North Baltimore County Woman Stays Busy as a Spoken Word Poet, Middle School Teacher, & Kids Tutor


Hydes, Maryland resident, Mary Cate Gates presents her spoken word poetry on Saturday, June 10, 2018 at Evil Grin, a monthly poetry slam event that will be held at The Annapolis Bookstore located at 53 Maryland Avenue in Annapolis from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Along with her performances at Evil Grin, Gates is also a nationally published poet, an 8th grade English teacher at Ridgely Middle School in Lutherville-Timonium, and a provider of Sylvan In-Home tutoring services for children who live in northern Baltimore County (Towson, Timonium, Cockeysville, White Marsh, Perry Hall, Hunt Valley, Glen Arm, Fallston, Bel Air, and Baldwin).

“I became involved with Evil Grin through a friend who found it to be a great way to express himself,” says Gates. “He invited me to share one of my poems on stage, and I loved the experience of performing with such a passionate group of talented people.”

Gates is a 1995 graduate of Western High School in Baltimore. She earned a B.A. in English Literature from Towson University in 2000 (which included a semester abroad at Cambridge University’s Shakespeare studies program in Cambridge, England) and a M.A. in Secondary English Education from University of Phoenix in 2004. Gates been an English teacher at schools in Baltimore County for 11 years, and has taught at Ridgely M.S. for three years.

Her poetry has been published in The Poetry Guild, which is a series of books that’s distributed to libraries across the country. Gates also coaches students at Ridgely M.S. on their original poetry and helps them prepare it for publication in an annual school anthology called The Inkling.

Along with her full time teaching job, Gates has also been a private tutor. She worked in South Korea for several summers as an English tutor for elementary school children in the Gangnam District of Seoul. This year, she joined the newly launched Sylvan In-Home, which provides personalized one-on-one instruction for kindergarten through high school students. Gates tutors students in math and reading and integrates Sylvan’s custom educational software, which runs on an iPad, into her sessions.

“In other tutoring programs, the tutors assign work, score the results, then help if needed, but Sylvan In-Home has tremendous engagement between the tutors, parents, and students,” said Gates. “This approach is very effective, and it’s exciting when it helps my students to understand and fully grasp what we’re working on. W.B. Yeats said it best: ‘Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.’ Tutoring doesn’t just light my students’ fires, it also refuels mine as an educator.”