Tutoring With Ms. O'Brien

Tutoring With Ms. O'Brien

5.0 (6)
1 employee
1 years in business

About this tutor

I am an experienced middle school classroom teacher (Language Arts, Social Studies) with ESL tutoring background who is looking to help students (ages 8+ ) improve with their reading, writing, organization skills, task/time management, or study skills.  

One of my current goals is training to become a Wilson Certified Teacher. In general, this is a program that uses a multi-sensory structured literacy approach to help students improve their reading/writing. If you are willing and ready to practice hard, I am ready to help! I also have extensive training from Teacher's College Reading and Writing Institutes from Columbia University to support academic work.

I have 10+ years experience in the classroom (teacher of Social Studies, Language Arts, ESL) and as an individual tutor. My qualifications include: Bachelor of Arts in Spanish/Russian Studies, Master of Science in Education, and Professional Certificate in Educational Therapy. When I moved to California, I passed the CBEST exam in 2019. I also have received training at Columbia University's Teacher's College of Reading and Writing Institutes.

Currenty, I am training to become a Wilson Certified Level I teacher in order to expand my work to help struggling readers (grades 3+). I also currently work part-time as an Academic Resource Teacher at an elite private school in San Diego.

I really enjoy helping my students set goals for themselves and achieve them. Whether that begins with small daily techniques and strategies, or aiming for larger academic outcomes with intensive interventions, my favorite part of teaching is revealing "tricks of the trade" for school.  Every individual is full of potential and modeling a growth mindset is key - when students learn about themselves and how they learn best, deep shifts can occur. 

"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." - Wayne Dyer

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San Diego, CA 92113
Email verified
Phone verified

6 Reviews


  • Bryce Parker

    She was very nice and understanding.

  • Janie Linnard

    She was always there to help with any problems or questions on my work and she showed me an excellent new way to plan my time!

  • Stella Wahl

    She was always put a lot of work into helping me, making me a schedule, and helping me study. I loved working with her!!

  • Eric lillie

    I really liked to have a plan ready to go for the week because it was able to take a lot of stress away

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

I perform an initial intake survey to understand the skills, attitudes, and goals of my student. If possible, I would like to speak to parents or teachers familiar with the client to get more background around academic needs. For reading support, I will perform a WADE test of decoding and encoding to see at what level he/she currently is. For other subjects, I ask that student samples of work be shared or made at our first meeting.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

Master of Science in Education, SUNY at Buffalo

Professional Certificate in Educational Therapy, UCR

Columbia University Teacher's College - The Reading And Writing Institute, NYC

Bachelor or Arts, Georgetown University (Spanish and Russian Studies) 

Level 1 Teacher Certification in Wilson Reading Program

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Depending on the age, I recommend that session lengths should vary in length to account for attention span. For younger students, I recommend 30-50 minutes per session. Older students can work up to 45-90 minutes at a time. 

Rates depend on time, distance, and materials/planning needed.

How did you get started teaching?

I began volunteering in the Center for Social Justice at my university in D.C. I worked with elementary school children on reading, then began teaching adult ESL classes on weekends. Eventually I became a coordinator for the DC Schools Project. From there, when I lived in Moscow, I volunteered with a social rehabilitation art center for orphans and taught English classes, as well as became a mentor for several kids.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked majoritively with non-native English speakers in my tutoring and international teaching (El Salvador, Ecuador, China, Russia). Currently I work one-on-one with several elementary school students who have LDs - with each one I am supporting their development in reading, writing, and/or working memory skills. I also work with middle school students as an Academic Resource teacher for those who want to improve their organization, study techniques, or writing and reading skills.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

As a student, it is important you can establish a rapport with a teacher. Do you know what your learning style is? Can you communicate well with your tutor what you need or like? Working sometimes can be hard, but it is also important that we find the right lessons and solutions that help you succeed. If you bring always a positive attitude and I can bring structured lessons, I promise we will see improvement over time!

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

What motivates you? What are your personal goals?

What would you consider are your areas of strength?

What do you think are your areas for improvement?

What is your favorite teacher like? What does he/she do for you?

What kinds of feedback do you learn the most from? Can you share an experience where you grew a lot?

Do you enjoy school? Why or why not?

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