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Whether someone needs coaching on one problem type or with a whole subject area, my favorite part of the tutoring/teaching experience is when a student can apply what we've learned completely independently.

In my six years as a classroom teacher and my twelve years as a tutor, there has hardly been an age range or subject that I haven't had the pleasure of working with.

My specific experience includes:

1. Pre-Algebra and Algebra tutoring
2. Elementary Reading, Writing, Social Studies and Science teaching and tutoring
3. Middle School Science, Math and ELA teaching and tutoring
4. High School and College English and essay writing (English with an emphasis in Linguistics and World Literature was one of my college majors, and it is also an area in which I have tutored extensively)
5. Test preparation (from MAP to to the GRE!) tutoring

My years as a classroom teacher for the fourth, fifth and seventh grades and as a tutor for third grade through post-graduate test preparation have provided me with so many strategies to help students of all ages, which is important since every student has different strengths and interests. We will find the strategies that work best for you and then make sure that they are ingrained so that you can use them in the future.

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Ally’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Truman State University - Bachelors, English and Education

Graduate Degree: Truman State University - Masters, Master of Arts in Education


Hobbies: Book Club, Training for a Half-Marathon. Interests: writing, game nights/events with my husband and friends, Harry Potter, Disney movies, the Food Network, and terrible puns

Tutoring Subjects

ACT Writing




College Biology

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

Elementary Math

Elementary School Math


English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

GED Prep

Graduate Test Prep

GRE Verbal

High School Biology

High School English


MAP Prep


Middle School Math



Public Speaking



Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Good teaching should be flexible. Even in a classroom, a concept may need to be taught ten different ways to really reach everyone!

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

It's so important to get to know the student! We need to build respect for one another, and I want to know what interests them, what motivates them, and what their goals are (both for tutoring and in general). I need to know if I'm working with a competitive person who gets sheer joy from rigorous work and achievement or a student who needs a little time to talk about their day and lots of encouragement. This helps me to meet their needs from the start.

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

Real-world connections; clips/videos that show applications of what we are learning; constant feedback showing the little successes along the way; listening to input from the student; a sense of humor about it!

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

In a first session, I'll want to spend the first few minutes getting to know the student. What are their strengths and interests? What are their goals? How do they feel that they learn best, and when have they felt the most successful?

How would you help a student stay motivated?

By setting small goals and recognizing when we achieve them. Students should feel good about their progress.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

We start with goal-setting. Setting goals is all about the student. We will look at where they are at based on their pre-assessment and set goals. The student will describe to me what they will do to reach this goal, and we will write out the plan. I will guide the student to make sure that the goal is rigorous enough and that their plan of action will truly help them to reach it.

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

We will first make sure the student is reading at the appropriate level. Trying to read at too high of a level before skills are mastered is like trying to build a house that has no foundation.

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

We will use formatives throughout the session.

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

We will celebrate the small achievements. It's important to recognize and record progress on the way to meeting a larger goal.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I evaluate a student's needs by reviewing prior test scores, assignments, or other relevant grades.

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

My tutoring can be adapted in terms of the level of problem/prompt at which we begin a session, and building up to problems/prompts of higher complexity once the student gains skill and confidence.

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

I typically have a dry-erase board for the student and myself, a pencil and paper, highlighter, and a computer and phone for any digital examples or recordings that we may do. I also have a binder containing the student's written goals, progress and any practice work I have generated that may help the student.

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