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I received my Bachelor's and Masters degrees from the University at Buffalo in English Literature and am halfway through getting certified to teach

I've been tutoring professionally for about two years now. I mostly tutor Math, English (Reading/Writing), and Spanish but am also able to help in History/Social Studies, as well as college essays.

My favorite subject to tutor is probably English, not only because it's my main area of interest, but also because I feel like it's more open than the others. This allows for a more unique and creative approach, rather than the single, systematic way of doing things. In addition, I believe that reading is extremely crucial in helping understand the complexities of the world, of our differences, and the reasons for those differences.

My teaching style is focused primarily on trying to get the student to really want to not only improve in the areas that they're struggling, but also to want to learn in general - to understand the value of knowledge. In addition, I make it a point to ask questions in attempts to make the student think, rather than simply showing/telling them the answer/how to do it.

My interests include Movies and TV, music, sports, and food.

Carmen’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University at Buffalo - Bachelors, English Literature

Graduate Degree: University at Buffalo - Masters, English Literature


movies, tv, sports, reading, music, writing, travel, art, photography

Tutoring Subjects


Algebra 2

College Algebra

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

Conversational Spanish


High School English







Spanish 1

Spanish 2


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

To inspire in my student the motivation to want to learn for themselves and help them along the way.

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

Briefly get to know them, tell them the plan for our session, assess their strengths and weaknesses, begin to address some of the things they're struggling with, review, and give them some work to do on their own to help them retain what they've learned.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By showing them the value of knowledge and helping them get to the point where they actually want to learn.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

By explaining to them both the short and long-term benefits of learning and being motivated, as well as the issues that they'll otherwise face.

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

Identify the problem and try to help them through it without simply telling them what to do. I ask questions and if possible try to get them to visualize it.

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

Mostly a lot of practice, but also getting them to ask questions about what they're reading, why they're reading it, how it's written, who wrote it, why, and who the intended audience is. Or I will have them try to remember what they read and recite it back to me, though in their own words and when they struggle I ask questions to help them through it and/or make them go back and reread it.

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

Asking questions, using real life examples, repetition, and visualizing the problem.

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

By asking them why they don't like it and explaining that they won't always think that way. I'd tell them I used to only be a math person and I didn't care about English or History, and I regret it because I'm an English and History person now. I'd try to help them see the value in all knowledge and the benefits of motivating oneself to try harder in their areas of struggle.

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

Ask questions about it and make them paraphrase in their own words.

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

By showing them their strengths, weaknesses, and progress. As well as by setting goals, reaching them, and rewarding them for their efforts.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

By looking at all areas for signs of problems or struggles, both initially and in terms of progression.

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

By testing to see what works best and sticking with it, though still trying out new things here and there to push the student.

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

Books, homework assignments, practice problems (both numbers and word problems), spelling lists, notebooks, and a journal where I can document their progress.