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I graduated from Bennington College in 2015 with a B.A. in Literature. After graduation, I had the opportunity to teach creative writing at an alternative high school, building on tutoring and teaching experience I had gained during college. During this time I also worked with individual students to improve their writing skills and help them reach their academic goals. When tutoring or teaching, I prioritize flexibility and communication; its important to recognize that people learn in different ways, and adapt to their learning style. I relish the opportunity to tutor students in Literature and Creative Writing, since these are areas of personal interest to me, and I love seeing students connect with the material, especially if they were struggling initially. I also provide tutoring for the Reading and Writing sections of various standardized tests, such as the PSAT, the SAT, and the GRE. Tutoring for tests such as these has its own set of rewards and challenges, since the testing process can be stressful for many. I strive to demystify the tests and leave students feeling confident in their abilities. My teaching philosophy is rooted in compassion and cooperation; I believe that students will do better if they are at ease and able to enjoy the subject matter, as well as understand it. Tutoring is a great way to personalize the learning process, no matter the students grade level or goals, and I enjoy helping students strengthen their linguistic skills in ways that will help them throughout their lives. Even when Im not tutoring, Im constantly immersed in language, either through reading or writing.

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Phoebe’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Bennington College - Bachelors, English Literature

Test Scores

SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1470

SAT Verbal: 800

GRE Quantitative: 153


Reading, Writing

Tutoring Subjects

American Literature

AP English Language and Composition

British Literature


CLEP American Literature

CLEP Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

CLEP College Composition

CLEP English Literature

College Application Essays

College English

College Level American Literature

Comparative Literature

Creative Writing

Elementary School

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Science

Elementary School Writing


English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

Expository Writing

Fiction Writing

Graduate Test Prep

GRE Verbal

High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing

Introduction to Fiction


ISEE-Lower Level Reading Comprehension

ISEE-Lower Level Writing



Medieval Literature

Microsoft Office

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing



PSAT Critical Reading

PSAT Writing Skills

SAT Reading



SSAT- Elementary Level

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Technology and Computer Science

Test Prep

World Literature


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is grounded in communication, cooperation, and compassion. A tutor or teacher should be flexible and prepared to come up with new ways to help their student connect with the material. What works for one person may not work for another, but with patience and creativity, there is always something new to try.

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

An initial session is a great time to determine how well a student understands the material and what the student hopes to achieve. I would begin by asking about the student's goals, and whether any areas, in particular, seem challenging or confusing.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Being an independent learner springs naturally from engaging with the subject and becoming passionate about some aspect of it. No student will love every part of every subject, but given enough information and techniques, every student can find something fascinating.

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

When a student struggles with a concept, my first move is to break it down into component parts in order to figure out the source of confusion. It usually helps to take it piece by piece and to try different ways of explaining the concept. Often, it's helpful to put the issue into a different context or create an absurd example, especially if a student is struggling, in part, due to anxiety. I also find it important to reassure a student; feeling stuck or afraid can result in a vicious cycle, and it's important to ensure that doesn't happen.

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

As with many other areas, if a student is struggling with reading comprehension, it's crucial that I understand the root of their difficulty, rather than the result. Minor gaps in vocabulary can render a passage boring or illogical. For others, the issue might be the result of seeing too much at once. In a case like that, it can help to look sentence by sentence or even word by word. It also helps to mix things up, creating new examples.

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

I adapt to a student's needs by being attentive and checking in periodically with questions. Good communication makes it much easier to determine what works for a student and what doesn't. Some people need to hear things aloud, while others need to see them written down; keeping this in mind when meeting with students helps me adjust my approach.

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

I find it helpful to ask the student to explain it to me as if I'm completely unfamiliar with the material. Check-in questions are important throughout, but having a student come up with their own explanation is a good measure, and it can also help the student identify points of confusion on their own, simply by going through the process.

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

A helpful way to build a student's confidence is to demystifying a subject, essentially taking it down off its pedestal. Standardized tests are less alarming once the student understands how they work. When it comes to reading and writing, a student's challenges could stem from many different sources, so it's important to understand what's causing the lack of confidence. When it comes to older works of literature, it can be helpful to present it in a more lighthearted way, rearranging the text and helping the student understand humorous elements that might otherwise go unnoticed.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Asking questions is absolutely crucial. I begin by asking questions, and I ask them throughout. Rather than approaching it strictly as a matter of the right answer versus the wrong answer, I probe for more detailed explanations. Being open and communicative through every step of the learning process makes things easier for both the student and the tutor.

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

This depends on what works best for the student. Some students are more visual, others are more auditory. For some, color-coding can be incredibly helpful, while for others it's merely decorative. I'm prepared to use what materials prove most helpful, whether that means a book of practice tests, a box of colored pencils, or any number of other objects.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would encourage a student to be aware of what works best for them and what causes them to struggle or fall behind. Ideally, the student determines what works best; my role is to make students aware of their options so they can figure out effective techniques to make progress.

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

I've found that what works for one student may not be helpful for another, so my best strategy is flexibility. If I'm adaptable and responsive, I'll be able to pick the right learning strategy for a given student. It's also helpful to introduce a bit of levity to help the student relax and see the material as less intimidating.

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

To help a student engage with a subject they're struggling with, it's very important to understand the point at which they start to disengage or panic, and why. Restlessness can have many different causes, as can anxiety. Avoiding repetition is key; I've found that students become more alert when they see information presented in an unfamiliar way.

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