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I have been retired from professional psychology for three years. I have enjoyed spending time as an information volunteer at the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, and I help with the care of my young grandson. In my free time I love reading, music, and learning Spanish.

All of my life I have enjoyed learning new skills and solving problems. When something has to be done, I want to solve the challenge of finding the easiest and simplest way to achieve that goal. I want to meet people where they are and together discover where they would like to be. I want to agree on the best goals, and the best way to achieve those goals.

I enjoy working with children and adults one on one or in small groups. My first step would be to get to know you. What do you enjoy? What excites you? What do you want to achieve? What are you most fearful about. What frustrates you? We will work together to set the best goals, and to decide how to reach them.

I am looking forward to getting to know you and to start working together on reaching your goals.

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Laraine’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Marymount College - Bachelors, Psychology

Graduate Degree: Wayne State University - PHD, Psychology


Reading both fiction and nonfiction, I volunteer at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and I enjoy classical music. I also enjoy caring for my young grandson, two days a week, and I study Spanish.

Tutoring Subjects

College English


High School English


Public Speaking


Social Sciences


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in clarity. We need to both be aware of the goal, and any problems that make it difficult to reach that goal.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I encourage students to start the task on their own, until a problem is reached. Then I become a coach: look for options, correct misunderstanding, model a correct response, then encourage doing it by himself or herself. Praise success.

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

I would identify the difficulty: is it misunderstanding the instruction, misuse of a previously learned skill, or lack of background information? Then, I would clarify what was needed to achieve the skill or concept.

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

When students struggle with reading comprehension, I would look for skills first: are they able to read the material accurately and quickly enough for it to be meaningful?. Then, look for purpose: what is the item, about what is it saying? I would help the student look at keywords that clarify the meaning of the paragraph or the story.

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

Understanding the problem that they are having, and setting clear agreed upon goals. Finding ways for us both to enjoy the experience. Provide ways to achieve progress right away.

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

Success has its own pleasure, so finding ways for the student to make good progress would help them engage in the subject. I'd also allow them some time and ways to celebrate their own progress.

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

I believe the best way to be sure is to provide a new item for the student to demonstrate that knowledge.

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

Progress from one step to another, as we achieve their goals. I would note the student's progress. I would reduce the fear of failure because it is a learning opportunity.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Start with getting to know the student. What do they want to achieve? What is causing problems in their learning? How will they know when they have reached the goals that they have set?

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

When we know what our goals are, then we both know what we need to do. I would work to identify lacking skills and remediate those, encourage attempts at the material, and celebrate success.

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

I would use the materials that are provided by the school to start. Otherwise, there are attractive books and practice materials online and in stores.

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

I would spend approximately ten minutes getting to know the student: likes and dislikes, where the student is in the family, what happens in school, and what is difficult? Some information about the problem would come from the parent and the school. Then, I would start with the issue that appears to be the most pressing for the student.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Success is a great motivator, so learning something at each session would be important. Rewards, praise, and time are beneficial for success. Recognizing that the child can now do something that he or she was not able to do earlier is the best motivator.

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