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I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2006 with a B.A. in Classics and taught Middle School Latin and History the following autumn. While I took great pleasure in teaching classes, I found the most enjoyment working with students individually. Helping them learn and watching as they gained confidence in their ability made my decision to become a full time tutor an obvious choice.

I tutor Latin and Ancient Greek. My approach is socratic: I ask questions to help the student get to the answer. We work through each word, as that is what is necessary to learn for a dead language. The success of my students is shown in their rising confidence, rising grades and high A.P. and S.A.T. scores.

My hobbies include reading and teaching myself math.

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Sonya’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Berkeley - Bachelor in Arts, Classical Civilization


Reading, learning math

Tutoring Subjects



Latin 1

Latin 2

Latin 3

Latin 4

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My method is Socratic; I ask the student questions so that he or she can get the answer without me telling them directly.

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

Typically, the student and I will work through the most recent class work or homework. This allows me to assess what the student knows and what the teacher's expectations are up to this point.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

In Latin, one must look at what each word in the sentence is doing. We will review specific grammatical concepts over and over until the student has grasped the idea independent of my asking. In our next lesson, I will make sure that the student has kept up with the studying and see if they need to review the concepts from the last lesson before moving on.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I remind my students that studying Latin and ancient Greek is about studying the peoples of those times. Yes it is important to know the grammar solidly, but it is just as important to remember that they are working to read Caesar and Catullus, Homer and Herodotus.

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

Each person learns in their own way. It is my responsibility to find out which way each student learns. If a verbal explanation does not work, then I try a written explanation or a visual explanation.

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