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After law school, a publishing company employed me as a writer analyst for 12 years in the tax department. While there, I wrote hundreds of semi-journalistic stories, tax case and tax law summaries, and content.

Following that, I wrote news and feature stories as a correspondent for the Napa Valley Register.

I owned a tutoring franchise and taught as a substitute teacher in the San Francisco public schools.

For over 8 years I worked as a patrol officer at the Academy of Art University, the largest art school in the US, and there I was introduced to the mean streets of San Francisco, which gave me plenty of writing material.

My novel, Pretty City Murder, published in May 2018 and is available on Amazon in hard cover, paper back, and Kindle and on-demand at Barnes and Noble or libraries.

At the Academy of Art University, I observed love and perseverance among students, teachers, and teaching directors in a wonderful art community. It served as inspiration for the novel.

If you are interested, I can share my novel with you and discuss what it took to complete.

I believe that, as someone who needed tutoring in high school and never got it, I know what it's like to need help, and I can give it.

My approach to tutoring is to make it last for 6-12 months for two hours per week, subject to your needs.

Success depends on you and me working together. As an example, I brought an SAT student from 500 on the reading section to 650 and 500 on the writing section to 690. Tutoring lasted seven months.

I use many prep books and will follow guidelines provided by your teachers.

I take serious students only, but I can turn almost any student into a serious student.

I'm an older guy done with seeking career advancement, which means I can give my undivided attention. I look forward to getting to know you and your family.

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Robert’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of San Francisco - Bachelors, English



Tutoring Subjects

ACT Reading

ACT Writing

Elementary School Math


English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School English

High School Writing


Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing


SAT Reading

SAT Writing and Language

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Test Prep


Q & A

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Accomplishments after step-by-step instruction/testing boosts a student's confidence, and learning will become a joy, which will lead a student to becoming an independent learner.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Expect improvement every tutoring session.

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

1) Explain the skill or concept. 2) Ask the student to repeat back instructions verbatim, and then in his/her own words. 3) Do another problem. 4) Ask the student to write his own reading or writing question. 5) Offer help writing the reading or writing question. 6) Ask the student to write his own test.

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

1) Begin building vocabulary. 2) Determine what the student likes to read about. 3) Find outside reading material that corresponds to the student's interests. 4) Regularly ask the student to tell in his/her own words the story he is reading. 5) Ask the student to write out questions about the story in his/her own words.

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

One strategy is to ask a student what he/she likes to do with free time, and try to incorporate those interests into the tutoring session in the form of reading material or questions about those interests that are written out and corrected.

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

Step-by-step accomplishments in the form of testing will help a student realize that any subject can be mastered, and that no subject is to be feared. Engagement and even excitement will follow.

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

Have the student write out his/her own practice test by trying to imagine what questions a teacher would ask, and I would add my own questions to the student's practice test.

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

Passing tests with excellent scores builds confidence. The more tests there are, the more confidence there will be.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

SAT students: 1) Ask the student for previous scores, if any. 2) Use the tutoring company's diagnostic tests, practice tests, and quizzes. 3) Begin work on the tutoring company's New SAT prep book. K-12 students: 1) Ask parents how the student did on the latest CAASPP. 2) Ask what parents want. 3) Ask for comments from the student's teacher. 4) Use the tutoring company's diagnostic tests, practice tests, and quizzes.

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

Some students have attention problems, and so learning must be broken down into short segments followed by breaks in learning. I will come with a set of simple jokes for breaks. Learning can be made fun by discovering what a student likes and finding reading and writing material on those likes. If there is access to the Internet, materials can be found, including tests, and a lesson can be formed around the materials.

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

SAT: prep books of all kinds. K-12: tests of all kinds from the tutoring company and outside resources.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Test, test, test - it's the best measure of progress. The purpose of a test is to find out what a student doesn't know, not to determine what a grade should be. The test grade is the reason many students fear tests. Only what is not known to the student is to be worked on; there's no useful purpose to working on what a student already knows. With every test passed, a student realizes that no test is to be feared.

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

SAT students: It depends on what is discussed in the first phone call. We may begin reading about the new SAT and how to get a high score, or we may begin with the first set of tests. Strictly adhering to the time limit, I do an SAT section, and the student does the same section. The section is graded, and we compare our grades. Mistakes are discussed. Thus, the first lesson is finished, and we move on to the next section. K-12 students: It depends on what is discussed during the first phone call. Does the student need testing or homework help? If testing is needed to determine grade level in reading and writing, use the CAASPP practice tests. If it is homework help, begin with the homework assignment in hand.

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