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A Response to a 5-Star Google Review

I received a wonderful review from someone who I personally believe is the best Performing Arts' reviewer in the Waikato region, Ross MacLeod.

Ross MacLeod has always been an outstanding performer, director and reviewer and is the only person I know that closes his eyes when reviewing a performance to truly engage in the emotions, chemistry and delivery of a performance.

Receiving a review from him is something I treasure, because I know if he says something, he means it. Ross always writes with a purpose and with perspective.

His Google review of my services is as follows:

"Having received a letter of support from Tovah for The Meteor Theatre, I was immediately impressed with the detail and structure provided.

I work as a grant writer in a professional capacity for a charity and letters like hers are priceless in reflecting the scope of impact our organizations do.

I mention this as I know that one element of literacy tutoring offered is in formal letter writing, and this demonstrated to me her key knowledge and capability in that area, a valuable skill to pass on to those she teaches."

The reason for discussing this review is because he makes a very good point about my services:

" element of literacy tutoring offered is in formal letter writing, and this demonstrated to me her key knowledge and capability in that area, a valuable skill to pass on to those she teaches"

Ross acknowledges two things in this excerpt: my key knowledge and capability of formal letter writing and also how valuable the skill is. I will discuss this in my blog today.

Tovah O'Neill teaching critical analysis

My key English knowledge and capability:

There are many factors which I can draw on for building my knowledge and passion for formal writing. For example:

- writing responses to newspaper articles

- winning a 'Silver Jubilee' cup when I was in high school

- participating in debating assessments and speech competitions

- taking on confrontational characters in acting performances

- studying English at university

- writing and formatting formal letters, professional complaints, and cover letters for others

- writing scripts, poems, stories and teaching resources as a response to relevant topics and issues

One other reason is that I believe I was born to write, and just like dancing and acting, writing is something that is engrained in me. When I feel unheard or wish to develop an understanding about something, I use Drama, Dance and English to learn, express and communicate.

critical analysis examples for essays
critical analysis examples

The value that comes from teaching formal writing:

I have always enjoyed formal writing and expressing myself through writing. It is a fantastic outlet for not only emotions and opinions, but also intellect. Intellect is just as valuable as emotions and opinions, when it comes to expression. When we explore and express our intellect, we understand the world more perceptively. This is one of the reasons why I include critical analysis skills when I teach formal writing.

Having a critical opinion builds maturity and perceptiveness which is more effective than just having an opinion that you write down in an essay. I want to make sure my students know that it is important to believe in something, have evidence to support their opinions, and discuss this with knowledge from different situations in life that have influenced, impacted and hindered the experience. When they know how to do this, they will use the same skills in their everyday lives, which in turn, will mean they won't make assessments without researching, exploring ideas, and asking how other people feel about it. The benefits of developing an idea or opinion and expressing yourself intellectually before acting on emotions, means students will grow to understand the world better and contribute to society in a more positive way.

Intellect allows us to:

- explore how to treat people

- explore how to understand people

- explore how to understand situations

- develop an awareness of the wider world (outside of our own lives)

- learn new things of interest and/or necessity

- pass on skills to others and contribute to society

When we use our intellect, we can come to conclusions that can:

- help others

- help ourselves

- prevent harm

- keep ourselves and/or others safe

- challenge issues

- develop street smarts - prioritise the amount of energy or importance of engaging in change (which includes ensuring your safety and the safety of others)

- change and improve situations

- teach others

- learn certain skills or develop existing ones

- determine what is right and what is wrong through our own and other people's perspectives

- develop physical, emotion and spiritual connections with others

- develop social skills and communicative skills (which isn't limited to reading, writing and speaking cues)

- develop cultural, religious and social* acceptance, awareness, understanding, integration and belonging

* This may also include gender and sexual orientation, as well as contemporary ideals and structures.

I always believe there isn't any harm in learning more about a situation. When you spend the time learning you will either experience:

- learning something new

- refreshes and reminds you about old content that you may have forgotten about

- information that is irrelevant or against your beliefs, which in turn, strengthens your original opinion

- may be more beneficial for someone else and may choose to pass it on to them

student in online tutor session
online tutor

Formal Writing tuition for high school students is available now. You can inquire or book in online tuition sessions, here:

If you'd like to check out further blogs about critical analysis, check them out here:

Critical analysis:

My experience and how it enhances the quality of my services:

Teaching effectively:

Time, Experience, Manaakitanga.

Tovah O'Neill

Tovah's Tutoring Company Ltd ®


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