insights about the student’s behavior and emotional well-being. I recommend Robert without hesitation. In his short time here, Robert became an essential member of our team who demonstrated creativity and dependability.
SUSAN HELD, HEAD OF SPECIAL EDUCATION, FLYNN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Robert has demonstrated... real acumen for working with at-risk students... is not intimidated by difficult behavior and... has developed a real rapport with several of our more challenging students... a strong support for the teaching staff ...He takes initiative, engages easily with students and manages to uphold our high standards of behavior and performance. Robert’s greatest assets are his intelligence and warm personal style... Robert McKay has all the requisite skills to be a superior educator.
FRANK MURPHY, DIRECTOR, HORIZONS PROGRAM, BURLINGTON SCHOOL DISTRICT
Robert is hard working, reliable, has a great way with students and strong leadership skills when working with a group. On the farm he has excelled… I suspect that he is easily bored and will be most satisfied with lively, challenging work. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Robert, I enjoy interacting with him and find him easy to communicate with, and willing to accept feedback and provide it to students... He will be an asset to any program.
MICHAELA RYAN, CEO, NEW VILLAGE LEARNING FARM
Special Ed Instructional Assistant, Seattle Public Schools
SEPTEMBER 2017-MARCH 2020
Core Faculty, Initiative Waldorf High School
AUGUST 2014-MARCH 2017
Humanities Faculty, Waldorf Shcool of Saratoga Springs
Outdoor & Farm-Based Educator, Various Organizations
A RECORD OF LIFELONG LEARNING
BA IN PHILOSOPHY & RELIGION, 2009
Graduated cum laude with a joint philosophy and religion major with a 3.76 GPA (3.56 overall). Wrote senior thesis on Christian theology and climate change. Took leadership roles in in campus publications, cooperative housing, and local food and sustainability initiatives.
Antioch University New England
M.ED. COURSEWORK, WALDORF TEACHING CERTIFICATE, 2013
Completed the certificate program in Waldorf elementary general education, which is coextensive with the coursework requirements for the Masters of Education. Earned the equivalent of a 3.58 GPA. Audited extra Waldorf high school curriculum courses. Led student discussion group on social theory and pedagogy.
City University of Seattle
WASHINGTON STATE CERT IN PROGRESS, ELL & ELEMENTARY LITERACY
Completed coursework and apprenticeships for the alternative route to certification, tutoring English learners, student teaching and revamping a financial literacy curriculum while working as a paraeducator. I hold an emergency substitute certificate, and plan to finish my full cert when COVID-19 allows.
De-centering the High School History Curriculum
27-30 JUNE 2016
Prewsented a global approach to the history curriculum in line with Steiner’s strongly internationalist spirit. My curriculum design work since 2014 to “de-center” high school history from the Euro-American Atlantic sparked a week-long open discussion on how history can orient humanity toward a decent future. As I intended, the workshop resonated as a call to re-commit to the internationalist spirit of Waldorf's founder, and to the movement’s origins as a response to the crises of European imperialism
Young Waldorf Teachers' Conference
OCTOBER 11-13, 2012
An informal formation of young teachers discussing innovations in the Waldorf educational movement such as sliding-scale tuition and breaking from the traditional classroom, as well as broader political issues in education and worker control. Harlemville, NY.
The Crisis in Education
Conference on austerity, education policy, & Waldorf school governance & social vision. Think OutWord, Ghent, NY.
Bread Loaf Writers' Conference
Studied poetry at this prestigious conference on an undergraduate fellowship.
I’ve mostly acquired skills through my education and work experience. I’m definitely proud of the skills I’ve gained across the years, and lucky to have had the support to become a professional in my field. But what I’m most proud of is my perseverance through it all. Read through my site to discover how you can benefit from my skills.
MEMBER OF BOARDS, LEADERSHIP COMMITTEES; PROFESSIONAL ASSN. REP.
Schedule a phone interview to discuss how my skills might fit your needs.