Mary M.


Mary M.

Tutor

Friendswood, TX 77546

Will travel 35 miles

$50 per hour.

4.93 1056 ratings

Dynamic Coach who ferrets out a student's positive learning attributes

Greetings! I hold a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English (minor in Spanish) as well as an M.L.S., Masters of Library Science degree from Texas Woman's University, Denton, Texas. I have worked 20 plus years in public libraries (Houston Public Library, almost 16 years, and City of League City Library, 11 years). I have provided reference service to all ages during these years. In addition, as recently as 2007, I have completed the College of the Mainland Alternative Education Program aka P.A.C.T.... [more]


American History

I have helped elementary, middle school, and high school learners (from those who are learning-differenced to Pre-AP and AP, Accelerated Program students) in public or parochial schools study assigned historical facts (from textbooks or teacher-prepared booklets). I cater to their individual learning methods (Some write copious notes, others use graphic organizers, for instance). Sometimes, I read along with them when they are assigned nonfiction and historical fiction works from the 1800's to the present. At other times, I have them read to me as they organize the facts on paper. At all times, I try to help them understand how to make connections with words in the context of the century in which they were used. If I have read the book since 2010, I bring my own notes to the session.


Vocabulary

I am a degreed person who loves to analyze words. I have loved to study vocabulary since I was small. For example, I worked with students on their SAT Vocabulary booklets (synonyms and antonyms included).


Grammar

I have select reference books which cater to different age levels from primary through adult. Inferences, summarizing, phonics tips, grammar examples, etc. are taught when helping individual clients.


Microsoft Word

I have used MS Word most of my adult life.


Reading

I am a member of NCTE (the National Council of Teachers of English) as well as the IRA (the International Reading Association). As of January 2015, the IRA has been renamed to the ILA (The International Literacy Association). I keep apprised of current techniques and strategies in reading and comprehension. I work with all ages of readers to help them achieve their personal and academic goals (from pre-K through adults). I share reading strategies with different types of learners on a one-to-one basis, including making each person aware of internet sites which can help them locate information which appeals to their individual interests. I have been trained to interface well with all types of learners.


Spanish

I teach Spanish to PreK through high school learners at area public libraries close to where I live using materials purchased over my lifetime from bookstores and libraries. I don't have math materials in Spanish like a school teacher would receive in their classes. I only meet clients in public libraries, not in their homes. I have return customers, and I prearrange days and times to meet in certain Southeast Houston area public libraries after school is out on a daily basis as well as on Saturdays. When the public libraries are closed for whatever reason, I take a day off. Presently, I help the Spanish-Language-Learner who speaks English best. I help them pass the difficult Spanish-speaking classes they take in middle and high school when they have not been schooled in Spanish from the first grade. I also teach Spanish along with English in a conversational manner to K-grade 6 or so children that I tutor if the parent wishes me to do so. I teach pronunciation of Spanish words, vocabulary, and verb conjugations; and I share recorded materials in which I sing Spanish songs like those of Jose Luis Orozco (or read sample academic material or poetry for older learners to help them listen to Spanish better and become fluent by repeating what I have said or sung). I am basically a Caucasian who taught myself Spanish in classrooms in which the teachers from high school through college-level didn't demand fluent speaking in class. I have always loved the Spanish Language, and I want other Anglo-Americans to appreciate its Romantic Language flair. For instance, I read Cervantes' Don Quijote in Spanish in a Spanish Literature class. I can read the material and figure it out 'in context' in Spanish, especially academic writings, I can pronounce the words well, and I can understand many Spanish speakers who need my assistance (former librarian), and answer library-related questions. While I was very fluent in college, I lost my fluency when I didn't use the language on a daily basis. However, I still love to work with motivated Spanish learners to develop the confidence needed to master the language in high school, college, and adult life.


Writing

I have published creative poems and essays (different subjects and age levels) featured on the online NCTE/National Council of Teachers of English/National Gallery of Writing site (a 21st Century temporary writers' venue which closed down on 9/30/2013). I have published the same six multi-disciplinary lessons on Hotchalk's Lesson Plans Page site, which is an active website. I am a featured WyzAnt tutor on the K12 Academics website, for which I have also written a Rebus lesson plan. In September 2012, I joined an online Poetry and Writing Community sharing my older/newer poems and free verse (about 4,000 people have read my works) as well as reviewing the original creations of others (I have critiqued 5,742 others' writings). Recently, the site stopped functioning (June 2017) so I am unable to access my writings and reviews of other writers' works presently. In Spring 2014, I read and recognized twenty high school juniors' "best" ten-page assorted essays and poems (a total of 100 different entries), ranking the writings from average to excellent. I am an associate member of Academy of American Poets, promoting exciting programs such as National Poetry Month and the Poetry Audio Archive.


Geography

I help students taking geography in private/parochial regional schools located in different counties close to where I live. I also substituted in Social Studies classes in a particular Independent School District on a weekly basis for about a year. I have always loved geography. I strive to inspire students to learn more about their world, locally, nationally, and internationally.


English

Adults and I use a laptop to work on TOEFL speaking subjects and grammar needs. My subject expertise lies in English, writing all kinds of materials, editing others' works, teaching grammar tips to clients to enable them to excel, and reading classical as well as popular works which students are required to complete in Grades 1 through 12. Note-taking (using graphic organizers or kinesthetic/hands-on notation) and maintaining journals are encouraged.


Government & Politics

I help 9th-12th graders study for their Government and Politics exams. When I help Grades 1-9, I organize the learning needs of individual students, as needed. I may be assigned to tutor them in English, but I help most of my clients with all their subjects, including Govt./Politics (writings, note-taking, speeches, test-study, and math).


Psychology

I took a Business Psychology course in college as well as a General Psychology course during my Alternative Certification classes geared to Elementary through Grade 6. I assisted many clients with research paper editing related to Psychology points-of-view.


Literature

If you look under my Writing and Reading qualifications, you will see the variety of subjects I have tutored relating to Literature.


Proofreading

Recently, I proofed, assessed, and qualified the "best" essays and poems for NCTE's (National Council of Teachers of English) annual 2014 contest for eleventh grade students in the U.S. Also, I am an established poet and book review writer on the Writer's Network website (2011-June 2017). Since mid-2010, I have edited essays and speeches for Grades 4 through adult in the process of helping my various-aged WyzAnt customers.


GED

GED students of different ages have worked with me on writing six or more essays in order to attend a junior college. In addition, I have helped one student practice all her subjects (with some higher math excluded), and she passed all these subjects.


SAT Reading

SAT reading/reasoning helps students of all ages qualify the type of material being read better. We read through the passages in-tandem (using whichever workbook they prefer). When we miss a question, we self-check our individual reading patterns to see why we didn't select 'the best' answer. In this way, both of us grow in our understanding based upon our individual strengths and weaknesses. I never read or memorize the answers to the passages ahead-of-time, preferring to show the individual student how to overcome my shortsightedness on certain subjects by re-reasoning the 'best' answer.


SAT Writing

I used different writing materials to help individuals write better on the SAT. I keep up with the current SAT topics by accessing this information on the Internet. I share this information with my clients, when needed.


Physical Science

Physical science implies applying scientific principles to studying the flora and fauna around us. I have helped students of all ages with their papers, exam preparation, and readings.


TOEFL

I have worked with ESL and ELL learners from 4th grade through adult. Spanish learners who are learning English are my best, and most prolific, clients, especially in their school subjects. I have worked with Hindi, as well as Arabic, clients. I help them until they are confident enough to proceed on their own. I even work with 4th-12th graders who are reading classical and popular literature written in the English Language in regional schools.


PSAT

I have worked with 15 different-aged clients who have passed their PSAT.


Spelling

I have had extensive experience participating in spelling bees in elementary. I love Scrabble, which requires accurate spelling knowledge to secure higher points. Singing well presupposes that the singer can pronounce (from spelling practice) words within songs. Spelling helps all of us understand the roots of different languages/cultures in America. Spelling vagaries can confuse many readers and writers, so I encourage my clients to excel in spelling. Even the SAT uses extensive crosswords in the Internet to help people spell better.


Elementary Math

Word problems can be very confusing to English-Language Learners as well as students who have Attention-Deficit or Dyslexia issues. We work together using pencil and paper since I have noticed that those using calculators within the elementary and middle schools still don't answer the questions correctly since they are not using proper logic or common sense when solving word problems. They simply put some facts listed within the word problem into their established calculator formulas, finding the incorrect answer without understanding how to check their work. Their answers, therefore, are wrong. I use my old methods, and they use theirs. We check each other's reasoning and answers, correcting any misconceptions in logic or deduction. They become smarter than me because they are learning their way of math and mine, as well.


Elementary Science

I have helped students from Grade 1 through Grade 9 with their Science Fair Projects ideas, note-taking issues, reports, and worksheets to help them excel.


Elementary (K-6th)

If you are having trouble understanding, pronouncing, or writing in subjects being studied in classes, I can work with you to find out what is confusing or frustrating you. We will start simply and build our team skills together to bridge what you know and what you need to know to succeed in the subjects, based on your school's grade-level expectations. My strongest subjects are English, Reading, Writing, Social Studies, History, and Science. I like Math and I can usually explain it well, but it is not my strength. I love art and music, but I am not an artist or musician who has been formally schooled. I use my creativity in music and art by sight singing in a choir, recording on karaoke, or developing scrapbooks of my writings or lifelong friendships. I was a drummer in middle school (three years), but I was never interested in learning to read music. I was taught the art of drumming by using math principles when counting drum rolls, etc. Luckily, I have "an ear for music." I am a creative and original thinker because of all the teachers who encouraged me to pursue my natural talents once I had mastered basic class subjects. I welcome the opportunity to help you become a successful student so that you can participate in extracurricular activities of your choice while you build basic life skills that will enable you to be successful in your future careers.


Phonics

I ordered phonics materials during my 10-year-stint as a Children's Librarian in a public library. I served many home schoolers and their parents/caregivers directly. I welcome the opportunity to work with your child on a one-to-one basis, giving her/him the quality attention they will need to succeed as independent readers. Word families are also important to fluent readers. If your child has any materials with which they are having difficulty, they can bring them to a mutually-agreed-upon library (like Freeman Library in Clear Lake), and I will work with them to improve their fluency and understanding.


Study Skills

I have life-long experience in helping people around me focus on their best ways of learning. As an accredited public librarian, I qualified each person's individual needs and wants while finding the best materials to help them study, write, or speak effectively. I performed reference queries for children, tweens, teens, college students, and adults using reference materials, subject-interest books, and the Internet. As a substitute teacher (NCLB's No Child Left Behind Highly-Qualified-to-Teach program for Galveston County), I followed the teachers'-of-record procedures in their classrooms (PreK through Grade 5), while suggesting other ways for the students to achieve their individual and team goals. "The new Every Student Succeeds Act took effect during the 2017-18 school year. During 2016-17, schools transitioned between rules under No Child Left Behind and the ESSA." Presently, as a tutor, I find better ways to reach different populations of students and adults. I show them how to organize themselves based upon their own habits or proclivities, scaffolding what they already know, using concrete steps to enable them to achieve their individual and learning goals based upon their individual learning styles.


Special Needs

I have substituted in Clear Creek ISD (18 elementary schools)for an entire fall and spring session, checking each substituting opportunity daily and working in a different elementary and/or grade level daily, based upon need. I have substituted in Pre-K, Kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth, and fifth grades. I have worked in Special Ed classrooms, Life Skills classes, even mainstreaming an individual student in a regular classroom situation or helping two or three students at-a-time in a mainstreamed classroom, as well as substituting in a classroom with students of mixed abilities many times. I have helped Special Needs people find library materials geared to their understanding during my many years as a Public Librarian. I believe every child can learn and I can help a person learn better. Let me know your child's strengths and weaknesses and I will help them comprehend better. I truly believe, for instance, that keeping a child on-task during summer, winter, and spring breaks is very important for short-term and long-term memory potential and personal knowledge growth. Recent online certificate of completion: Assistive Technology for Struggling Readers presented by Mike Marotta, Learning Ally Consultant. 1 clock-hour Thursday, 8/18/2016. Recent online certificate of completion: Assistive Technology for Struggling Readers presented by Mike Marotta, President of Inclusive Technology Solutions and a Learning Ally Consultant. 1 clock-hour Thursday, 8/18/2016. He described Assistive Technology as any device used to maintain or improve student functional capabilities. He referred to Joy Zabala?s SETT Framework, which favors not letting the tools drive discussions about technology choices. Consider these options first: S=Student Skillsets, E=Environment, T=Tasks, and T=Tools. He also included many relevant sites that are helpful to school districts that may not be aware of their potential for helping struggling readers (Dragon Naturally Speaking, digital text, and Human-narrated audio, to name a few). Another clock-hour live-web session I took: How to Support Dyslexic Students in Your School presented by Terrie Noland, National Director, Educator Engagement &Initiatives, Learning Ally, 7/26/2016. She recommends all readers having 20 minutes/day of reading time which increases each student?s Lexile reading level tremendously. She discussed the Multi-Sensory-Structured Language Program (Orton Gillingham-based word sets that are placed in random alphabetical order to help students recognize words cognitively, etc.), included dyslexia indicators for students, in general, and recommended coding/decoding, syllable instruction, morphology, syntax/semantics, phonological awareness, and sound/symbol association, etc. I share these sites and caveats of information for parents who are interested.


ESL/ESOL

I minored in Spanish in college, and I have substituted for a whole day in a third grade Hispanic bilingual (1/2 day English, the other half, Spanish) class in the Clear Creek ISD. I would like to help increase your fluency in English so that you will be more inclined to attend college or a special trade school instead of dropping out or losing direction during your middle school years. I will work with you on literacy topics or other subjects with which you are having concerns. Bring books, magazines, or newspapers, and we will work in tandem to understand them literally and figuratively. I also have some materials which I can share with you, once we have mastered your prioritized ESL needs. I wish you to grow in your understanding of English so that you will be successful in school and in life.


College Counseling

As a librarian and tutor, I belong to organizations like NCTE, the National Council of Teachers of English; and I keep apprised of cutting-edge developments in the education industry (Education Week). I have timely articles on-hand to share with prospective college-essay applicants. As an English major and published essayist/poet, I am well-versed to help applicants "present themselves" positively to college admissions offices. Any extracurricular information the student shares will be presented in a unique manner to help that applicant "stand out from the crowd". As a former public library Reference Librarian, I counseled different-aged patrons in pursuing college careers using traditional library reference works as well as Internet sources to ascertain what different colleges and universities were expecting of their students regarding personal career goals and aspirations.


ADHD

I have worked with Attention Deficit and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder elementary students in the Clear Creek Independent School District (League City, Texas) as a substitute teacher-of-the-day. I worked for a full Fall and Spring session substituting as the Teacher-of-Record in a group of 18 different public elementary schools serving Grades K-5 plus Specials. I consulted the school district via computer each weekday, deciding which grade level and class to assist. Sometimes, I had five choices, other times, two. I have worked with all levels of elementary pupils, including classes with 24 or 35 students, and Specials Rooms with 5-8 students. As a tutor, I ask the students to write something, read something, and express their opinions about their favorite topics, one method of getting to know them as unique individuals with different assessment needs. Then, I prepare a coaching plan to help them. If they are enrolled in public or parochial schools, I can help them with their learning tasks outside of class or explain their classroom work to them in different ways to see how they learn different subjects effectively. If they get frustrated easily, I am very patient and considerate. I quietly ask them to take a time-out and think about what I can do to help them learn to get past their frustration, encouraging them to apply their excess energy to constructive learning patterns. I encourage them to do their best, even if they cannot understand or reason the right answer yet. I attempt to fathom which multiple intelligence tactics work best for them (Is their verbal ability stronger than their kinesthetic learning aptitude, for instance?).


Dyslexia

Having been educated in Texas public schools, I have always helped other people learn better by explaining subjects to them in different ways. I usually begin working with dyslexic students by asking them what issues they have encountered in the classroom: Scheduling of assignments and completing them in a timely manner, spelling or handwriting issues which might require the teacher to focus their grades on content and not on grammar, problems with copying information displayed on the board (maybe the student needs a netbook, if they have keyboarding skills, in the classroom to enable them to responsibly copy whiteboard assignments in their word processing calendar form). I appreciate anything the parent or teacher can bring to the table to help me tutor the student effectively. I have worked directly with learning-difference individuals in elementary schools (special education and mainstreamed students), and I praise their strengths and address their weaknesses to embolden them and give them the power to achieve their goals on their own merits. Recently, I have read "Dyslexia Definition Now Covers Wider Range of Reading Disorders" by Tom Corrigan 3/20/2012 (Issaquah Press): "Dyslexia really encompasses anyone who has difficulty reading," Atwater said. Kathy Gottlieb, a literacy TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment) at Issaquah School District said the district does not use the word "dyslexia" in describing student reading problems. It is a medical diagnosis. The Issaquah District does complete comprehensive testing for reading disabilities. Atwater sees dyslexia issues in terms of coding and decoding words or letters in which persons have issues with connecting the letters or words on a page with the sounds normally connected with those words or letters. It is a reading disability combined with auditory processing problems. A dyslexic, for instance, cannot properly visualize a letter or word. Gottlieb explains that a dylexic can read a paragraph on a page and have no idea what it means. The brain's decoding of what is seen on the page is slow or interrupted. Atwater has noticed that reading a paragraph or page of written materials is a lot of work for dyslexic readers who do not like to read as a result. Similar words like "pear" and "pair" add to the confusion. Discriminating between homonyms, synonyms, and antonyms must be frustrating (my opinion). Each dyslexic has different reading problems...Each teaching plan, therefore, is unique. Atwater believes that MRIs can help identify what parts of the brain are having difficulties. Identifying the type of cognitive skill impairment can help teachers give individual attention to that needed skill, using phonics, teaching roots of words, etc. Look online for the frequently-updated list of people who have had dyslexia issues and overcome them successfully (my interjection). Reading and writing issues can be overcome through giving gifted people individual instruction, retraining parts of the brain that do not make the right-on connections needed for academic understanding.


Speech

When I tutor adults, young adults, and children, I quietly correct their speech issues, especially with ESL/ELL and special needs learners. Some people realize that their conversational speaking troubles result from habitual repetition of words they never realized were mispronunciations (cultural mores are included). They wish to succeed in school and business and they do not mind my patient attempts to help them secure their personal, business, and academic goals. (I have corrected some of my own mispronounced words by helping others who are not afraid to return the favor in a thoughtful manner).


Handwriting

As an English major and scrapbooking aficionado, I have employed the craft of cursive handwriting and lettering in many of my artistic exploits. In the last year, I have helped two students, a fourth-grader and a fifth-grader, learn the old-fashioned method of cursive handwriting. Of course, left-hand writers may deploy a different slant to their cursive handwriting, and I am happy to work with them, too. I oversee each person's technique, then we discuss and address any hard-to-read letters, on a client-by-client basis.


STAAR

I have assisted thirty different-aged students with specific Texas-related STAAR testing needs since 2012: A 3rd-4th grader with reading needs and a little ADHD; a 7th grader with ELA (English Language Arts) writing needs who spells phonetically and has some dyslexic issues; two 9th-10th graders who requested help with STAAR and SAT writing, in general; and two 10th-11th graders, one of whom needed writing tips, the other, who failed to pass STAAR in the 9th grade and 11th grade, possibly due to dyslexia and other special needs when taking tests, such as being distracted by noise in room, etc. Reading and writing effectively are important to passing this test.


ACT Reading

I secured a B.A. in English and a Master's in Library Science, a liberal-arts degree, working in different libraries and companies to enhance my subject expertise, including ACT Reading. I spent over 20 years helping individuals of all ages in public libraries, such as the Houston Public Library and Helen Hall Library, find materials which appealed to their perceived reading levels. I have a knack for locating interesting tomes that appeal to all levels of readers.


ACT English

I secured a B.A. in English and a Masters in Library Science, a liberal-arts degree, working in different libraries and companies to enhance my subject expertise, including for the ACT. I spent over 20 years helping individuals in public libraries, such as Houston Public Library and Helen Hall Library. I also write poetry, book reviews, and creative stories, as well as review others' works. Participating in an NCTE-related national writing contest by reading more than six different creations/categories of writing by each of 20+ students in middle- and high-school while judging the literary quality of their work for scholarship purposes focused me on the importance of literary and academic reading and writing ability.