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I have 5+ years of experience as a math and English tutor for elementary to middle school students. My mother is an elementary school teacher, so I am well-aware of California's learning standards and have extra access to helpful learning tools that are typically used only in classrooms. I have also helped students up to college levels with English. I have had extensive training and practice in all aspects of essay writing and have aided students with term papers, college application essays and personal statements for the past 4 years. I am also very familiar with the UC admissions system and can help students plan their high school or community college work to best advantage them for getting into their dream schools. I have a true passion for teaching and love to watch students improve and achieve their goals.

Karissa’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Riverside - Current Undergrad, Sociology

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 30

ACT English: 33

ACT Reading: 31

SAT Verbal: 730


I try to read and travel as much as I can. I also love all animals!

Tutoring Subjects

ACT English

Adult Literacy

American Literature

College English

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Writing


English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School English

High School Level American Literature

High School Writing

Middle School Reading

Middle School Reading Comprehension

Middle School Writing

SAT Subject Test in Literature

SAT Subject Tests Prep

Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

All students have great potential and are unique individuals that learn in their own ways. I believe in empowering students by tailoring learning strategies to their advantages and comfort. By giving students choices, they are much more likely to be passionate about learning and be the best that they can be.

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

In a typical first session, I will assess the student's learning styles as well as expectations from the student and parents. I will also evaluate the student's skills and understanding of the subject. Then, I will collaborate with the student on the plan of action we will take to conquer the subject. Once we have decided on a lesson plan, we can begin our path to success.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Students can be encouraged to become independent learners by being involved in lesson planning. This includes having students create their own goals and ways of completing them. Giving students objectives and choices in their studies helps motivate them by making them feel a greater sense of responsibility for, and involvement in, their learning. I collaborate with students to make periodical assessments of their work so that they are self-aware and constantly improving.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

It is always important to motivate students with positivity and praise. Encouragement is key to keeping a student motivated. I also always keep goals with my students high but attainable so that they will constantly improve and never feel helpless.

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

I would see what the student is struggling with and give a mini-lesson on the topic with a different teaching approach. Oftentimes, it is much easier for a student to learn when they are taught with real-life examples that are relevant to them.

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

I have found that students learn best when they are given ownership of their learning by being able to collaborate with their teacher on the lesson plan. Again, encouragement is also always key to motivating students.

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

Fun quizzes and assessments are a great way to see if a student truly understands the subject.

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

I use worksheets, books and test materials during a typical session. Most students learn best these days with the use of technology, so I usually also show them interesting and informative online tools and videos.

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

I help students who struggle with reading comprehension by reading along with them and working together to clarify the meanings of each sentence. We may create "mind movies" or visual representations to bring the text alive.

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

To fully engage students, I give them a sense of control by involving them in their learning plan. I help them set fully-defined objectives so that they are aware of what is expected of them in order to stay motivated to work. It also helps to relate the subject matter with realistic scenarios that are relevant to the student's life.

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

Practice makes permanent, and I will practice for as long as it takes with a student until they are fully confident with the subject. I constantly praise students on their achievements so that they stay feeling motivated and assured.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I assess students by giving them a short test to see their strengths and weaknesses. I will also ask the student to give a self-assessment of where they believe they are with the subject.

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

I adapt my tutoring to students' needs by employing learning tools that best suit their learning styles. If they are visual learners, I will use pictures, videos and objects in our sessions. If they are auditory learners, I will give examples with sounds. If students are linguistic learners, I will help them with spoken word or textual tools. If they are kinesthetic learners, I will include in the lesson physical objects that the student can touch. For students that learn with a combination of these learning styles, I use all of the necessary tools in order to help them best understand.