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I have extensive experience as both a high school English teacher and a tutor. My areas of expertise include SAT writing, college essays, and general high school and college level essays. My students have reported significant increases in both their test scores and overall academic performance. I am dedicated to helping each student achieve his/her personal goals in an effective and efficient manner.

Tom’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: U.C.L.A - Bachelors, English

Graduate Degree: Pepperdine - Masters, Educational Administration


Travel and music -especially Jazz!

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade Reading

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

ACCUPLACER Language Use Prep

ACCUPLACER WritePlacer Prep

ACT English

ACT Writing

Adult Literacy

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing


English Grammar and Syntax


Essay Editing

High School English

High School Writing


Middle School Reading

Middle School Writing

PSAT Critical Reading


SAT Reading

SAT Writing and Language

Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in helping each student find his or her strengths, and focusing those strengths on completing tasks in an effective and efficient manner.

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

I would want to get to know a student's background (school, classes, hobbies, interests, etc.). We would discuss goals (higher test scores, better grades, etc.) and set a measurable timeline and benchmarks for achieving those goals. I would also to do quick reading and writing assessments to assist me in preparing relevant materials for future sessions.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I help students recognize the tips and strategies necessary for success in classes, test preparation, and life in general. These include goal-setting, time management, process writing, and recognizing success.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I believe in having measurable and achievable outcomes for everything I do with students.

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

I will go back to the foundation of the particular concept, and ensure that the student has the necessary skills and knowledge to proceed.

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

I utilize various annotation and active reading strategies, depending on the purpose of the reading.

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

Helping students discover their personal motivation and showing them strategies to achieve success in an efficient manner.

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

I believe in showing students the ultimate value in any element of curriculum. For example, the various branches of the military have proficiency benchmarks, and many employers are administering reading and writing assessments to applicants.

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

I use both formative (benchmark) and summative assessments, using multiple measures to check for understanding.

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

By providing measurable and achievable goals, and recognizing success immediately.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Using objective measures such as grades, benchmarks, and test scores, as well as informal measures such as conversations with both students and parents.

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

Each student has an individual plan which can be adapted at any time based on observed or stated needs.

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

Sample assessments, practice exercises, and any school-related materials students may need to complete.