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For me, teaching feels more like a calling than a profession. I have always enjoyed engaging with students, and being a teacher, as well as a student, in the classroom. The most satisfying thing for me is when the "aha" moment comes for my student. That means that I've found the door through which they can learn. From that moment on, the learning process becomes more fun than either I or the student can imagine. Of course, I am never just the teacher, as I've learned a immense amount of knowledge and information from my students. And, learning is a lifelong and enjoyable world that never ceases to amaze me.

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Alene’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Mills College - Bachelors, English


I love to read, write (I write a blog), movies (mostly action), theater, opera, travel and living in different cultures.

Tutoring Subjects

4th Grade

5th Grade


College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

Elementary Math

Elementary School

Elementary School Math


English Grammar and Syntax


Essay Editing

High School English

Homework Support



Middle School Math




Special Education

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization



Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

The student guides the teacher.

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

Spend some time getting to know them. What do they like to do in their free time? What's their favorite thing about school; what don't they like, etc.?

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By helping them to realize that they are capable of learning anything, and showing them how.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

By highlighting their interests and abilities, and giving them an opportunity to win.

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

Find a different way to introduce or explain it using different cues.

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

By helping them to read what they like: comic books, instruction manuals, etc.

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

Making learning a real world experience, and not something abstract.

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

Again, by determining where their interests lie, and tying the subject to those interests.

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

Verbal and written assessments, as appropriate. Also formal and informal assessments.

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

By beginning with questions and work that will give the student successes.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

By using different learning techniques, giving them level tests, and interviewing informally.

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

That drives the tutoring. The lessons are not about or for me or my comfort zone. Adapting to the student is how you teach.

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

Whatever I think is appropriate. Worksheets, games, short video clips, etc.

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