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I am a current high school English teacher. I graduated from the University of San Diego with a dual degree in English and Sociology, with a criminology emphasis. I have extensive experience tutoring in the formal academic setting as well as more informal settings. I have tutored students from grades 7 through 12th as well as college students at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional level. I was always an advanced student in high school, so I wanted to help my peers and other students with their subjects. In high school, I took a wide range of AP classes (AP language, AP Literature, AP European History, AP US History, AP Government, AP Psychology, and AP Biology).I tutored many of my peers for all of the listed AP classes while and after I was enrolled in these courses. I have been tutoring formally since I was in 12th grade. I tutored two 8th grade students for an entire year on all subject areas. We focused on study skills, test prep, text anxiety, and reading and writing for all subject areas. Due to my success on AP tests and tutoring experience in high school, I feel very confident teaching the skills necessary to perform well in these classes and similar classes.

Upon entering high school, I continued to tutor in the wider San Diego community. I tutored at a middle school in which there were 23 different languages spoken, which allowed me to become a more flexible tutor because I had to find strategies to not only tutor specific subjects, but to also help students new to the US with their English language acquisition in order for them to be more successful in all of their classes. I also tutored at a community center which serviced all students k through college. At this center, I was able to help students not only with academics but also with the college admissions process, job applications, and readiness skills for their future endeavors.

Also in college, I tutored for four years at the university writing center. It was here that I was able to strengthen my ability to tutor all types of writing at a multitude of levels. While at the writing center, I had the opportunity to tutor individuals who were trying to pass the TOEFL to enter American universities, freshmen students struggling with college writing, business students, upperclassmen in advanced courses, and masters/PhD candidates on their thesis papers. Because of this experience, I feel completely comfortable tutoring all types of writing and at any stage of the writing process. I love to brainstorm fiction, non-fiction, technical, or analysis writing, discuss literature or research, or help students perfect their grammar and mechanical skills.

Lastly, as a high school teacher, I have had the opportunity to hone my skills of teaching to a variety of learning styles and personalities. At the high school level, I have taught 10th grade (EOC/STAAR) and 12th grade (Honors, On Level, and AP Literature) in Dallas, Texas. These experiences have allowed me to apply real research and pedagogy to my tutoring sessions because I now have a stronger grasp of what is required of students at the high school, state, and university levels. I have seen growth in my students through my teaching by the increase in their STAAR and AP scores as well as through their daily writing and reading ability. From these years in the classrooms, I have a multitude of resources that I can use to help any child increase their reading, writing, and speaking abilities in order for them to excel in the classroom.

Tutoring is a passion of mine because it allows me to help others grow and learn more outside of the classroom. I thoroughly enjoy when a student finds a new passion in learning and/or their education.

Although I am new-ish to Texas (I have been here since June 2013), I have quickly learned to love the culture and people of Texas. In San Antonio, I love the opportunity to hike, kayak, float the river, and practice outdoor yoga all year round!

I look forward to working with you and your family!

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Toni’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of San Diegp - Bachelor in Arts, English and Sociology

Graduate Degree: UT San Antonio - Masters in Education, Higher Education - Student Affairs


Reading, Yoga, Hiking, and Travelling

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

12th Grade Reading

12th Grade Writing

6th Grade Reading

6th Grade Writing

7th Grade Reading

7th Grade Writing

8th Grade Reading

8th Grade Writing

9th Grade Reading

9th Grade Writing

ACT Writing

Adult Literacy

Advanced Placement Prep

American Literature

AP English Literature and Composition


British Literature


CAHSEE English

College English

College Essays

College Level American Literature

Comparative Literature

Creative Writing

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing


English Grammar and Syntax


Essay Editing

Expository Writing

Fiction Writing


High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing

Introduction to Fiction

Introduction to Poetry


Middle School Reading

Middle School Writing

Persuasive Writing

Poetry Writing

Public Speaking







Study Skills and Organization


Test Prep

US History


World Literature


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is that teachers and tutors should be guides on the side, not sages on the stage. This means that a teacher or tutor should be a guide and a mentor to the student during their learning process, instead of simply giving them facts, figures, and information to memorize and regurgitate. Ultimately, I believe that teachers are a source for students, but not the ultimate answer, because all students have the ability to learn anything they desire.

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

I like to spend the beginning of my first session getting to know students. Especially their interests inside and outside of school allow me to help motivate or connect information with a student in later sessions.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I help students become independent learners by asking questions constantly, and giving them the time and space to form an answer or opinion on their own. Along with this, I try to positively praise students on both small and large achievements during our sessions. This allows students to recognize their own knowledge and capabilities in order to eventually take full ownership of their learning.

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

I have discussions with students about what has and has not worked for them before in order to develop creative ways to help them learn the skill or concept.

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

I help students struggling with reading comprehension by identifying what the root of the issue is (e.g. vocabulary, fluency, interest, etc.). After diagnosing this, I develop appropriate strategies to help them.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

- Building a relationship with the student to better understand their interests, concerns, etc. - Discussing with the students their personal and academic goals and connecting that to our work - Using different types of learning strategies based on the learner

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I always try to connect their struggling subject to something that they are passionate about or interested in. That way, the student is more likely to see the relevancy of what they are studying, which helps to motivate/engage them.

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