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I have been working with children since the age of 11 when I started babysitting. I am originally from Pittsburgh, Pa. However, I grew up in Spokane, Wa where I went to college. I have a BA in Early Childhood Education and a Master In Teaching K-8 and middle school. I started teaching fourth grade and I taught for five years. I also opened my own tutoring business in 2003. I presently work for my own company called Discount Tutoring and just joined Varsity Tutors.

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Dana’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Washington State University - Bachelors, Human Development

Graduate Degree: Washington State University - Masters, Elementary Educaction


I like to play softball and volleyball. I also like to read, watch sports especially football. I like to swim, fish and go camping. Also travel, hang out at the beach and mess around with my friends.

Tutoring Subjects

College English

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math


High School English

Homework Support






Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy includes lecture, hands on learning with manipulatives when necessary, as well as textbook lessons.

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

I would like to get to know my student. Find out what his or her learning style is. I also want to know what his or her hobbies are and what sparks his or her motivation. I need to do an assessment in the area they struggle with to find out exactly what we need to cover in the future.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

The student needs to build his or her confidence that he or she can do well in the subject. Often we have pre-assumed negative perceptions about a subject area. That means that maybe we feel like we are unable to do something. The student may just need a little more information and motivation to be able to be independent and successful.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

The student needs to have constant praise when they are trying to complete a task. When the student is successful, even though it may be a small success, the chances are they will be motivated in the future.

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

I would review the concept over and over again. Repetitive learning is necessary for some learners. I would also try a different teaching method. For example, I might use a manipulative for a math lesson.

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

I would break down the passage to one sentence. We would go over each sentence of the paragraph and discuss what is going on in the passage. I would encourage the student to re-read the passage.

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

I would give the student a simpler version of what they are struggling to conquer. I want the student to be successful at an easier concept so we can move on to the next concept. It seems to be easier to understand the concept at hand if we break down the problem and go back to the basics.

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

I could give them a verbal assessment and ask questions about the subject. I could also give them a paper and pencil assessment.

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

Keep giving the student praise, and keep working on the subject. Give the student problems that can be solved together and that in turn will raise confidence.

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