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Education is my calling, my gift, and my passion. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the Light of Knowledge in the eye of a student. That is the greatest joy and blessing of my life.

I received my Associate of Arts Degree in English from Santa Monica College, where I was on the Dean's Honor List. I also received my Bachelor of Arts Degree and California Multiple Subjects Elementary Teaching Credential from California State University Los Angeles, where I was also on the Dean's Honor List.

I have spent 12 years Substitute Teaching for Montebello, Garvey, Los Angeles, Monterey Park, and Alhambra School Districts, in Southern California. For 10 years, I was a tenured teacher/instructor with Hawthorne School District in Southern California, teaching all subjects to 6th graders. I also have experience as an adult/GED Instructor for the College of Southern Nevada. I have 10 years of tutoring experience with private companies.

I am enthusiastic, personable, and patient. I love tutoring Middle School Math & English because I love English, especially vocabulary, and because I struggled with math in junior high and high school before the light went on for me in College. I was a late bloomer, so I know how it feels. I will start instruction at your present level and build on it, not expect you to come up to my level.

Steven’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Santa Monica College - Associate in Arts, English

Undergraduate Degree: California State University-Los Angeles - Bachelor in Arts, Elementary School Teaching


I love to exercise mind and body, read biographies, sing, as well as play a little solitaire or communicate with friends online with Facebook.

Tutoring Subjects

American Literature

Applied Mathematics

Creative Writing

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Writing


English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

GED Prep

GED Math

GED Reasoning Through Language Arts


High School Level American Literature


Middle School Math

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

Public Speaking

Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My philosophy of teaching is that you start where the student is, help them answer their questions (no such thing as a stupid question, if it's sincere) and help them achieve their learning goal.

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

Ask the student where they are struggling, and explain all pertinent vocabulary. Suggest simple strategy steps that can arrive at a solution of the problem or question being addressed.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Have the student take charge of developing a solution strategy and putting it into action. Have them prove or explain their answer in their own words.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Speak positively and supportively to the student. Keep explanations simple and easy to understand. Praise every accomplishment, no matter how small. Show the student how much progress they have made.

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

Go back to the simple, basic level of the skill or concept, and find a point of understanding. Build on that foundation to make progress.

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

Have students read the questions first; then they know what they're looking for. Stress clue words that indicate meaning of a passage or phrase. Relate the action or ideas in the passage to everyday experience of the student.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I personally evaluate the confidence and depth of understanding displayed by the student. I will gauge their answers to oral and written questions based on the work in which they are engaged.

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

I'm always ready to simplify my vocabulary, or to slow down (I tend to talk fast when excited). I can also utilize different modes (oral, verbal, or kinesthetic) depending on the student's demonstrated ability.

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

I use a whiteboard and markers, lots of scratch paper to show strategies of solutions, and appropriate manipulatives to address the question or problem we are solving.

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

Make sure the student understands basic terms/vocabulary. Never assume a student comprehends something; they could be just afraid to ask a question! Show them that they can and will succeed in this subject.

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

I will periodically ask a verbal question (not "yes" or "no" one but one which requires thought to answer) to check understanding. I always ask for answers in the student's own words.

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

I start at a point where the student is confident and successful, and build from there. I can always refer back to that point of success if they waver. I always let the student know I believe in them.

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

I always introduce myself to establish rapport. I ask basic questions to find out the student's areas of confidence or uncertainty. I let the student know I know my subject, and I believe in and support them unequivocally.