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I am passionate about learning and teaching, and I love the one-on-one connection that tutoring provides. I have lots of informal tutoring experience, but I also gained formal tutoring experience during my time as an NGO worker in El Salvador, and prior to that I did classroom teaching with AmeriCorps.

I am a published author of literary fiction, and I studied creative writing in the MFA program at Seattle Pacific University.

My teaching philosophy is heavily oriented toward listening to my students and asking clarifying questions to understand the root of their difficulties. I try to challenge students to critically engage with their material, as well as providing examples and supplemental materials that are suited to their learning style, allowing them to approach the subject from multiple angles until they find one that works for them. I believe in patience, but I also believe that if something is not working, there is another method out there that can work, and we should use it. If a student I'm working with is struggling with a particular literary work that they need to read for school, I will read that book. I consider the student and myself to be members of the same team, working toward the twin goals of knowledge and skill together.

In my spare time I like to read literature, write literature, make crock-pots full of lentils and laugh with my roommate.

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Mary’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: The Evergreen State College - Bachelors, Environmental Studies

Graduate Degree: Seattle Pacific University - Current Grad Student, MFA Creative Writing - Fiction


I love reading and writing, prayer time with Jesus, going for walks outside, hiking in nature, drinking tea and trying to be the best version of myself that I can be.

Tutoring Subjects

American Literature

College English

College Level American Literature

Creative Writing


Essay Editing

High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing


Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Listen and ask clarifying questions to understand where confusion lies, and then couch my explanations in the way that fits best with the student's learning style. As a visual learner myself, I am especially adept at teaching in a visual context.

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

Get to know the student, talk about expectations and goals, and then get to work!

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

By showing them how to think critically. Critical thinking becomes habitual and begins to prompt learning from all aspects of life.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Positive affirmation, genuine excitement for their success and promoting realistic time management.

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

In my understanding, this is fundamentally linked to a lack of introspection. So, our work would include materials aimed at addressing comprehension from that end, including critical thinking, as well as prompting the brain to go deeper through consistent reflective questioning.

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