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I have been working with Varsity Tutors for several years, and I specialize in writing essays and reading comprehension. I have worked with a wide range of students, from the beginning reading stages in elementary school, to the college level. I have experience working with students of different learning abilities, and am patient with them and their varied learning styles. Within a Brooklyn program called "Bridge the Gap," I have taught an English Language Arts summer course for students in 9th-12th grade, in preparation for the New York State Regents Exams. I am familiar with the expectations of this exam, along with Common Core standards in ELA. I have also taught an ELA course for 7th and 8th graders for the same program. We focused on reading comprehension, critical thinking skills, and essay writing. As a tutor for another program at a CUNY school in Brooklyn, I provided academic assistance for students with writing essays, reading collegiate level works, and keeping up with the rigors of their schoolwork. Throughout my career in New York City I have gained extensive experience in the academic publishing world. I have a keen eye for catching mistakes in publications and legal documents, and I apply this skill to help students improve on this important step in essay writing. As a tutor and teacher, I enjoy working with students and building a supportive relationship with them. I believe that a trusting relationship can help a student feel confident in their academic strengths, and I encourage them to work hard on their skills that need practice and improvement. I have earned a BA in English/Creative Writing from Allegheny College, a liberal arts school in Pennsylvania. In 2010 I received my MFA in Poetry from The New School in NYC.

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Jessica’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Allegheny College - Bachelor in Arts, English, Creative Writing Track

Graduate Degree: The New School - Master of Fine Arts, Poetry


Currently edits literature for major publishing company.

Tutoring Subjects

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature


English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School English




Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

This is usually a challenge that can be overcome after several sessions with a student, but I think that it's important to work towards boosting a student's confidence during every session. In many situations, a student feels bogged down by what they don't understand. I do my best to work with them to find an understanding on a subject, but to also point out to them that they DO know some things and that they will continue to get better with practice. I also think that offering some empathy with their frustration helps. I know how tough it can be on students to improve, and I think that recognizing their frustration can be a big help. It's realistic to feel discouraged when you don't understand something, but it's even more realistic to recognize that you can still get better as you continue to read more, write more, and improve with time.

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

I like to spend the first few minutes getting to know my student and understanding what they are hoping to gain from our sessions. What are they struggling with? What would like they like to improve on? With younger students, I like to interact with their parents too and ask questions on the goals they'd like to help set for their child.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

It's important in my role as a tutor to encourage my students to take an active role in their academic success. When students say things like "I'll get to it" or "I'll do it later", it doesn't make changes in their learning situation, or in their study habits. I like to have students write down their tasks and goals in their calendars, to meet with that teacher that they need to see as soon as they can. Or to go over that section in the book and re-read with them during our session. We take active steps during sessions, and write down ways for them to be continuously active during their school time. I push students to do the small steps ASAP so that they can gear towards the big improvements in their performance and self-confidence.

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