A photo of Mary, a tutor from University of California-Santa Cruz

Mary

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I'm a retired attorney with a lot of teaching experience. I've always loved reading, writing, and languages.

Regarding standardized tests: I received the highest score on the A.P English exam, a perfect score on the SAT literature exam, and a perfect score on the logic portion of the LSAT.

I traveled in my youth and spent significant time in Mexico, Spain, Japan and Argentina. I like meeting new people and have great respect for people from all backgrounds.

Learning is one of the best things in life. Even when it is challenging, we all feel joy and accomplishment when learning new things!

Mary’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

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

Graduate Degree: Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago Kent College of Law - Masters, Law

Hobbies

Reading, art, cinema, education, rollerblading, hiking.

Tutoring Subjects

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

Conversational Spanish

English

English Grammar and Syntax

ESL/ELL

Essay Editing

High School English

Languages

Literature

Medieval Literature

PSAT Critical Reading

Reading

Shakespeare

Spanish

Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Spanish 3

Spanish 4

Test Prep

Vocabulary

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My philosophy is that a teacher’s positive understanding of students makes a big difference in how any student engages with a subject and grows in their learning.

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

I would likely introduce myself and ask the student if they have any questions for me. I would want the first session to be productive, but would make sure the student is keeping up.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Students should be given heart to learn independently. My hope is that tutoring will not only increase a student's competence, but also that the student will feel inspired and confident to undertake study voluntarily.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

The ways to keep a student motivated vary greatly depending on the student. Students become disengaged due to a variety of factors, for example, anxious perfectionism, boredom, lack of focus, or lack of confidence in their abilities. There are different ways to bring students back on track, usually with reassurance and humor.

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

In this situation, patience and repetition might be enough to bring the student to understanding. If that is not enough, I would propose working on simpler levels of that particular skill or concept until basics are mastered. Then the student can move forward to understanding the more challenging level of that skill.

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

I would start by refreshing the student on the most basic vocabulary. Some students can memorize entire words by sight, and some do better by sounding out the words. For young children, it helps to play with "manipulatives" such as letters and words made from cloth or playdough to help the letters come to life for them. For older students, I think that it helps to read out loud, ask questions about the text as they go along, and to try to find the musicality of the language in the text. If the text is well written, there will be a musicality to the language. Some struggling readers do better with high-interest texts such as action stories that are less bogged down in details. Books by Avi are appreciated by many grade-schoolers that don't normally like to read. Some young readers like tragic stories, but some will not engage with sad, depressing stories and so their caretakers should take care to select texts that will invite the young student into reading.