Rates & Policies

The Scripps National Spelling Bee website states that the bee’s purpose is “to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.”

It is my goal to work in concordance with the bee’s purpose and lay the groundwork for pertinent practical skills: to train students to think on their feet under pressure, improve their deductive abilities, develop a compelling passion and solid foundation for success, and work toward that success.

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Rate: $100/hour (as of 7/2015)
Payment is expected at each coaching session. Future coaching sessions will not be scheduled until payment is received.
Payment is requested either in cash, check, or using credit cards or debit cards through PayPal.

I like to get to know students before beginning coaching. As such, I recommend an initial hour visit in person. Both the speller and at least one parent are expected to come to this visit. This visit is free of charge. If an in-person visit is not possible, it is possible to speak over the phone or on Skype instead.

Coaching for the following year’s bee shall begin only after the current year’s National Spelling Bee has been held.

Coaching sessions should ideally take place in person. Depending on individual goals, a recommended regimen is 1-2 hours of coaching per week, with further studying to take place at home. If coaching is not possible in person, Skype (best choice) or phone coaching is possible.

If a student is eliminated at some point during his or her spelling career, coaching shall end at that point until after that year’s National Spelling Bee (provided that the student is still eligible for competition the following year). A single post-mortem meeting may be requested if desired.

I have found that demand for qualified spelling bee coaches is relatively high. As such, it is expected that I may coach more than one student at a time. I recognize that each student who works with me is highly dedicated, a hard worker, and fascinated with the intricacies of the English language and its diverse etymology. I also recognize that – with few exceptions – only the top speller from a sponsoring institution can qualify for the National Spelling Bee, and beyond that – also, with a few exceptions in history – only one speller each year can hoist the trophy and claim the title of National Spelling Bee Champion. This is a difficult situation, and I do wish that everyone I work with could win. However, the goals that both Scripps and I have for students, as outlined above, are at least equally as important as winning outright – if not more so – and will help provide the foundation for success beyond the bee.