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I believe that learning is not only a gateway to professional success, but also to one's overall well being and happiness. When an individual is struggling that should not be a discouraging moment; rather, it is an opportunity to grow and find new ways to understand that material. No one is beyond reach and everyone deserves a chance to shine and enjoy to benefits of expanding their knowledge. I have an associate degree in engineering as well as a BA in general studies with a minor in physics. I received perfect scores on my ACT in English and Reading Comprehension. In addition, I have a background that includes biology, writing, and performing. I truly enjoy working with new people and trying to find ways to bring them out of their shell or find the niche that works for that student.

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Sara’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Eastern Illinois University - Bachelors, General Studies


Art, literature, music, hiking, camping, and anything that makes me laugh.

Tutoring Subjects


Adult Literacy


Algebra 2


College English

Earth Science

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing


English Grammar and Syntax


Essay Editing


High School Biology

High School English

High School Physics

High School Writing


Middle School Math

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Science

Middle School Writing




Public Speaking


Spelling Bee


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy revolves around building a rapport with the student. The more I know about how the student learns and processes information, the better I can pinpoint where that student is struggling. All students learn at different paces and find success with different methods. My job is to find the best fit so the student achieves the maximum results. Whether it is through hands-on learning techniques, real-world examples, or rewording textbooks, my goal is to find what will work best.

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

First, I would like to get to know the student. I want to know about interests or hobbies. For example, if the student enjoys music and is struggling in math, there are many ways to integrate the two that can improve understanding.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Learning has to be enjoyable for one to want to independently pursue it. Depending on the student's interests, I would find applications that apply to those interests.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivation can be one of the biggest hurdles in the learning process. First, overloading a student with too much information too quickly can kill motivation. I find it is best to ease into the subject and determine how much the student can handle. The key is to not discourage the student. If they stumble, it is critical to remind them that everyone struggles and that we will find a way to absorb the information.

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

First, I would want to understand exactly why they are having difficulty with that skill or concept. Sometimes it is as simple as a language barrier or lack of background information. Building a rapport with the student is important because the student needs to be open about why they struggle. If the student is not comfortable with me, then it is often difficult to open up. Once the issue is realized, then we can move forward and develop a game plan to master the skill.

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

Reading comprehension can be developed in many different ways. One method would be to read with the student and ask questions periodically about the material. Another method would be to read different types of material and see if that is factoring in their difficulty with comprehension. It could be a matter of lack of interest in the subject matter or the style of writing.

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

I believe that learning is a two-way street, so I begin with introducing myself and my background as well as emphasizing areas where I have struggled. I do not know everything and have my weak subjects as well, and I think that is important for the student to understand.

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

I would find a way to apply the subject to their interests. For example, if a student loves baseball and is struggling with geometry, I would use the baseball diamond as a way to explain the subject.

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

It is important the student is actually grasping the concepts rather than just repeating or memorizing. One way to test this is to have the student tell me the steps they took to reach the answer. In math, I would ask for a step by step reasoning so that I know they are understanding how they arrived at the correct answer.

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

I have found that the more confident the student is, the better they learn the subject. To accomplish this, I start slowly. I never want to discourage someone by overwhelming them with information. Sometimes this involves backtracking a bit in the subject. Once the student has a strong foundation, we can build on that as well as their confidence in that subject.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

One way to evaluate this would be reviewing their past homework or exams. Often, a pattern will emerge that points to where the student is struggling. Also, many times a simple conversation can reveal why a student is struggling.

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

Everyone learns at a different pace, and there is not one set teaching style that works for every student. For example, if I have a student that has trouble focusing on a subject for a long amount of time, I would find creative ways to break up our tutoring time. This could be as simple as going outside and studying for a few moments.

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

I use everything from flashcards to the Internet during a session. Now there are so many video clips online that can draw a student in and raise their interest level in a subject. Again, different students have different needs, and this is something we can develop together.

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