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Sara

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I assist students with issues pertaining to both standard and AP English language, literature, essay and creative writing, Social Studies, reading comprehension, speech writing and presentation methods, organization, time management, and overall study skills. I tutor and mentor students from grade school through college, working to build their confidence, skill set, and love of learning. I enjoy continuing my own education in tutoring best-practices and expanding my knowledge base.

I graduated from California State University, Channel Islands with a Bachelor's degree in English, and a minor in Business Management. I graduated Summa Cum Laude, maintaining a 3.94 gpa, and tutored university students in writing, test prep, and research skills.

I then attended the University of Southern California and obtained my Master's in Public Administration, with a focus in Non-Profit Management.

I now have my own business and tutor part-time. I am happy to speak with you over the phone initially to ensure my background and experiences will benefit your student. Looking forward to meeting you!

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Sara’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: California State University-Channel Islands - Bachelors, English

Graduate Degree: University of Southern California - Masters, Public Administration - Nonprofit Management

Hobbies

Scuba diving, hiking, yoga, geocaching, cats, gardening, and traveling.

Tutoring Subjects

AP European History

AP United States History

AP US History

College English

College Essays

College Level American History

Comparative Literature

English

Essay Editing

European History

Graduate Test Prep

GRE Verbal

High School English

High School Level American History

History

Literature

PSAT Critical Reading

PSAT Writing Skills

Public Speaking

Reading

SAT Reading

SAT Writing and Language

Social studies

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Test Prep

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

No student learns the same as another. It's my job to figure out how you learn and how best to explain a concept so you fully understand it.

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

I ask broad questions about school in general, liked and disliked subjects, and how they manage school and life. I like to drill down to find the root of the problem, whether it may be issues understanding information in class, time management, or a lack of interest in a topic. Once we come up with a clear issue, I like to create a plan with the student on how to solve it; then get to work!

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I'm all about passing on the tools of the trade. I always bring handouts with me that may help a student become a better learner. While I think tutoring can help anyone, tutors are really only there to get students to a point where they can continue learning and achieving on their own.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Keeping an eye on the big picture is key. Want to go to college? Is there a trade school you're interested in? Whatever big goals are ahead, look at how this class or this assignment is a small step in that direction.

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

I would try other ways of explaining the concept or take a break. Sometimes, changing topics and coming back gives students a new perspective or view of the topic at hand.

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

I have many different note-taking techniques and ways of organizing thoughts and ideas. These tend to help learners like me, who have poor short term memories. Keeping track of the main idea can be very helpful in starting to understand the details of a story or concept.

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

Staying positive is more helpful! No one likes to struggle, so if I can show that learning is fun and struggling is not wrong, the student has a better chance of being willing to learn. Negativity does not help learning at all.

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

Sometimes, I make a connection to their life; how will this information help them later on? If we can't find an easy connection, I'll share why it's exciting to me or others. Sometimes, it's just about challenging the student on outcomes. I might ask, "Wouldn't it be great to improve your grade?"

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I use a few different techniques depending on the topic or situation: quizzing out of textbooks, asking the student to teach me the topic, or doing extra problems or additional worksheets.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Praise is a huge part of tutoring. Even a little achievement of getting an answer correct or even partially correct is huge. As confidence builds, students are more willing to learn and take chances to extend and challenge their knowledge.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

A mix of talking and testing is important. I'll always ask students first what they want help with. If I have a feeling it's something else, I'll test them on the knowledge directly. Between those two ways, I can narrow down what's really needed.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

It may be the way I'm sitting, talking, or moving during the session. It may be more specific with how I'm explaining a topic. I'm always watching the student to see if I need to make changes. I know sometimes students don't want to say they don't understand me, so I'll just ask.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Depending on the subject, I can have my laptop and tutoring binder with me. These have lots of worksheets and handouts. I also tend to carry "fidget" items, small toys that help some people focus. The Internet is always a great resource, and I have lots of "go-to" websites in my arsenal.


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