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California State University at Sacramento (English, Honors)
University of South Carolina, Columbia (Master's)
University of South Carolina, Columbia (PhD)
My career in education began at the age of four. My favorite pastime was to line up my stuffed animals and teach them the alphabet, the numbers, the colors, and basic vocabulary. Soon, I moved into teaching them how to read, using phonics, sight words, the whole word method and whatever other approach I could find. Soon, even my floppy-eared elephant could read "The Little Engine Who Could" and my three bears could read about what Goldilocks might have in store for them.
Next, I taught my furry little friends about spelling, grammar. vocabulary, punctuation, sentence structure and paragraph development so that soon they were writing and reading to each other. At this point, however, I realized that Mary the Mouse and Henry the Horse had fallen behind their peers and were feeling discouraged. But Gerry the Giraffe and Sarah the Swallow were far ahead of their classmates in literature and writing skills, causing them to mutter phrases such as ""What's taking you so long, fluffheads?" to the rest of the class. And Dolly the dolphin was so far ahead that she was already studying for her SAT exam!
This just would not do! I wanted all of my students to excel! So I gave them a standardized reading test just to see who knew what about a topic and who did not. Using this information, I was able to adjust my teaching to focus on the specific needs of each student. From the noisiest cow to the most beautiful peacock, I could tutor each of my students in the skills they specifically needed in order to progress. Every one of my students made great progress, even when it came to doing well on their Common Core Curriculum assignments!
Fast forward! So how does the allegory above relate to my current career as a tutor? Throughout my formative years, I was an English major, actually an English fanatic! Reading comprehension and especially writing had become my passions, and passing them on to my students was my foremost goal in life. I've taught English and reading to literally hundreds of students during my career.
As part of my teaching career, I have sponsored the school's newspaper since I had a minor in journalism and wrote columns for three newspapers while I was in high school. I also sponsored the Literary Yearbook in three schools, giving many students, including my own Creative Writing students an opportunity to publish their poetry, short stories, essays, and art work. They experienced the writing process, from beginning to end, and felt the joy of seeing something they had written change from a cocoon into a full-blown butterfly and literally change the hearts and minds of readers.
Much of the American, British. and World Literature I taught is still being taught in today's classrooms. My experiences, however, demonstrated that there were many students who were not performing as well as they could be due to deficiencies in their reading and vocabulary skills. Therefore, I enrolled in an M.A. program to become a Reading Specialist. This permitted me to work one-on-one with students who needed intensive work on certain skills. I also taught courses on Speed Reading and Reading Comprehension in the Content Areas.
However, that was still not enough for me. I determined that testing had such a powerful and sometimes negative effect on student' lives that I wanted to learn more about how standardized tests were developed, administered, scored, and reported. Therefore, I enrolled in a prestigious program of Educational Research and Measurement (i.e., testing). Some of the top scholars in the fields of curriculum and instructional design as well as experts in testing were on the faculty and were available to assist graduate students such as myself to give back to the profession of education.
I learned as much as I could about standardized testing and had the opportunity to write items for some of the most commonly known examinations in the nation. I was also involved in the development and scoring of many test items and writing tests and participated as a trainer of test scorers. I have been actively involved in nationally standardized tests including the STAR. AP, NAEP, AP, PSAT, SAT, ACT and CBEST. Each test has its own purpose and design and I like to bring what I know about these and other tests to help my students obtain the highest scores they can during the time available.
My approach to tutoring, whether it be in reading, writing, English in general or to pass a specific test, will depend to a great extent on the incoming skills of the student in comparison to where he or she needs to be in comparison to the requirements of the subject or test. I also like to know about the student's interests and current assignments so that the tutoring will be of intrinsic value to them. We can then proceed to work on a variety of skills, such as test preparation skills, vocabulary skills, writing skills, or homework help as called for by the student's situation.
Don't worry that I will treat you like a stuffed animal! I will do my best to help you with whatever you need to learn or do! My career in education began at the age of four. My favorite pastime was to line up my stuffed animals and teach them the alphabet, the numbers, the colors, and basic vocabulary. Soon, I moved into teaching them how to read, using Read more
Patricia is an A+ tutor. She is extremely knowledgeable, very patient, and definitely an expert in the area of test taking. She is very focused on the student's goal, stays on task, and has a great knack for assessing strengths and weaknesses. She knows when to focus on the strengths and when to work on the weaknesses. Patricia tutored my daughter in preparation for the CBEST test. She has a very calming, encouraging and comprehensive teaching style that makes it easy and comfortable for the student to learn. My daughter really enjoyed working with her!
After the last two sessions with Patricia, David was excited to tell me about his plans to read every day. It didn't happen, but the fact that he seemed excited about the idea of it was a big improvement. I'm really glad we found Patricia and am starting to believe that he will become 6th grade proficient in reading by the end of the year! Also, if David is able to get more organized, he will feel better as well. I appreciate Patricia seeing David's worth and intelligence, which I don't hear from his teachers or school. I look forward to her working with him every week!
Patricia was a kind, patient, and understanding tutor. She was flexible in her scheduling and VERY accommodating. My son enjoyed his sessions with her, and he felt that she really cared. She is conscientious and knowledgeable.
Patricia V. has an exceptional educational background! I would highly recommend Patricia for assistance with critical reading and writing skills. In addition, she has a patient attitude and sincerity. She is very organized and has a wonderfully kind and gentle approach that has really helped my son.
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For a few years, I served the statewide administrator of the CBEST program. This entailed working with the testing company, especially in training their employees in how to score the writing test as intended. I also wrote items, mainly for the reading comprehension test.
Another of my responsibilities was to counsel prospective or current teachers on how to prepare for or retake the CBEST.
During my career, I have been an elementary and middle school Reading Specialist. In these positions, I worked one-on-one and with groups to enhance students' reading comprehension and related skills. In addition, I was responsible for developing materials that were used by other classroom teachers in the district to increase their students' reading skills.
Having an M.A. in Reading Instruction has enabled me to work with students at all levels and in a variety of subject areas. Reading in the Content Areas (i.e., Social Studies, Science, Health and so on)is one of my specialties. Study skills as well as Test-Taking skills are also within the scope of my tutoring.
I have worked with students from K-6 who ranged from pre-reading through remedial reading. Also, I have worked with students who have grade level as well as advanced reading skills and want to build on them by increasing their vocabularies and abilities to read critically. I have also taught speed reading and higher order reading skills.
Thus, teaching from "Phonics through Philosophy," my scope of reading diagnosis and instruction has been a rewarding experience for me. My previous students can attest to my strength in this subject and I believe any new students will benefit from my tutoring as well.
I served as California's statewide coordinator for the development of the Single Subject English Standards Test Specifications team. Other participants on the original committee were content experts from English and subsumed areas, such as literature and writing. These content experts were representatives from the CSUS system, district offices. and teachers from various geographic areas of California. The work of this team was incorporated into the Praxis examination.
During my B.A. and M.A. programs, teaching study skills was an important component of my English and Reading preparation. I have tutored and taught classes in study skills to both middle and high school students. These skills can be applied across a number of subject areas. In some cases, my instruction was targeted to students in need of remediation. Other students were in need of more efficient ways of structuring their strategies for studying and of eliminating
ineffective study habits.
My doctoral dissertation focused on differences in elementary school student achievement levels based on their patterns of attention to teacher cues about what was and was not important to learn during ongoing instruction.
Having a B.A. with Honors in English, I taught language arts and English to elementary, middle, and high school students during my career as a classroom teacher and later as a tutor and test preparation coach.
Writing has always been my favorite activity and subject matter. Having taught various levels and kinds of writing, (i.e., creative writing, essay writing, reports and proposals as well as poetry), I am versatile in meeting student's needs.
I also have a background as a journalist and published author.
Patricia V. passed a background check on 6/9/14. The check was ordered by Patricia through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.
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