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My goal as a tutor is to facilitate lifelong learning skills. I am a firm believer in the notion that half of the battle of gaining an education is knowing how to learn. Not everyone is able to study the same way so once you know what works best for you and use those skills, you can learn anything! Albert Einstein expressed this idea best when he said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” No one is truly incapable of learning, it’s just that we each have our own strengths and that’s what makes us individuals.

I am currently a second-year online graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree in English Education with the State University of New York at Buffalo. I am certified to teach ELA in grades 7-12 and my graduate degree will allow me to teach grades 5-6 as well. In 2014, I received my Bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Cortland where I majored in Adolescent English Education. I particularly enjoy studying English literature in a variety of genres including novels, journals, essays, and short stories, but reading and writing poetry is my absolute favorite! I have quite a bit of editing and revision experience and I enjoy working closely with students to perfect their writing.

As an online student, I am very well acquainted with using technology in order to learn. I have been able to observe how teachers utilize technological applications and software to personalize instructional strategies in order to fit their students’ educational needs. I look forward to using digital tools to present information in different ways so that I may demonstrate material clearly and effectively for all students.

Heather’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: SUNY College at Cortland - Bachelors, English Education

Graduate Degree: SUNY College at Buffalo - Masters, English Education


Poetry, English Literature, Digital Literacy, American History, Public Speaking, Theater/Drama, Crime and Mystery Television, Volleyball, Hockey, Lacrosse, Football

Tutoring Subjects

10th Grade Reading

10th Grade Writing

11th Grade Reading

11th Grade Writing

12th Grade Reading

12th Grade Writing

6th Grade Reading

6th Grade Writing

7th Grade Reading

7th Grade Writing

8th Grade Reading

8th Grade Writing

9th Grade Reading

9th Grade Writing

ACCUPLACER ESL - Reading Skills Prep

Adult Literacy

American Literature

Basic Computer Literacy

College English

College Level American Literature

Comparative Literature

Creative Writing

Digital Media

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing


English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

Fiction Writing

Graduate Test Prep

GRE Analytical Writing

High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing

Introduction to Poetry


Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing


Persuasive Writing


Poetry Writing



Special Education

Spelling Bee

Study Skills and Organization

Technology and Computer Science

Test Prep



Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My philosophy as a teacher and tutor is to facilitate lifelong learning skills. I am a firm believer in the notion that half of the battle of gaining an education is knowing how to learn. Not everyone is able to study the same way, so once you know what works best for you and use those skills, you can learn anything!

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

Introduce myself and ask them to describe him or herself as a learner to me. It is very important to me to understand how he or she feels about learning to know how I should approach material with them.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Study skills are very important in becoming an independent learner. One must know how to analyze the material that's in front of them before they can get started. There are basics to any kind of text that one must study; it doesn't matter what subject. If we can break it down to the basics, everything becomes clearer. Organization is also very important to learning. I know it always helps me keep a clear mind!

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Confidence is key. When they do well, I let them know. If they are struggling, that's when I ask them to express their feelings; if I can understand what they find difficult, I am able to clarify material better. If they are unmotivated, I search for interests that I may utilize when presenting material in a way that is more exciting for them.

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

Break down the areas of difficulty to step-by-step instruction. We must understand each part if we are to understand the whole concept.

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

Vocabulary plays a large role in reading comprehension. The first thing I would do is identify difficult vocabulary and make sure the student understands each term. I would also ask what aspects of reading the students has trouble with and then try to pinpoint my instruction that way. Together we will read passages together and then try to synthesize what we just read.

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

Asking students to identify exactly what they have trouble with is helpful. I also try to find out what they are interested in to see if I can make connections with content.

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

Ask the student what they are interested in. Students will always be more engaged in what they're learning if the content matches their interests and hobbies. I like to use different texts as a vehicle to help learn certain skills; there is a wide range of texts that cover numerous topics out there for teachers to use.

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

I will always check for understanding, asking questions along the way. If a student makes a mistake, I like to ask why they made the decision they did; that way, I am able to know better what they already understand and what I have to clear up for them.

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

Focus on the student's strengths. All students learn differently, but often times, students who have a lack of confidence in school are students who have learning strategies that don't match the traditional methods of instruction. If I can find out how the student learns best (visual, aural, hands on, etc.), then I will be able to adapt my instruction to meet their strengths as a learner.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

It is easiest, of course, to be told in what area the student struggles. However, without that, I would begin with a short activity depending on the content area I'm tutoring. For example, if the student requires help learning poetry, I would have the student read a short, less complex poem to gear how comfortable they are with it. If I can identify where the student struggles, I will be able to go on from there with other texts.

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

First, I find out what materials they bring to the session. If they are working on something for a particular class, they might want my help working on that which is what I would do. If they are having general difficulty in a particular area, I would try to bring in some of my own materials that I could also try to aim at the student's interests and strengths.

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

I use a wide range of texts. Various genres of writing, but also digital texts--videos, podcasts, music, other media platforms, etc.--to work on skills independent from what they might be used to in school. On the other hand, I also try to find supplemental texts that will aid their understanding of content from schoolwork. By helping them learn the skills, they will be able to transfer that knowledge to other work in the classroom.