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Ellis

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I have been a successful tutor for over ten years specializing in SAT and PSAT preparation including reading comprehension, grammar, and essay and term paper writing. SAT and PSAT tutees have consistently achieved 150 200 point gains. Libraries throughout CT (including New Haven, Wallingford, East Haven, Cheshire, Bethany, Woodridge, and Madison) have acknowledged these successes by repeatedly selecting me as presenter of library sponsored SAT preparation seminars. (The seminars have garnered substantial positive online and print publicity).
These successes as well as extraordinarily positive references from parents, students, teachers, and school principals are set forth in my website: www.eratnertutor.com . I urge the reader to check them out. I am hugely proud of them. They present a more complete and personal description than I could possibly present in a Personal Statement.
My expertise also extends to the law. I am a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School (widely recognized as one of the premier law schools in the United States) and a former practicing attorney and law professor. I have helped students to prepare for the LSAT and to draft the Personal Statement required by law schools.
I was a Modern Languages major in college which has proved invaluable in tutoring ESL which I have done for several years as a volunteer for several CT libraries.
And, finally, I am the author of several books published by prestigious companies, including Commerce Clearing House and Simon & Schuster. This experience, including working with professional editors, has informed my tutoring in all aspects of SAT Reading Comprehension, Writing and Grammar, and essay and term paper writing.
I pride myself in bringing out the best in my tutees, in making them feel valued and respected. They reciprocate those feelings and become both challenged and motivated. The results show it. My education speaks for itself: Trinity College (B.A., CUM LAUDE), University of Pennsylvania Law School (JURIS DOCTOR). Education and the success of my tutees means everything to me. Our work together becomes a successful collaboration. I look forward to meeting you and working with you!

Ellis’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Trinity College Hartford CT - Bachelors, Modern Languages

Graduate Degree: University of Pennsylvania School of Law - PHD, Law

Hobbies

psychology, philosophy, writing non - fiction, sports as participant and spectator, community service, in particular, animal rescue.


Q & A

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

I would make the first session friendly and informal. I would make it clear that I was there as a collaborator, not to judge but to assist. When I am confident that I have established at least a threshold level of good will, I would address the subject matter, but I would do so gingerly. I would assess the tutee's competence, but do it in a manner that does not leave him or her feeling inadequate.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can insist that the student work independently and not rely on me, at least in the first instance. And I would hold firm even if the student becomes frustrated. But I would also make it clear that negative consequences do not attach to imperfect results which arise from independent efforts. And that in the end I will be there to explain and to help. Students may then work independently but without fear of failure.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would help a student stay motivated by pointing out that improvement and success do not occur in a straight-line trajectory. Failures and discouragement are inevitable. But it makes no sense to give up, because success often occurs unexpectedly. There are many real world examples. Thomas Edison successfully brought the light bulb into being on his ten thousandth try following 9,999 failures. Or so the story goes.

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

I would point out that the student has previously had difficulty learning a skill or concept but overcame the difficulty (I assume this to be the case). I would point out that effort often bears fruit after it has had a chance to settle, and that the student should keep working and give it that chance. I would also work painstakingly and carefully to impart the skill or concept.

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

I would first identify the reasons for the struggle. I would ask the student to read the material slowly and then answer questions and I would identify the nature of the lack of comprehension, e.g., failure to pay attention to detail, difficulty in grasping the vocabulary. Once having identified the source of the difficulty I would address it with the student.

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

I would establish a caring, warm, and trusting relationship with the student. Once you do that, all things are possible. I don't know whether one can establish this as a strategy unless it is heartfelt. I have never felt differently about a student I have tutored.

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

I would show the student that the subject can be mastered or at least successfully addressed. Perhaps they have struggled similarly before but succeeded through persistence and effort. I would then identify the rewards which attach to successful struggle.

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

I would non - confrontatively probe to understanding. I would take pains to assure that the student didn't feel demeaned or doubted.

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

By moving slowly and pointing out whenever possible the progress that has been made and continues to be made.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

The best way is to ask. Like adults, students are often opaque. But if questioned, they are likely to open up.

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

I identify the needs by observation and by asking and then make the adjustment, whether it be to move more slowly, or quickly, or to explain more fully, or less so. The question is whether I or whatever teacher is sufficiently alert and flexible to identify the need and to make the adjustment. I confidently answer yes to both.

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

It depends on subject being taught. If it’s the SAT, l need only the practice book. Younger students require more elaborate materials, a dictionary, rulers, etc.

What is your teaching philosophy?

My philosophy is that the teacher should make the student feel recognized understood and appreciated. Also, that the teacher should effectively gauge a student’s capability so that work will be challenging but not overwhelming. Genuine caring and concern and effective evaluation of capability can make teaching and learning a joyous collaboration.