Everyone has a calling; teaching is mine. There is nothing I enjoy more... except perhaps coffee. I do love good coffee.
I tutor students in fourth grade through college and beyond in English (e.g., grammar, punctuation, spelling, vocabulary), reading comprehension, and writing (e.g., essays, MLA and APA style formats, and speech preparation). I love to use my imagination and enjoy helping students with creative writing and poetry. I have also tutored high school students in AP Psychology to help them prepare for the AP exam. Research writing is one of my sub-specialties, and I am always happy to provide instruction and feedback on research papers and proposals for undergraduates and graduate students.
I hold an M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology and have taught developmental psychology and learning theory at the college level. Developing good study skills is a key focus of my tutoring because many students want to know how best to study for exams and learn material. Consequently, I offer memorization and learning strategies students can use to study for tests more effectively. My understanding of age-appropriate activities for children helps me select topics and tasks that keep them engaged. I do not have experience teaching students with learning disabilities (e.g., ADD, ADHD, dyslexia), however.
Most importantly, I model and reinforce positive core values like integrity, reliability, and honesty. I have my own car and a spotless driving record, but I have been tutoring online during the COVID-19 pandemic. I will receive my second dose of the vaccine in May and may be available for in-person meetings after that. Please let me know how I may help with your tutoring needs online or in Pasadena, CA, and its vicinity.
The most gratifying aspect of being a tutor is the look on a student's face when he or she grasps a new concept or way of doing something that really works for them. Sometimes the process of finding the right path to that understanding is a challenge, but that's OK. I go at each student's own suitable pace, encouraging their questions and rewarding their successes every step of the way. I want them to feel comfortable asking for help when they need it but willing to try on their own. My primary goal is to leave each student with an insatiable curiosity and desire to learn. This is my greatest hope for all my students as I believe it is one of the critical factors that give our lives meaning.
Laurel is knowledgeable, punctual, and skillful in making connections with students. We are very happy with her teaching.
She reviewed my college essay in depth, and I felt confident of my essays after she edited errors and grammar mistakes. Thank you!
I start with a meet-and-greet (online or in-person) with the student (and a parent if the student is a minor) to get a clear idea about goals for tutoring. This gives the student and/or their family a chance to get to know me a bit also. I usually start with a one-hour session to see how it goes for the student. If he or she requires more time for instruction, tutorials may be scheduled in 90-minute or two-hour sessions (with a short break if needed). If the student has assignments from a teacher at school, we can work on those. Otherwise, I ask for specific areas in which improvement is sought and obtain the appropriate materials to review during tutorials. Since every student's needs are unique, I tailor any materials I provide to each student.
I have an M.S. (1994) and Ph.D. (1998) in psychology, and have taught at the college level. I also taught summer sessions of "How Animals Learn" for 5th-8th grade College for Kids at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1996-1998). I was a Docent for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association where I led students of all ages on zoo tours dealing with animal behavior, adaptations, and conservation issues from 2005-2011. I have tutored elementary through high school and college students in APA-format writing, English, essays, and AP Psychology since 1992.
I receive $25/hour at the elementary level, $30/hour at the high school level and above. Tutoring for AP Psychology and undergraduate/graduate research writing is $35/hour. The minimum session time is one hour (online or in-person).
The tutoring fee helps cover my access to appropriate teaching materials for the student's subject area and grade level not provided by the student or family. If the student requires tutoring in his or her home, transportation/gas cost is also included. As a self-employed tutor, I pay taxes and have a business license, the costs of which necessarily factor into my expenses. However, I do my best to keep my fee as affordable for students as possible.
Cancellations less than 24 hours in advance will be charged in full since it is not possible for me to recoup that reserved time by scheduling another student last minute.
When I began teaching as a graduate student in 1992, I was terrified at first. But I quickly became addicted. I was a teaching assistant in psychology courses and helped undergraduates with their APA-format writing of research papers and their exam preparation. I conducted discussion and laboratory sections for these courses, and students met with me more often than with the course professor. They taught me so much about teaching. Soon, I began teaching summer courses on my own for 5th-8th graders on "How Animals Learn", and those classes were a blast! Toward the end of graduate school, I was teaching my own courses for undergraduates as an instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After I received my Ph.D., I began teaching as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Western New England College (now University). There, I taught a variety of psychology courses and advised undergraduates in their independent study projects. This began my twenty-year journey through teaching in various forms and locations, and I have enjoyed every minute!
I have worked with many different types of students from elementary school to college (children and adults). For some of my students, English has been their second language. They have come from all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Many of them have helped me learn about cultures other than my own, and I feel privileged to be able to work with such a diverse group of students.
One of my recent students at Pasadena City College was working on a final paper for her English class and after we finished editing it together, she got an A on the paper. In fact, she received an A in her class as a result of our work together over the course of the semester. I was thrilled and very proud of her. Best Christmas gift ever!!!
Recently, I learned that a 12th-grader I helped with his college essays just got accepted to the university of his choice. In fact, nearly all of the schools to which he applied offered him admission. I cannot take credit for all of his years of hard work throughout high school, but it made me feel good to know that I was able to help him produce well-written essays for his college applications.
English Tutors Creative Writing Tutors Essay Editing Tutors Essay Writing Tutors Expository Writing Lessons Grammar Tutors Handwriting Tutors Reading Tutors Spelling Tutors Technical Writing Training Vocabulary Tutors Writing Tutors Proofreading Tutors College Essays Help Tutors Homework Help Tutors Private Tutors Study Skills Tutors Summer Tutors College Tutors Social Sciences Tutors