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I have been supporting struggling students since 2009:I have worked as an AVID tutor for APS, as a Behavior Management Specialist with Desert Hills, and as a tutor at UNM's Center for Academic Support. I have been ABQ Charter Academy's English Intervention Instructor since 2011. I offer one-on-one, customized instruction for scholars who experience difficulty reading. I also run ABQCA's Dual College Credit program, through which scholars can earn credit in high school and college simultaneously. I hold a BA in English Literature from UNM, a Level I Teaching License, and a Level III Pre-K Educational Assistant License. I am also currently studying for my massage license. I love reading, writing poetry, writing blogs, editing, and proofreading. I love the outdoors, music, biking, hiking, and enjoying life wherever an adventure takes me.

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Shawna’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of New Mexico-Main Campus - Bachelors, English Literature


Reading, Writing Poetry, Writing Blogs, Editing, Proofreading, research, dancing, playing guitar, hiking, camping, music festivals and concerts, grower's markets, making homemade products

Tutoring Subjects


ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension

ACCUPLACER Sentence Skills


College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature


English Grammar and Syntax


Essay Editing

High School English





Poetry Writing


Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Test Prep



Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I feel very lucky to be able to connect with scholars of all walks of life who come to class willing to learn despite the many obstacles they face. My conversations with scholars invigorate me and stimulate me to learn more each day. Teaching embodies my deeply held belief that everyone should have an opportunity to get a quality education through individualized instruction that is based on their own unique interests and needs.

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

In a typical first session I would get to know my student, and find out what type of a learner the student is, so that I may better serve his/her needs.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Providing one-on-one support in the beginning helps to increase confidence and build independent practices. Providing differentiation and modifications help struggling learners become more confident.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would offer positive feedback, encouragement, and praise. I would also provide the student with options, so they have a voice in their learning.

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

I would model ways of learning, provide a variety of strategies that may be helpful for the student and his/her particular learning style. I would differentiate or modify the lesson to "break down" the skill or concept, so that it is easier to understand.

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

I provide them with reading strategies such as inferring, making connections, visualization, asking questions, determining importance and synthesizing. I also provide students with different adaptations such as books on tape, excerpts, reading in smaller chunks, and having them watch the movie for a visual representation (if there is one) to help aid in comprehension of the written text.

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

I would relate the subject to their life. Finding connections to what a student is learning with their own lives helps students see that it is relevant. Incorporate hands-on activities and other options for students to be creative to spark their interests.

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

Connecting/relating the subject matter to the student's life helps create confidence and engagement. Also, by providing positive feedback. Showing students how what they did/what they learned, etc., can help others, including myself, shows them that they are on an equal playing field and that they are able to teach even teachers something.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

By informal and formal assessments. Data gathered from tests and assignments. Through conversations, and through one-on-one and group instruction.

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

I adapt my tutoring to the student's needs by modifying the curriculum or subject matter to meet them at their level, whether that be lower or higher.

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

Graphic organizers, electronic devices like the iPad, internet, etc., that can help aid in tutoring, a thesaurus, and Cornell notes.

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