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Helping others excel is a goal I have been striving for since high school. While I have mentored and tutored many students since then, I feel this goal can never be completely met because there are always students that need help learning and growing. I am someone who considers herself a lifelong student as well, for I am constantly seeking out knowledge to better myself and to expand upon the information that I already have. However, in this endless process, I feel it is my duty to pass along all that I can to whoever wants or needs to know it. In my experience, when students know that they aren't the only ones learning, they are more comfortable and willing to complete the task at hand.

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Studies with a self-created concentration in Community Organizing, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies, both from Pitzer College. I am also a graduate of Marylhurst University where I earned my Master of Business Administration in Sustainable Business and Natural Resource Management. I have traveled to over 25 different countries and have lived on 3 of the 7 continents. While living in South Korea, I taught English to middle school students for a year and upon moving back to the U.S. immediately returned to tutoring. While the subjects I tutor run the gamut, I am most excited about History (World, African, & African- American), Earth and Life Sciences, Literature, and Social Studies, because they deal the most with transforming how we see the world.

In my free time, this theme of self-improvement and transformation continues. I am a part of several community organizations surrounding environmental justice, holistic wellness, and education. I enjoy reading, watching documentaries, traveling, gardening, and attending art and music events.

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Tarah’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Pitzer College - Bachelors, Organizational Studies & Africana Studies

Graduate Degree: Marylhurst University - Masters, Sustainable Business and Natural Resource Management


traveling the world, music, art, urban planning, permaculture, food justice, reading, documentaries, sci-fi & fantasy, herbalism

Tutoring Subjects

African History

African-American History


College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

Conversational Spanish

Earth Science

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math


Environmental Science


Essay Editing

High School English

Homework Support


Latin 1

Life Sciences



Middle School Math




Social Studies


Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization



Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is that learning should be as fun and engaging as possible. I have found that this is the best way to hold students' attention and help them retain information.

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

A typical first session with me typically involves sharing a lot of information and stories about my life that I feel would be of interest to the student, as well as asking the student to share. This helps them to open up, not be so nervous during sessions, and be more receptive to tutoring advice.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I help students become independent learners by serving only as a guide. I help them to understand the material and what they are supposed to do but they are responsible for doing the work. Asking them with questions about the task at hand ensures the student is always engaged and thinking. I make it clear that they are in control of their success or failure.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I help students stay motivated by regular positive reinforcement and affirmations of their good work. I also think it's important not to micromanage the student.

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

I do my best to make the material relevant to them. For example, if it's a math problem, using their interests to explain it is invaluable. Also, oftentimes it isn't the actual concept but the student’s confidence and nerves that hinder them. Making the student as comfortable with me as possible really makes a difference.

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

Students struggling with reading comprehension, especially older students, need to feel as normal as possible in my opinion. I help them by telling them a few things that I struggled with in school. Reading material that is interesting to the student is very important. Teaching learning strategies so they can continue to excel on their own and build confidence is crucial as well.

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

I have found that taking a good amount of time to get to know each other builds a great foundation for comfortability and confidence. Asking fundamental questions with the regular material is also important for me in order to gauge if there is a deeper cause to a student's academic problem(s).

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