5.0 (2)
1 employee

About this tutor

I am an experienced college English professor and tutor. I work with people of all ages, from young children to older adults. I tutor K-12, college, and graduate school students. I coach creative writers and professionals. I give people from other cultures--children, housewives, and working adults--the skills they need to live, study, and work in the U.S.

I teach study skills, reading comprehension, critical thinking, and writing. I help K-12 students with homework and reading assignments, test preparation, essay-writing, and college admissions essays. I guide college and graduate students with their coursework, research, theses and dissertations. I am extremely knowledgeable of literature and art history, and conversant in most subjects. I am experienced in online teaching, and can oversee online courses.

I help creative writers by guiding their projects and offering informed feedback and suggestions. I teach professionals how to speak with confidence, write effective emails, proposals, and reports, and give powerful presentations. I give foreigners help with conversational English, American idiom, American culture, accent reduction, and TESOL preparation.

My teaching philosophy is that people learn best when they like what they're doing, so I make sure that every session is enjoyable as well as informative. I devise games and projects for young children. I find ways to make grammar and punctuation comfortable and painless, literature and art accessible and exciting, and writing of all types satisfying, challenging, and rewarding. I tailor classes around a person's individual needs and interests. My teaching techniques are varied and never monotonous.

I love teaching and have over twenty years of experience. I won student-driven teaching awards at West Chester University and Southern New Hampshire University, and I consistently receive positive evaluations. Many of my students stay in touch for years.

My service stands out because I genuinely care about my students and try my hardest to make sure that each class is a genuine learning experience.

I love tutoring. It gives me the opportunity to work closely with students, something that is not always possible when teaching a large group of students.

I would call myself a natural born teacher. It gives me great satisfaction to share knowledge and impart skills. When a student's eyes light up with that "I got it!" expression, I feel pleased and excited, no matter what the student's age, ability, or level of achievement might be.

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Philadelphia, PA 19103
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2 Reviews


  • Jaye A

    I hired Ellen eight years ago as my writing tutor while enrolled in the Villanova MPA program, and Ellen has turned out to be my favorite teacher of all times. She has a special way of helping her students feel extemely confident, enthusiastic about the material and imparts knowledge like no other. She is encouraging, higly intelligent on a variety of subject matters and best of all, she encourages her students not only to think but to think critically. She is extremely passionate about teaching and her proudest moments usually pivots around seeing her students succeed. I am proud to have had Ellen as my tutor, and I am more than happy to recommend her for any writting projects.

  • Daniel

    Ms. Bluestone is an amazing tutor as she is able to take your mistakes and struggles and immediately create a short or long-term plan to help you improve in whatever you need. Flexible when needed and is a huge help!!


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

I spend the first class learning about the student and asking pertinent questions about academic needs, goals, learning style, and likes and dislikes. It's important to me that we establish a healthy rapport. I make sure the student feels comfortable, and I encourage the student to feel free to contact me with any questions. I generally take notes on the session and send a copy to the student.

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

I studied Art History at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. I received a B.A. and was named a "Wellesley College Scholar." I received an M.A. In English at Villanova University, where I was a teaching assistant and assisted James Kirschke of the English Department. I received a Ph.D. ABD at Rutgers University. I was a teaching assistant, and taught classes in Advanced English Composition at both Douglass College and Rutgers.

I studied at West Chester University to become a Fellow of the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Program and the National Writing Program.

I studied the Philosophy and Appreciation of Art at the Barnes Foundation. It was a three-year course.

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

I charge $60 per hour.  Students can reduce their costs by purchasing a 5-hour package for $250.

How did you get started teaching?

I started teaching at Harcum College while I was completing my M.A. in English at Villanova. In the middle of my M.A., my family and I moved to Brazil, where I taught at the Uniao Cultural Brasil-Estados Unidos (the Brazilian-American Cultural Center) in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Upon receiving my degree, I taught at Villanova, then went onto Rutgers, where I taught my way through my Ph.D. studies at both Rutgers and Douglas College, as a Teaching Assistant.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with every type of student imaginable. I have taught thousands of college freshmen at several schools, most notably West Chester and Penn State Brandywine. I also taught for several  years at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where I worked with students in the Community College Partnership Program. I have worked privately with graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University, Temple University, Drexel University, University of Delaware, Phoenix University, and Strayer University.

I taught fourth graders at a writing camp sponsored by the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project. I also taught creative writing to fourth graders at a small religious school.

I have taught ESL to people of all ages, both in the U.S. and abroad.  I taught members of one family from Taiwan for four years on Skype, and I taught a Brazilian physician for two years on Skype. I am currently teaching a 13-year old boy in Shanghai, China.

While my earlier teaching was limited to college freshmen, as a graduate professor at Southern New Hampshire University, I have worked primarily with adult students. These are highly motivated students who are pursuing a master's degree--generally while working--and often working on publishing their work.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I attended the 2017 graduation at Southern New Hampshire University because I won a teaching award and was sent there by the school. It was a very touching experience, as many of the online students had never seen the school until they received their degrees (and, indeed, I had never seen it in my five years of teaching there). As I stood in the receiving line after the event, a former online adult student whom I had come to know very well online, came up to me and asked, "Are you Prof. Ellen?" She began to cry, saying, "I learned so much from you!" I, too, was teary-eyed and touched to the core. I only wish I'd been able to see more of my online students in person that day!

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

I would advise the student to be clear about his or her intentions, strengths, weaknesses, and goals. I would pay attention to the way the teacher answers questions and the degree of knowledge, empathy, and insight he or she shows. I would advise the student to have a few lessons before judging how effective the teacher is.

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

1. What are my strengths?

2. What are my deficiencies? 

3. How and why are these deficiencies holding me back?

4. What could a teacher do for me that would help me address these deficiencies and make the kind of progress I want to make?

5. What kind of person would I most enjoy working with?

6. How strict would I need this teacher to be?

7. Would this teacher help me increase my confidence and independence?

8. Does this teacher have what it takes to help me increase my skills?

9. Does this teacher genuinely enjoy teaching?

10. Is this someone who will encourage me to grow?

Services offered

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