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I am excited to share what I know in order to help another person grow in their learning while gaining more confidence. I appreciate the joy of teaching and learning, and I look forward to making learning fun! As someone who likes to be challenged in my learning, especially in areas I need extra support, I truly appreciate what a tutor is. I enjoy learning and sharing my knowledge while keeping an open mind and being respectful of other's backgrounds. Therefore, I believe my ability to be genuinely interested in another's learning and comfort, being supportive with a holistic approach, and simply being open-minded while making learning fun are a few reasons why I feel I am a great tutor.

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Shirley’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Massachusetts Amherst - Bachelors, Spanish


Writing, singing, cooking, traveling

Tutoring Subjects

African-American History

College Application Essays

College English


Conversational Spanish

Creative Writing

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing


GED Prep

GED Reasoning Through Language Arts


High School English

High School Geography

High School Writing

HSPT Language Skills Prep

Human Development

Introduction to Poetry



Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing





SAT Subject Test in Spanish with Listening

SAT Subject Tests Prep

SAT Writing and Language


Social studies


Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Spanish 3

Spanish 4

Spelling Bee

Test Prep

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

One is never too old to learn new things; we must only be willing and able to keep an open mind in order to receive knowledge.

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

I would start out with an icebreaker! It's all about relationship building, and its foundation is trust. Once we're relaxed, we open the door to all kinds of great learning possibilities.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

It's a matter of practice, practice, practice! Once I am able to supply the tools they need to succeed in their own learning through user-friendly means, their talents will be able to shine through.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

It doesn't benefit anyone to hear false affirmations. Therefore, encouragement and honest feedback are my best tools. Also, goal sheets are very helpful. Once a student sees their progress towards their end goal, motivation happens naturally.

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

At times, a simple break is all that is needed. We could step away from there for a few minutes to walk around, stretch, or do a fun energizer activity. Once back, I could use a different strategy such as utilizing more visual aids.

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

One of the strategies I find most successful is meeting a youth where they are. It's important to show investment in not only their learning, but also in their personalities through their hobbies and interests. This helps a youth relax and know that they are not being judged but rather are in a safe learning environment.

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

It's all about making learning fun but not cheesy. I would surely ask the student for their input regarding what he/she felt would spark their curiosity. Words games are usually a great way to loosen up and get energized.

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

Once I've helped the student establish his/her goals, we will work on setting mini milestones. The more the student sees their success, the more he/she is likely to keep working toward their end goal.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

A ways I assess a student's needs is by asking firsthand what their struggle is. I also review past assignments and the feedback given.

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

It's very important to get to know the student through their likes/dislikes and hobbies/interests in order to be strategic on how to best address their learning needs.

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

I use a variety of materials such as flash cards, games, and online resources. I appreciate that each person has a preferred learning method, and I want to make sure there is a fun and safe learning environment for the student.

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

It can be overwhelming to sit and read a large excerpt, so I usually help a student dissect their reading in order to understand each part. Once that is achieved, connecting the ideas would help lead to better comprehension.

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

One helpful method is giving the student the opportunity to teach the material back to me. I would also ask specific questions which would help me distinguish strengths and struggles.

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