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I've tutored a varying range of both children and adults in the field of writing, reading, and literature comprehension. I'm patient and understand that there are multiple ways to teach a student and try to adapt my personal style to fit the need of the student I'm helping. Organization and time management allow me to get a large amount of work done and make the most out of each session. From teaching phonics and rudimentary reading skills to close readings of novels and poetry and even essay structure, I'm confident with my abilities to help any student in need succeed. The students teach me as much as I teach them and together we enrich our minds and expand our abilities.

Marina’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Santa Cruz - Bachelors, English Literature

Graduate Degree: California State University-Sacramento - Current Grad Student, English Literature


Dance, cooking, hiking, going on adventures, reading, spending time with family and friends

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade Reading

11th Grade Reading

12th Grade Reading

1st Grade Reading

2nd Grade Reading

3rd Grade Reading

4th Grade Reading

5th Grade Reading

6th Grade Reading

7th Grade Reading

8th Grade Reading

9th Grade Reading

Adult Literacy

Comparative Literature

Elementary School

Elementary School Reading

Homework Support


Middle School Reading



Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Each student learns differently, and it is up to educators and tutors to acknowledge that sometimes what works for one student won't work for another. Flexibility and adaptability will ensure that every student knows that success is possible.

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

Take a moment to introduce myself and ask some questions of my student. I want them to feel comfortable telling me where they struggle and what they need help on, and that can't happen if they don't think I'm actually here to listen and help. Taking students of all ages seriously is a key component, and establishing this respect in the first session is absolutely necessary. We'll not only discuss weak areas and areas where development is needed, but we'll discuss strengths as well so that the student remains confident in their ability to learn and grow.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Independence is achieved through bolstered confidence, and I intend to instill a high level of self-worth and appreciation in my students. By giving them the tools to better manage their time, take effective notes, and ask the bigger questions, students will begin to develop an independent work style.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Tutoring is not just about helping students in areas that they are struggling in, but it also consists of strengthening the areas where they're doing well. By using one success to fuel the next achievement, students are motivated by their own ability to grow and do better. I use multiple forms of positive reinforcement and try to get the students to understand that while we are often our own worst enemy, we can (and should) be our own best friend by looking at where we started and just how far we've come.

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

Having a difficulty learning something does not mean that that particular skill or concept can't be learned. I would tell them that it is okay to not understand right away and that patience is important. Students sometimes put too much pressure on themselves, and I try to alleviate some of that pressure by letting them know that they will get this; it just might take a little longer, and that is just fine. Patience and understanding on the tutor's end helps to keep the student focused and determined. It is consistent review of the skill/concept with the student, and knowing when to take a break and come back with fresh eyes, that will help them master the skill/concept.

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

I ask students pre-reading questions to get them thinking about what they're about to read. Having the student pause after a chapter or a section and recap what they've just read will improve comprehension. I have students tell me what has happened or what is happening in their reading as if they're teaching me. In this action, by turning it into a conversation, they learn better summary skills and retain more details of the story.

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

When you treat a student with respect and let them know that their opinions and questions are valid, they tend to be more willing to work with you and for themselves. Listening is just as important as telling them what they need to do. I let them know that I will do everything I can to help them, as long as they do everything they can to help themselves.

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

By maintaining a positive and lively attitude myself, it is my hope that my energy will transfer to them. Drawing out even the smallest reasons to like and enjoy a subject will keep the session positive. I find that once a student has gotten over their initial frustration of struggling in a subject they tend to respond more brightly. It is also important to stress the little wins just as much as the big wins.

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

I like to have my students teach the material back to me in their own words. A bit of reverse role-play keeps them engaged and helps them organize the information that they're learning, so that they retain the material and can easily access it and discuss it with peers. I also encourage students to write things down and read out loud, which helps to increase retention.

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

By showing them the progress that they've made or are making in the area in question. I let them know that their goals are achievable and well within reach. I show them that I am confident in their abilities to succeed in the hopes that boosts their confidence in themselves. I celebrate success in its smallest form to its grandest.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I ask them questions about where they think they need help and why they think they need help in that particular area. I find there are greater results when the student self identifies their struggles first rather than having a tutor come in and immediately tell them where they're going wrong. Then, together, we can determine where some of those problems have risen from and the best course of action to reduce and eliminate said problems.

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

I keep an open mind for all sessions. I know that no two students learn and study alike, and there needs to be a level of willingness to drop standard practice and adjust for your particular student. There is a high level of stress put on maintaining patience with students, as well as keeping an open dialogue about what they think works best for them and subsequently trying to adjust the session to fit.