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Brittany

Hello, Students! I’ve recently moved to Santa Monica from the SF East Bay area, where I’ve been successfully teaching English at the community college level for the past three years. I'm a master at helping even the most reluctant students improve their English skills and look forward to tutoring students from 6th grade through college.

My qualifications for tutoring English are strong. In addition to my teaching experience, I hold a BA in English from UC Santa Barbara, a MA in English from NYU, was a Provost’s PhD Fellow at USC, and have been a member of the Bay Area Honors Faculty since 2014. I am also a published writer.

I have specific, effective strategies for different learning styles and love accommodating diverse backgrounds. I also take special pride in making English fun, even for students who think they hate it. ;)

I look forward to tutoring you!

Undergraduate Degree:

 University of California-Santa Barbara - Bachelors, English

Graduate Degree:

 New York University - Masters, English

GRE Verbal: 164

Running, yoga, creative writing, peace and social justice, beach life.

Adult Literacy

American Literature

College English

College Level American Literature

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing

High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is that all students can and should learn to become excellent readers, writers, and critical thinkers. This philosophy stems from my deep belief that English is empowering, both as a mode of personal expression and as a means to navigate our highly textual, increasingly virtual world. The ability to read and write well has allowed me, at various points in my life, to attend prestigious universities, secure full-time employment, engage in critical discourse, and create art. I teach to help empower students in similar ways. In my experience, teaching requires patience, creativity, and flexibility, all of which I use and model in dynamic lesson plans. It also requires building students' confidence in their own voices and demonstrating that our collective knowledge is lacking until everyone's position is articulated and heard. My emphasis on self-articulation, respect, and empathy also helps foster appreciation for diversity of perspective, of style, of form, both within the classroom and outside of it. And, because I believe in the potential of all my students, I always keep my standards very high.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In a typical first session, I'll spend several minutes getting to know you personally. I'll first ask what your experience with school is like. Do you love it? Do you hate it? What are your favorite subjects and why? What are your most hated subjects and why? Then, I'll ask more specific questions about your skills in English class--how you feel about your teacher, what you're struggling with, etc. so that I can get a good idea of the best tutoring strategies to help you learn. From there, we'll dig into whatever assignment is most pressing for you. I'll help you break down the assignment, figure out the most important areas to tackle first, and start immediately building skills to produce the best results. I'll give you a chance to practice a concrete skill on your own, and then we'll talk about how it all went. At the end of the first session, we'll set up a specific tutoring plan catered to your needs, emphasizing the biggest areas of concern or development first and then working our way down to the more granular (smaller) issues.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

My goal is to help you become an independent learner as soon as possible. In addition to English skills, I will help you develop "learner" skills, including how to break down any problem or assignment in any subject, how to set up a study plan and stick to it, how to research questions you don't already know, how to overcome procrastination and self-doubt, and how to develop relationships with your teachers and peers so that you always have a network of support. These are skills I've developed for myself and have taught countless students over the years.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I will help you stay motivated by consistently checking in with you on your "bigger picture" goals. Sometimes with school, we get bogged down in the little annoying stuff--assignments, schedules, test scores, grades, difficult teachers--and we lose sight of the beauty that is education. Education is the one thing no one can ever take away from you. It's one of the few things that you can really make your own. So, when you're feeling down or distracted, I'll ask you what you want your education to do for you, whether it's setting yourself up for college, a career, personal enrichment, or all of those things, and I'll help you see why pushing through in this moment will actually help you get there. I also have several great tricks for overcoming procrastination and writer's block at every grade level, which I'm excited to share with you when the time comes.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

If you have difficulty learning a skill or concept, I will work with you to figure out exactly what the problem is without ever getting frustrated or running out of creative ways to help. The first thing I'll do is get a sense of how you feel about this difficulty. Are you frustrated? Do you not care? Are you motivated to overcome? Do you feel like giving up? Once I know where your head's at, I'll be able to dig into my bag of teaching tricks and pull out the best strategy. It might be that we just need to slow down, break it down, and practice, practice, practice. It might be that the way you're being taught doesn't work for your learning style, in which case I'll come up with an alternative teaching plan that's better suited for you. It might be that you just don't feel understood or heard in your class, in which case I'll help you tailor your expression in a way that will get results from your peers and teachers. Whatever the issue is, I'm here to help. And I won't stop until you've learned the skill you need to learn.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

If you're struggling with reading comprehension, I'll teach you a systematic way to break down anything you read in order to understand it. First, I'll ask you to read the passage aloud. After you're done, I'll ask you to verbally tell me what you read. If you can't, I'll then have you go back to the passage and break it down into chunks. After reading a certain set of sentences, I'll have you stop and write a summary note of main points and questions on anything you don't understand. You'll do this until you reach the end of the passage. Then, we'll go back and look at your notes and questions. By reading just your notes, you'll start to see what information you do understand and what information you don't. We'll then go back to the text to look for areas where you're still confused and figure out what the problem is. Is there vocabulary you don't understand? If so, I'll help you look for context clues in the text to develop a working definition. We'll also start a vocabulary building list. Is the grammar and syntax throwing you off? If so, I'll show you how to isolate subjects and main verbs to decode even the most complex sentences. Is the concept simply outside your understanding? If so, I'll teach you how to draw analogies and ask questions of the text. Finally, I'll remind you that reading is an incredibly difficult task. It's kind of a magic trick that the human brain sometimes has a hard time pulling off. If you're struggling, you're not alone! But, the great thing is that everyone can learn how to read with determination and the right support.