I have had many, many students happy with what I have done, not only students, but professionals looking for that edge to promotion through project writing.
I am culturally, economically, and religiously sensitive as well as sensitive to issues of gender identity. As such many students have found help from me when they didn't find it from others.
Tutoring has been a passion for several years. I have found that watching those "lightbulb" moments happen is one of the greatest thrills, and watching students grow not only in their English classes but in other classes where wrting skills are important has been a major personal accomplishment.
My resume has details, but I've been tutoring for many years casually. My private tutoring began after I left jobs at Kaplan University Online, where I taught not only remedial writing and math but was a tutor for the online Writing Center. I also siimultaneously worked for the University of Phoenix in several subject areas and found I spent about 1/2 my time teaching the students how to write papers, from conception to citations and formatting. Many resented this, but later came back and thanked me as their GPAs improved significantly. While teaching for the University of Phoenix, I was also in a PhD program in Educational Leadership, researching the need to assess and prepare students for college level writing. I am ABD in the program as I got very ill and had to go on disability
Statements from just a few of the thank you notes I’ve received from students and parents:
You made homework time so much easier in our household as you gave Peter the skills to study and improved his writing so that he is now getting mostly As and enjoys school. It used to be a fight to get him to study and he hated school, except for sports.
Thank you so much Martina. I am now winning prizes in school for my writing. My teachers are surprised at how much I learned and how much my writing improved. I’m so thankful for your help. I bet you never thought you’d hear me say that, did you?
You taught me so much and having a change to read some of the things you wrote helped me see what the goals were. My step-mom said your memoir is close to being published. Can I have a signed copy when it comes out?
You changed my son’s life around! He’s happy and doing well, all because you believed in him and taught him to believe in himself.
Nancy Warlock, a Thrilled Mother
Writing is also a passion, and I currently have my memoir out for review with several agents. I have written newsletters and fundraising letters for many non-profits.
I love the aspect of mentoring my students, helping them discover for themselves the gifts I see in them, and then work hard to develop those gifts. Many of my clients have very low self-esteem by the time they get to me as they've been beaten down by the educational system and never been helped. Some of the statements I've heard are, "I'm a failure, this is just one more chance to prove it;" "I don't know why I try anymore, I never get it;" and one last one that broke my heart, "I'm a worthless pile of junk, why are you bothering with me?" Frequently I find that tutoring is as much about building a student's belief in him or herself as it is teaching specific skills.
As a life long helper, and previous social worker, the chance to build not only skills but feelings of self-worth is phenomenal. I just do it in a different sphere of life when I tutor.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
First I ask them what they think they need to work on and where they see weaknesses in their skills.
I have some assessment tools I've developed for various needs and subject concentration.
Then we write out a plan. Sometimes I have them get a hold of books in the "Painless" series for writing sub-disciplines, grammar, etc. I find these books to be accessible for most of my students to work in and refer to when they get stuck.
Homework (either assigned homework from their classes or assigned by me) is given to them that they have to spend about 4-5 hours a week on inbetween sessions.
Periodic assessments are done to evaluate progress, and we go from there.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I taught at University of Phoenix, and Kaplan University, and a major part of the teaching was correcting and teaching student writing, especially papers. In addition I was a tutor at the Writing Center.
Educational theory and developmental stages were part of my MA in religious education and MSW. Doing child and family therapy also taught me a lot about how to interact with different ages productively and successfully. Working with adults to teach them one thing or another has been part of my work and volunteer work for many years, as has been working with latch key kids from kindergarten through middle school at a non-profit named Aimless Afternoon when I was in college.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
$40 per session of 45 to 60 minutes.
1st session free for evaluation and to ensure the client and I are a good match for working together.
$35 per hour if longer than 60 minutes, multiple days a week, or contracted for a minimum of 4 weeks.