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I am a Curriculum Consultant who designs and implements professional development and delivers AIS instruction in reading in elementary grades. Prior to that, I taught middle and high school English for 18 years. My expertise in English and Literacy has enabled my students to make consistent, significant growth in reading and on national, state, and local assessments. I want to share my expertise and passion for learning with others so that they can experience similar success.

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Vanessa’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: SUNY College at Cortland - Bachelors, English - Secondary Education

Graduate Degree: SUNY College at Cortland - Masters, Literacy


Dance, sight-seeing and exploring, camping, and all things outdoor music and sunshine. I was a Zumba instructor, choreographer, performer, and have danced my whole life. I cheered professionally for two professional sports organizations and I love live sporting and music events. I exercise regularly and read both for pleasure and for learning. Variety helps the mind and body grow!

Tutoring Subjects

ACT English

ACT Writing

American Literature

College English

College Level American Literature

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing


English Grammar and Syntax

High School English

High School Level American Literature

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

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy involves a balance of teaching, building relationships, and learning. I am an expert in my field. In building trusting relationships with my students, I am better able to facilitate learning for my students. The more we trust each other, the more we both teach and learn.

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

In a typical first session, we would get to know each other so that we can develop a positive rapport and plan for success.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I help students become independent learners by modeling the expectations for each task situation and scaffolding instruction gradually to put more responsibility and independence on the student.

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

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, I would break down the concept into manageable chunks for mastery, and then build upon what was learned to help master the concept.

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

I try to get students excited and engaged in subjects in which they are struggling by making connections between the subject and their own interests and experiences.

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

Students build confidence in subjects by experiencing success in them. In breaking down material into manageable sections for little victories, students are able to build success and confidence.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Student needs are evaluated based on conversations with students and parents, test scores, and what needs to be accomplished.

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

Tutoring is adapted based on students' learning styles.

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

Materials used are dependent on the course being tutored.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivation is different for all students. The path for helping a student stay motivated is something that is determined during the needs assessment of the student.

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

The reading level of the student largely determines the strategies used to increase reading comprehension. Some strategies include direct teaching of close reading, listening to texts while reading, and specific guided reading questions to lead students to the importance of selected readings.

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

Successful strategies are dependent on the student. What works with one student may not work with another. Many times, it is as simple as rewarding with stickers and working towards a goal or material reward.

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

Techniques to ensure that a student understands the material vary between simple question and answer to creating synthesis projects that apply taught concepts to real-life situations.

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