- Application Essays
- Bethesda, MD
- McLean, VA
Originally from Massachusetts, writer and educator Ben Brezner moved south to attend the University of Richmond, where he completed his BA in International Studies with a minor in Creative Writing. Ben has slowly but surely realized that, with his personality and skill set, his best chance of making the world a better place is to teach. After teaching ESL to adults and substitute teaching in Arlington, Virginia, he earned an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in ESL from George Mason University. Subsequently, for three years, he taught middle-school English to both English language learners and proficient English speakers in Alexandria City Public Schools. A published poet, Ben has long harbored a passion for writing and has since returned to George Mason University to earn an MFA in Poetry. Through his teaching assistantship on campus, he has tutored in Mason’s Writing Center and teaches introductory English courses to undergraduates. He’s consistently excited to help PrepMatters’ high school students maximize their chances of getting into the college of their dreams.
For a lot of young writers, it can be difficult to see how to manipulate complex elements of rhetorical argument, such as tone, organization and narrative weight. As a teacher, I learned that one of the most important skills a writer must develop is to understand the context of a given rhetorical situation. In a college essay, that means being able to put themselves in the shoes of admissions staff and moving through the writing process with that audience in mind. Although I love teaching students to brainstorm, outline, and develop ideas, my favorite part of teaching writing is the revision process, an all-too-often overlooked stage. That’s when I get to help students make those abstract elements more concrete and show them the full range of their writing options. It’s also usually when I get to see those “A-ha!” moments that every teacher lives to experience. After these moments, my students at PrepMatters walk away feeling confident that they’ve presented themselves to their top-choice schools in the best light possible.