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I'm a lifelong learner and knowledge enthusiast. My parents were both teachers (now retired), and so I understand the value of good education. I am a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and have a dual degree in literature and theater. Since graduation, I have worked in the the Los Angeles and Orange County areas as a technical writer, screenwriter, and corporate trainer. My fields of specialty are writing, literature, and languages. Currently, I'm tutoring in every form of writing you can imagine... creative writing, screenwriting and film, technical writing, expository prose and literature. I also tutor Spanish, ASL (American Sign Language), and elementary math. I like to get to know my students and their learning style so that I can tailor my methods to meet their specific needs. I look forward to working with you!

Joe’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Berkeley - Bachelors, English and Dramatic Arts


Film, Languages, Travel, Snowboarding

Tutoring Subjects

College English

Conversational Spanish

Creative Writing


High School English



Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Technical Writing



Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

There's always a solution to a problem, whether through creativity or knowledge.

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

Building rapport and finding things in common will set the foundation for a good working relationship and comfort level. Then, a casual assessment is important to see what the student knows, and where I can help fill in the gaps.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I like the student to come up with the answer on their own, using the knowledge they already have. That instills confidence and better cognitive skills for future learning success.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

No matter how minor the success, I like to offer encouragement. When the student faces a challenge, I like to reassure him/her of their existing skills while simultaneously making sure they feel supported through the learning process.

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

There are many ways to teach a concept. If one method isn't working, I need to find what works for that particular student. We can try different approaches to see what works best.

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

I build on their existing comprehension to start from a foundation of confidence. Then, we can try various methods, such as evaluating the overall purpose of the text or looking at structural elements. Lastly, we can drill vocabulary for more difficult words and concepts.

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

I can't stress enough how important rapport building and staying positive are when working with a new student. They need to feel understood and heard rather than lectured to.

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

Struggling in a subject is no fun. Sometimes, a little creativity can do the trick. I would find ways to relate the subject to the student's own experiences, or engage them in a game or exercise that challenges them to think differently about the subject.

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

I like to ask a lot of questions to make sure the student is engaged and following along. After, we can review the material together to make sure they will retain what they've just learned.

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

I gain confidence in anything through knowledge, and that knowledge comes in small steps. I would reassure the student that their confidence will come as their knowledge increases, and that it's not easy but certainly attainable. Staying positive with the student is key.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I like to assess a student before I even start working with them on the material. I need to know what pre-existing knowledge they have before I can evaluate their needs. I also need to know specifically what they are trying to learn and also how they learn, so that I can tailor my material and methods to best suit the situation.

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

While working with the student, I'll get a good idea of their learning speed, preferred learning method, and overall ability. I can adapt my own teaching speed and methods based on their needs.

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

My materials vary based on the subject, but for languages I have online language practice resources and dictionaries, foreign language practice videos, and apps. For literature, grammar, and writing, I have the source material and online teaching aids.