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I have been a tutor for many years. I have my Bachelors in Mathematics, my Masters in Math Secondary Education, and teach at a local urban high school. I love teaching, especially math and SAT Prep. I feel like those subjects cause the most anxiety, and my job is to undo the stigma of difficulty surrounding these subjects, and help students embrace their potential. I tutor elementary, middle and high school math and English, and elementary and middle school science. I also tutor SAT Prep, including study skills and tips and tricks for students with ADD/ADHD and anxiety and depression. My children have taught me a new level of patience, and I think my tutoring reflects that. My teaching philosophy is simple: find out who your student is, and teach them. Just them. They are the most important person in the room, focus on just what they need. Outside of teaching, I love leading crafting classes at my local libraries, knitting, reading, TV, movies, exploring new foods and places, and dogs. My favorite things to do include walking my dog, read, or create art with stained glass or knitting.

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Vanessa’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Gateway Community College - Associates, Liberal Arts and Sciences


Math, teaching, libraries, reading, knitting, other handicrafts, Girl Scouts

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade Math

11th Grade Math

1st Grade Math

2nd Grade Math

3rd Grade Math

4th Grade Math

5th Grade Math

6th Grade Math

7th Grade Math

8th Grade Math


Algebra 2


College Algebra

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math



Middle School Math







SAT Prep

SAT Math

SAT Mathematics

SAT Reading

SAT Writing and Language

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Test Prep




Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

No two students are the same. Find out how to teach who you have, and teach them the way they need to be taught.

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

Ask questions about how they like school, their anxieties and fears, and their goals. Do not ask about grades unless they bring it up. Then give them a basic assessment.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Point out what their strengths are, and praise them. Find out what their weaknesses are, and teach them to overcome them. Most students have a confidence problem, first and foremost.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Stress to them two things: one, aim for doing better than they did the week before. Two, that no one cares what grade you got when you are an adult.

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

Find ways to strengthen their weak area(s) with games, easy problems, or real-life applications that make sense to them.

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

Tell them that I had the same problem, too. Tell them many people suffer with it in school because of the anxiety they feel about testing and homework. Tell them there is nothing wrong with them.

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

Be patient, open, and honest. And ask a few questions first, instead of just diving right in. Students need to feel heard.

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

Let them know that it's okay to not like every subject you have. I still don't like physics or economics. And remind them that not everyone can be good at everything!

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

Ask them to explain it back to you. Sometimes the best way is the easier way.

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

Tell them that you struggled in a subject, and what worked for you to build your confidence. Real-life stories help students relate to you.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Ask a few basic questions about how they like school, what subjects are their favorites, and if they feel anxious in any particular subject. Then ask to see their homework. If open to it, administer a quick assessment test.

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

If you learn that a student is a visual learner, you need to focus on writing and rewriting problems. If you learn that they are interactive, you need a combination of lecture instruction and writing. You need to find out who they are, and tailor to what gels with them.

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

One textbook, mechanical pencils, a calculator available, stacks of lined paper, blank paper, graph paper, water, and a healthy snack or gum.

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