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I am relatively new to the Bay Area having moved here from Portland within the last year. In Portland, I worked as a school counselor at the high school level. I have also worked with elementary and middle school students. I have a master's degree from Portland State University.

I believe in building student strengths in order to achieve their scholastic and personal goals. Gaining skills and mastery of concepts is necessary for improved self-efficacy and academic success. Sometimes that means a fresh look at the material; sometimes it means a small amount of rote learning such as with multiplication tables. Using games and motivational tools takes most of the blah out of such tasks. I tutor test prep, math through Algebra I, US History, literature, grammar, and reading.

I can also help with organizational skills and time management. This requires an individualized approach and some trial and error until finding a system that works for the particular student.

I look forward to meeting you and your student and helping them reach their academic potential.

Karyn’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Portland State University - Bachelor of Science, Sociology

Graduate Degree: Portland State University - Master of Science, School Counseling


Reading, personal fitness, fantasy baseball

Tutoring Subjects



College English

College Essays

College Level American History

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math


English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School English

High School Level American History


ISEE- Middle Level


Middle School Math

Middle School Science


SAT Prep

SAT Math

SAT Reading


Social studies

Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in finding ways for all students to succeed, in whatever ways success means to them. Building concrete skills is necessary for students to take the next step and think creatively.

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

I would arrive early and introduce myself to the student and the parent. I'd talk a little about my background and find out what the student and I have in common. I'd try to learn the goals of the student and parent and how best I can help meet those goals. Then I'd look over the materials available--textbooks, notes, assignment log, etc., and figure out where to start.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I would start by showing organizational skills and how to break down problems into smaller chunks. Often the trouble is that students get overwhelmed, and don't know where to begin. Figuring out to do what you know how to do often makes it easier to see what the next step will be. This process will reduce anxiety and allow the student to better process the material.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

If I see a student's interest falling, I would change things up a little. Maybe they just need a stretch break. If it's a larger issue, I'd talk with them about what they want to do, their goals in school and after, and then try to relate what we're working on to their success in achieving those goals. If the problem persists, I would consult with the parent.

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

First, I'd try backing up and breaking it down into smaller chunks. Possibly they haven't fully learned the previous concept and that's what's blocking them here. I can try using different language or relating the concept to something they enjoy. Sometimes a short stretch break or moving on to something else and circling back later can help.