Heather Brannelly Private Tutor
I am orgionally from Southern Nh and graduated from Syracuse University in three years with my bachelors degree in 2012. Throughout college, I tutored mostly math, and decided I really liked teaching. After college, I moved down to Fort Worth and became certified as a teacher through TNTP, an excellent program that trains its students to teach specifically in low-income, inner city schools. I began teaching at a middle school in Fort Worth ISD, but decided to move to a high school in Inner-city Dallas my second and third year, because I felt I was more needed in that area than the school I was at. This past year, I moved back to southern Nh and I have decided to go to graduate school while picking up tutoring full time.
As a teacher, I was very successful, and as a tutor, I believe I am even more successful. I am high energy, up beat, and excited about learning. I try and make learning as fun as possible, and I am very relaxed when I tutor, that way my students are relaxed as well and fully open to learning. I am excited when my students learn tricky concepts, but no challenge is too big for me! I have been working with those with autism for several years and really enjoy it, as well as other learning disabilities like dyslexia, which I myself have and have overcome.
I particularly love Math and Science, and taught mostly Biology and AP Biology in the school setting. I grew up with two engineer parents so I was submersed in math and science at a very young age. I was on my high school's robotics team, and these past three years, I have been on the other side, coaching Robotics for a couple high school teams. I love problem solving and being creative in finding new ways to solutions; I will stay up all night working through something if I can't figure it out.
I truly enjoy learning and helping other learn. If I could stay in college my whole life and just continue to learn, I would (and sort of am, as I am currently working on my masters). When one of my students finally realizes how a concept works or why its important, and their face lights up, it brightens my day. Through tutoring, I also get to learn a lot too! My clients bring so much to the table and I learn a lot from them.
I have so many resources from my years of teaching, and a garage full of manipulatives and supplies that help my students better understand tricky concepts. I am always thinking of new ways to teach and reach out to my students that are struggling the most. My personal whiteboard and my laminator are my best friends.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
Working with new students usually starts with an interview type conversation, in which my student interviews me to see if I am a good fit and if they feel they will be able to learn from me. This is very important to learning. I am very flexible and can work with many different students, but it is extremely important for my student to feel comfortable with me, otherwise learning will be stifled. Getting to know my students as people is important to me as well so I tend to gather information about my student during this process, including their interests and hobbies, so that I can relate the content in a way that my student understands.
On the first lesson, I typically work through current homework or concepts they are having problems with, so I can start to figure out how my student learns best, and what type of student they are. Depending on the age of the student, planning and good study habits are something we may work on in the second or third lesson, on a continuous basis, in preparation for college or the work force. I like to work on best practices for learning as a whole, if needed, in addition to the specific areas needed, because that way my students are better set up for success in the future, not only in their current classes, but classes to come.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I am a Texas certified teacher, certified in all core middle school classes and all high school science courses. These certifications do not limit me to these specific areas though. I have tutored elementary age students in the past as well as high school math, english, social students, etc. Teaching is something I was taught in a way that I can apply it to any subject, and if there is something that I don't already know that my student needs help with, I will teach myself before I teach my student.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
My pricing is on a sliding scale, depending on what my clients can afford and how far I need to drive. My standard price is $50/hour, which often leaks over to a hour an a half of tutoring time.
How did you get started teaching?
I did not go to college for education, and only realized I enjoyed teaching while tutoring in college. I began teaching when I was accepted into the TNTP Fort Worth Teaching fellows, while living in New Hampshire, and decided to move down to Forth Worth and train to become a teacher. I started my first year on a probationary certificate, while working with TNTP and going through rigorous evaluations and course work, and passed with flying colors and received my standard teaching certificate at the end of my first year. I then moved to Dallas and began teaching high school Biology and AP Biology in Oak Cliff, as well as coaching Robotics, where I stayed for the next two years. I am working on my masters and no longer teaching in the school setting, but rather running my own private tutoring business full time.
What types of students have you worked with?
I have worked with all types of students, and really enjoy working with anyone. I do have a lot of experience working with students with autism or other neurological disorders, as well as other learning disabilities, like dyslexia, which I have myself and have overcome. I don't specialize in a certain area and currently tutor both kids and adults. While I really love working with kids, working with adults is often refreshing and fun.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a tutor in your area of expertise?
I believe that setting up an interview is crucial to making sure learning happens. Students need to feel comfortable with their tutor, and so having the student interview the tutor is important before making the decision to hire, especially if the tutoring is on a long term basis. When students don't relate to their teacher, they don't learn as well.
If you find a tutor you think you would like to hire, meet up as a coffee shop or jump on the phone/skype and run quick interview. You may want to bring up some of your homework along and have your potential tutor help you through one or two problems to see if you can learn from the way they teach. Also, talk about interests and hobbies to see if you and your tutor can relate to one and other. This will help you be successful in the long run.