Mission Statement

A few months ago, I had a bit of an epiphany, a crystallization of several concerns and desires, that led me to begin creating this website.

That epiphany occurred when I was thinking about the fact that in my twelve years of tutoring in San Francisco and in the San Mateo area, I’ve catered almost exclusively to the children of wealthy families. While I’m proud of my students and their accomplishments, it has always bothered me that so much of my time is spent giving already-privileged kids an even greater advantage in life rather than helping those who need it most. I intend for this website, which will make many of the materials I’ve developed and resources I’ve found freely available to anyone interested in using them, to be a way to help a much greater number of people, especially those less-privileged students.

I also want this website to be a means for me to find some new students outside the wealthy social circles through which my students are usually referred to me—students who are motivated to seek help but can’t afford to pay the rates charged by most tutors and test-prep schools.

Over the last few months, I’ve been revising the materials I use to help my students prepare for the SAT and organizing them into a complete curriculum. Some of those materials I’ve already put up on this website, and some I’m still revising; others are copyrighted College Board materials that I can’t freely distribute but that my students can find or purchase for themselves at little cost. (In my opinion, it’s always best to practice with actual SAT test questions as much as possible; no study materials I’ve seen from test prep companies consistently match the quality of the College Board’s own materials.) Soon I hope to begin classes with a few select students, classes that will be small enough to allow me to provide those students with a lot of individual attention but will also allow me to fit more students into my demanding schedule. Doing so will give me a chance to give direct help to students whose families are less economically privileged by charging lower rates than test-prep schools usually charge. Anyone who’s interested in taking these SAT classes can reach me by e-mail at brantley[at]camillasenglishpage[dot]org.

Finally, I want this website to be a resource for Camilla, my daughter. Although I plan to share with her my love of learning, language, literature, music, and so many other things as she grows up, this project will help keep me motivated to revise and organize my teaching materials so I can follow through on that plan in a more structured, tangible, meticulous way. Some of this content may eventually take the form of a book, and preparing it for public distribution on this website is also a step toward achieving that goal. In these first two years of Camilla’s life, the demands of my work schedule have often made me unable to spend as much time with her as I would like (though I hope that will change at some point), so Camilla’s English Page will also serve as a kind of insurance against any circumstances that might prevent me from teaching her the way I hope to. I’ve learned so much from the many wonderful teachers I’ve had, both in school and in the school of life, and I want to ensure that no matter what, I will have a way to share as much of that knowledge and wisdom with her as possible.

Camilla, if you’re reading this, as I hope you will one day, know that every bit of time and effort I’ve put into this website has been inspired by the love and joy you’ve brought into my life. Because of you, I’ve discovered that I’m capable of doing more with my life and being a better person than I had ever thought possible. Being a good father to you is the best and most worthwhile thing I will ever do, as well as the best way of thanking your grandparents and your mother for the extraordinary amount of love they’ve given me (and are now giving you too), and this website is part of that effort. As I’m writing this, you’re only 26 months old, but it’s obvious to everyone that you are a remarkable person—not that you’re going to be a remarkable person when you grow up, but that you already are. Even when you’re acting like a typical “terrible” two-year-old, as you sometimes do, you still somehow manage to create love and happiness. And I think that amazing capacity will only increase as you get older.

To anyone else who might be reading this, I hope you find this website helpful and maybe even enjoyable. Please let me know if you have any requests or suggestions.

Brantley, December 25, 2010

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