Valerie P.


Valerie P.

Tutor

Santa Monica, CA 90403

Will travel 10 miles

$75 per hour.

5.0 11 ratings

Preschool-8th Grade Language Arts & Math Tutor

My philosophy, which has been the overriding goal in my teaching, is to engender in my students a love of learning, for this enables them to master any subject they are taught. I have taught in the private sector of the California school system for approximately 20 years, and my focus and strength is in developing strong reading and math skills, as well as writing skills, the basis of communication throughout the student's life. Having taught English and Literature to middle school students,... [more]


Vocabulary


Grammar


Reading


Writing

For three years I was an English and Literature teacher at a private school in Camarillo to 6/7 and 8th graders. I taught the basics of good writing, grammar and content as well as an appreciation for classic literature.


English

I taught English and Literature to 6th, 7th and 8th graders for three years at a Carden School in Camarillo. During these years I discovered my new found joy in teaching English and especially writing skills at this level.


SAT Reading

Since I was fortunate enough to be an Assistant Director of a Huntington Learning Center, I was able to become familiarized with all the different aspects of the SAT and best practices and procedures. Due to the fact that I taught English and Writing Skills for three years at the middle school level and then again at Huntington to High School students, I have great confidence in this very important area of higher education.


Spelling


Elementary Math

Due to the fact that Mathematics is used in our daily lives and throughout the world as a necessary tool in many fields of study, it is of critical importance to make sure my students become proficient and confident in their math studies. I expect my students to correct all of their mistakes to 100% as I view each and every opportunity to do so, a chance to make sure they do not miss any valuable steps on the ladder of learning math. What I have found is that if a student has not fully grasped each step, he does not benefit by proceeding further. I most recently taught math to Third through Sixth Graders for five years and taught the very basics to them; from computation skills to word problems and simply following directions. I was quite fortunate to be able to watch my students grow mathematically as they returned to me after graduating to the next level of elementary school. Each year my students moved on to the following level with notable self-confidence and even excitement at the thought of learning new and challenging math skills.


Elementary (K-6th)

I am an experienced Elementary School Teacher who truly enjoys working with young children. I taught First Grade as Lead Teacher for three years and Second Grade for two, so am well aware of what the children are learning in all of the subject areas and am familiar with all of the varying abilities and characteristics of this age group. When I began my career as an Assistant Teacher in First, Second and Fourth Grades I assisted in all of the Language Arts and Math classes. After moving on to teach all grades K-12, as a Substitute Teacher and Tutor, I found Elementary students to be the ones that I prefer to teach and currently work as a Substitute Teacher and Tutor in Santa Monica at the Elementary level. My focus with the very young students and especially with Kindergarteners is in teaching concepts about print and awareness of sounds, words, letters and that print carries meaning. Fluency in both Reading and Writing is my greatest goal with all of the elementary school students because it has been discovered that students who have trouble decoding, spend their time trying to conquer this skill to the detriment of comprehension skills! The sooner they are more fluent in Reading and Writing, the less they will struggle, and will instead, be thinking about and understanding what they are reading no matter what the subject. This is what enables them to become independent learners and thinkers. In order to make sure they become confident students in all areas of the curriculum, their level of literacy needs to be high which means they need to be skilled in both Reading and in the Art of Writing. Reading and Writing are absolutely interwoven and support each other. They are key to success! While it is important to me to foster a love of learning in my students by making learning fun and interesting, I also require high standards so that they become confident, proud and comfortable with the learning process and take ownership of their own learning. The strategies I use to teach my students include great consideration for their individual needs, interests and abilities. Whether it be Math or Language Arts, Social Studies or Science, Organizational Skills or Thinking skills, Study Skills or Listening Skills, Reading Directions or Following Directions, we will work hard together and be successful in these scholarly endeavors.


Phonics

Teaching the sounds of the English language is one of my favorite subjects to work closely with my students on and have always had very remarkable success in doing. Since language is the foundation of reading and therefore all subjects, it has always been my goal to make great progress in this area of paramount importance. Language is the key that allows the student to unlock all knowledge so that once the student understands this, he or she can then enjoy the process of figuring out the sounds that when combined make all the words we use an easy and enjoyable thing to do. Teaching phonics to my students is truly one of my greatest joys!


Study Skills

I hold a Clear California Credential. My experience in the area of study skills has always been an integral part of my particular teaching style as I believe it is critical to learning well which is after all my goal as an educator. Whether a student is in Kindergarten or Twelfth Grade, study skills must and will be very clearly explained with each and every new subject.


Greek

The Greek language is one that I hold near and dear to my heart. Having grown up in a family where it was spoken daily, I was required to learn it. Through interaction with my family members who were native to Greece and then attending classes at "Greek School" given at our church, I learned the basics of the spoken and written language and am now able to converse with Greek people while traveling abroad about simple and everyday matters. During my college years I was also fortunate to be able to study Ancient Greek which taught the derivation of so many vocabulary words used in the English language today. Studying Ancient Greek gave me the opportunity to observe the subtle changes in the language that occurred throughout the centuries and satisfied my interest in words and how they evolve. Since many of our English root words derive from the Greek language, the study of Greek not only enables one to elevate his/her English vocabulary but to remember and then apply the root meanings to so many of our English words today. It is my experience that only by using these words, whether written or spoken, does one enhance his/her grasp of the language. While teaching the Greek language is one of my great joys, the introduction to the history, mythology and culture of the Greek people is an integral part of my lessons and learning about Greece. Therefore, pictures and stories are used as an enjoyable aspect of each learning unit.


CBEST

Having taken the CBEST Exam as one of the many parts of obtaining my California Teaching Credential, I am highly qualified to educate my students in writing skills. My teaching credential qualifies me to teach students from preschool to the adult level. In order to put ones thoughts down on paper in a clear and concise way, one must practice doing so. The key to becoming a great writer lies with a desire to do so as well! Teaching wonderful writing skills has become one of my greatest goals as an educator. I began teaching Composition many years ago (1984). It was a great challenge in those days with little first-graders since they did not have creative spelling at that time. The children were very frustrated and cried when it was composition time. It was my least favorite subject to teach back then. I went on to teach English and Literature in The Carden School of Camarillo. I was the English and Literature teacher for three consecutive years to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. I also taught writing skills to high school students as assistant director of the Huntington learning center in Westlake Village, California. I found great success when I modeled writing for my students and taught them how to evaluate their own writing. Like anything else in life, becoming a great writer takes work!


ISEE

Since having had two years experience as an Assistant Director at the Huntington Learning Center in Westlake Village, California, I was very fortunate to have had the experience of tutoring and administering practice versions of the ISEE. I know exactly what to focus on with my students when preparing them for the test. The ISEE is specifically designed to measure the verbal and quantitative reasoning and achievement of students seeking admission into independent schools. Practicing all basic skills acquired during elementary school, including writing skills and test taking strategies, is therefore of paramount importance and the focus of all my lessons.