Debbie Ramon

My name is Debbie Ramon, and I now live in The Woodlands after a professional lifetime in Mexico. 

I’m a retired high school English teacher, editor, translator and writer.  I loved classroom teaching: it kept my mind active and my heart engaged, as I helped students grapple with complex texts, think clearly, and learn to believe in themselves.  Those are the very same reasons I enjoy tutoring.    

I grew up in New Jersey, and was a National Merit finalist way back in 1972. I paid my way through college (pre-med and English, summa cum laude, at Duke, UPenn, and Temple) with several scholarships, graduating with no debt.  But perhaps my proudest testing moment was acing the GRE – in Spanish! I had arrived in Mexico without speaking the language (after marrying a Mexican PhD student I met at UPenn), and it took me several years to become proficient.  On a dare, I entered a competition for a “beca de excelencia” at the premier private Mexican university (ITESM).  Though I was the only non-native speaker taking the Spanish equivalent of the GRE, I got the highest score and the scholarship, and two years later, a master’s in Humanidades y Pedagogía.  So yes, I finally learned enough Spanish to get around.  And yes, I can still ace those multiple-choice exams.  (Alas, however, to my grandchildren’s dismay, I still have an accent!) 

Most of my teaching years were spent at The American School Foundation in Mexico City, where I taught everything from ESL and freshman English to all the AP and IB English classes, with my students consistently receiving top scores. For several years, I was also head of department, language arts coordinator and sponsor of several groups working with homeless children and underfunded public schools.  I continue working for the International Baccalaureate as an examiner. 

My passion, surprisingly, is Shakespeare.  Surprisingly, because as an undergraduate, I found Shakespeare dull and overrated.  But I worked with Anglo Arts for 15 years on their high school Shakespeare Competition, training students to understand, master, and perform monologues and sonnets, receiving training myself from professional actors and directors.  Several of my students won scholarships to BADA’s Midsummer Conservatory Program in Oxford, England; others were invited to perform their pieces at NYC’s Lincoln Center.  In the process, all of us fell in love with Shakespeare.  As Harold Bloom has said, Shakespeare taught us to be human; as my students say, reading him today deepens and enhances our humanity.  If anyone doubts this, give me a call! 

I’m excited to be part of the Woodlands Test Prep team, where I can bring my experience teaching, coaching, and tutoring to help students be the very best they can be.