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My name is Anna "Anya" Guiffre and I have been a teacher and tutor for many years, both in the US and overseas. I hold three degrees, one in world history, a BA in American Studies and a Master's in English/American Studies. I have worked with clients of all ages, from 4 years old to adult, and I specialise in test preparation, ESL, and English composition and literature. In my free time I like to read, write poetry and essays, study wushu and travel. I look forward to meeting you!

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Anna’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Santa Cruz - Bachelors, American Studies

Graduate Degree: Utah State University - Masters, English/American Studies


meditation. reading, tai chi

Tutoring Subjects

College English

College Essays

College Level American History

Comparative Literature


English Grammar and Syntax


Essay Editing

Graduate Test Prep

GRE Verbal

High School English

High School Level American History





SAT Reading

SAT Verbal

Social studies

Test Prep


US History


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is to tailor our time to your needs and goals. I have a variety of teaching techniques and strategies available to make the time you spend learning with me enjoyable and fun.

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

A typical first session with a student will include a getting to know you section, where I find out what your needs and goals are. After that I will work with you to make a plan that makes achieving those goals realistic, and work with you to make sure that your lessons are engaging and satisfying.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Helping a student become an independent learner can come from a variety of places, such as practicing effective study techniques, identifying and eliminating distractions, and working on confidence and personal self-expression within the subject matter.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Helping a student stay motivated might take the shape of a reward system for kids, or for adults a system of copious praise and positive motivation and constructive feedback.

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

Learning any new skill can be difficult. The ways to feel comfortable are to assess where the student is struggling and work to resolve those issues so that greater learning success can happen.

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

I prefer to identify what specifically is causing the student to struggle- do we need to spend more time on vocabulary, or context, or authorial intent? Once the problem has been identified, we can add extra practice in these areas to help improve overall comprehension.

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

My strategies for having a successful relationship with a student are working with the student to identify their goals, making a plan that the student can realistically follow, rewarding success and offering constructive adjustments or feedback when learning struggles arise in order to overcome them efficiently.

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

I would help them get engaged by looking at how we might apply that subject to their daily life, or how we can apply it to their future studies or goals. Moreover, I would let them know that they now have a partner in learning the subject, and we can work together to make it fun and break down parts that might seem complex or overwhelming.

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

I use techniques that involve giving students time to practice a skill before asking for an assessment of their mastery of the material. Fact checking questions, comprehension questions and other methods can also be useful in checking understanding of materials. The best strategy for me is to create a relationship where the student feels comfortable enough simply telling me they are struggling, as this shows trust and a good working relationship with my students.

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

Confidence is gained through repetition, practice and testing. Feedback, both positive and constructive, is a key component to building confidence. Finally, simply believing that my student is capable and expressing that to them often can do wonders for boosting confidence.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I evaluate a student's needs by first assessing basic things: what are their goals, what challenges do they have (time to study, learning disabilities, etc.), then getting an overall picture of them as a student. After this I am able to help the student think about how to improve the things that they want to improve upon while working with me.

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

Every student is an individual and must be treated that way. I adapt my tutoring based on the client's personality, study habits, needs, and their goals in learning.

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

I will use a variety of materials from standard textbooks, online resources, music, and educational software when useful. What the student already has or wants to use is also incorporated into the lesson plans.

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