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Lara H.

Carrollton, GA

$30/hr

Reading, Writing, Editing, ESL and TOEFL Prep Professor

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Reading, Writing, Editing, ESL and TOEFL Prep Professor

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Throughout my life I have enjoyed a varied array of teaching and tutoring experiences: I first taught swimming lessons when I was 13, later tutored other students in high school and college, worked as a Teaching Assistant in graduate school, taught English Composition at the College of Southern Maryland, and now work part-time at the American College of Commerce and Technology, where I teach and tutor English as a Second Language students of all ages and abilities. I have worked as a volunteer at a shelter in the DC area, helping domestic violence survivors write resumes and cover letters. I also have volunteered in rural Thailand, tutoring students ages 6-12. The one constant in all of my experiences is that I have never enjoyed anything more than teaching and tutoring.

I have never thought that a teacher's or a tutor's only responsibility is to lecture, give out worksheets, and grade papers. While these activities can be helpful, I believe that it is equally important to interact and work with students to find how they learn best and then provide appropriate lessons and materials.

For example, I have several different ways to help students improve their vocabularies. Some students prefer to write lists of words and definitions. Other students learn better by playing vocabulary hangman, vocabulary bingo, or even charades. Most of my students enjoy learning through a combination of techniques. I create and provide (for no extra charge) all materials students need to meet their educational and professional goals. In addition to working with students on reading, writing, speaking, history, civics, and many other fields, I also always help students (if they want to) prepare resumes and cover letters and practice job interview techniques.


Appreciating that different students learn in different ways ensures that every student I tutor is engaged and invested in learning - not just memorizing facts, but also understanding and appreciating how what they are learning directly applies to their goals and plans for the future.

English:
ACT English,
ACT Reading, Bible Studies,
English, ESL/ESOL, Grammar, IELTS, Literature, Proofreading, Public Speaking,
Reading,
SAT Reading, SAT Writing, TOEFL,
Vocabulary, Writing
Science:
Philosophy
Language:
ESL/ESOL, IELTS, TOEFL
History:
American History, Classics, Criminal Justice, Government & Politics, Religion, Social Studies
Music:
Saxophone
Art:
Theatre
Elementary Education:
Elementary (K-6th),
Grammar, Phonics, Reading,
Study Skills,
Vocabulary
Special Needs:
ADD/ADHD,
Aspergers, Autism, Dyslexia, Phonics, Special Needs
Business:
GRE, Public Speaking
Homeschool:
Elementary (K-6th),
English, ESL/ESOL, Reading,
SAT Reading, Study Skills,
Writing
Test Preparation:
ACT English,
ACT Reading, ASVAB, College Counseling, GRE, IELTS, MCSA, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, TOEFL
Corporate Training:
College Counseling, Criminal Justice, ESL/ESOL, Grammar, Proofreading, Public Speaking

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.

ACT English

In addition to teaching college-level English, I teach and tutor test preparation for several tests, including the ACT, SAT, and TOEFL. I regularly take practice tests for all of these so I know exactly what my students will need to do.

In test preparation, I think it is especially important to stay on task - keep the focus on preparing for the test, but equally important to prepare using several different study methods, activities, and practice tests, so students can stay focused but not get bored.

ADD/ADHD

I have a lot of experience teaching and tutoring students with ADD/ADHD. In addition to my professional teaching experience, my son has ADHD, so I am very familiar the challenges, rewards, special needs, and accommodations that help students with ADHD fulfill their potential.

I understand that students with ADHD work best with as few distractions as possible. I also know that they usually prefer to divide projects into smaller tasks and take breaks between the tasks. In addition, I think that rewarding students (with a check-mark, a sticker, a pencil, or any other small, age-appropriate reward) for finishing tasks can help motivate students. Patience and positive feedback also play key roles in helping students with ADHD to excel.

Bible Studies

Not only did I grow up actively involved in a Protestant church, I also graduated from a religious college. I extensively studied both the Old and New Testaments throughout college. In addition, I have a lot of experience editing academic papers for seminary students and would be happy to provide references upon request.

Elementary (K-6th)

I have years of experience teaching and tutoring children in elementary school, including my own two elementary school students.

During elementary school, I think one of the most important things a tutor can do is help students find ways to enjoy school. I individually tailor all projects and assignments for every student I tutor, to help the student "learn how to learn" and enjoy doing so. For example, if an elementary school student is having trouble with vocabulary or identifying parts of speech, I have a slightly modified kids version of the popular board game "Apples to Apples."

I also believe it is important to LISTEN to elementary school students: to work WITH them, not AT them. I always have more than enough planned activities for every tutoring session, so if one activity "falls flat," or even if a student just gets bored with working on something one way, I have plenty of other options. This does not necessarily mean that I change what we are working on, but I can change HOW we are working on it, to ensure that the student stays engaged.

And finally, I think it is imperative to help elementary school students learn organizational skills. Again, there are several ways I work with students to learn these, because everyone learns differently. Sometimes I encourage and help them make and keep checklists. Sometimes we make special folders for different kinds of work. Regardless of the method, I help students get and stay organized so the school work itself becomes easier.

Public Speaking

As a college professor, I use public speaking skills every day. I understand how important it is to capture and keep the attention of your audience and use several different methods to so. For example, I always have questions ready to ask my students, so they know they are responsible for listening. I also strongly encourage my students to ask me questions. Creating an interactive atmosphere helps ensure that everyone pays attention and learns.

Reading

I have been teaching and tutoring reading and writing for students of all ages and all levels for many years. My unique and effective approach includes getting to know each student and find information the student is interested in, so that he or she is reading and writing about something he or she enjoys. I also have a lot of experience with elementary and middle school students and have found that always preparing several different unique activities for each session I can keep the student focused on his or her goals, but use different activities to do so. For example, instead of just giving a writing assignment, I like to write a story with the student, taking turns writing sentences. And then I might move to an interactive reading activity, such as reading a brief (age and skill appropriate) story and then act it out with the student. This way, my students generally don't consider tutoring as "school work", but as an opportunity to fun activities while learning.

Saxophone

After eight years of playing the saxophone (and taking private lessons) in high school, I went to college on a music scholarship. While I also play the flute and clarinet, the saxophone has always been my primary instrument. I have years of experience playing in concert bands, marching bands, and jazz and dance bands.

Long after I graduated from college, I continued playing regularly in the Alexandria City Orchestra, which included helping other saxophone players learn or relearn the skills needed to play well.

Social Studies

In addition to an undergraduate degree in Political Science, my Master's degree focused on media coverage of underserved populations. I have worked as a reporter covering the U.S. House of Representatives. I have also taught classes for my English as a Second Language students on the U.S. Citizenship Exam.

Special Needs

In addition to graduate classes in special needs that I took as part of my PhD in Education, I have a lot of experience working with special needs students. I have taught special needs students in the classroom and in one-on-one tutoring (including one of my own children).

I have never thought that a teacher's or a tutor's only responsibility is to lecture, give out worksheets, and grade papers. While these activities can be helpful, I believe that it is more important to interact and work with students to find how they learn best and then provide appropriate lessons and materials.

All of the students I have ever taught or tutored have different ways of learning. Thus, I have several different ways to help students improve work. When I begin working with a student, my first priority is to work with the student and parent on specific, measurable goals, and think of several different ways we can work to meet and exceed those goals.

For example, some students prefer to read out loud and/or write. Some prefer to start with brainstorming and/or outlining. Other students learn better by playing games such as hangman, bingo, or even charades. Most of my students enjoy learning through a combination of techniques. I create and provide (for no extra charge) all materials students need to meet their educational and professional goals.

Study Skills

Regardless of a student's age or year in school, study skills play a very important role in the student's success.

As a college professor, many of my students come to their first English 101 composition class not knowing a single method of developing or using study skills. I use a variety of methods to teach them different study skills and help them identify what methods work best for them. In general, regardless of specifics, I think the first key to good study skills is good organization.

I teach several different ways for students to organize and help my students chose the one way or the combination of ways that works best for him or her. I always work with my students on taking notes and making lists. Some other organizational methods I introduce include color coding folders (and decorating them ourselves for younger students), journals, binders, and for older students, organizing on a computer flash drive so no matter where they are they will have all the information they need.

I also help students break down information that at first may seem overwhelming. We take it in small parts and pull out the highlights and create lists, outlines, and/or organizational drawings so students can more easily grasp information and remember it.

TOEFL

As a college professor who teaches a TOEFL prep class, I am an ideal TOEFL tutor. I have years of experience working with students of all ages, at all levels, and from all over the world. I make sure to take the TOEFL myself at least once a year to keep up with any changes. I can quickly assess students' abilities and help them focus the most on the areas where they need the most help. I also help students decide when they are ready to take the TOEFL so they know when they go in to take it that they will get the score they need.

Writing

Writing experience includes professional journalism, with articles published in newspapers, magazines, and books. Academic writing qualifications include publications of studies in peer-reviewed journals. Certified as a professional medical writer.

Presbyterian College
University of Missouri-Columbia (BSIE)
Master's
Ashley University
PhD

Education

Presbyterian College

University of Missouri-Columbia (BSIE) (Master's)

Ashley University (PhD)

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $30.00

Cancellation: 1 hour notice required

I always start with a free introductory session to set goals with the student and/or parent. I also offer discounts for students I see more than once a week.

Travel policy

Lara will travel within 40 miles of Carrollton, GA 30116.


About Lara

Throughout my life I have enjoyed a varied array of teaching and tutoring experiences: I first taught swimming lessons when I was 13, later tutored other students in high school and college, worked as a Teaching Assistant in graduate school, taught English Composition at the College of Southern Maryland, and now work part-time at the American College of Commerce and Technology, where I teach and tutor English as a Second Language students of all ages and abilities. I have worked as a volunteer at a shelter in the DC area, helping domestic violence survivors write resumes and cover letters. I also have volunteered in rural Thailand, tutoring students ages 6-12. The one constant in all of my experiences is that I have never enjoyed anything more than teaching and tutoring.

I have never thought that a teacher's or a tutor's only responsibility is to lecture, give out worksheets, and grade papers. While these activities can be helpful, I believe that it is equally important to interact and work with students to find how they learn best and then provide appropriate lessons and materials.

For example, I have several different ways to help students improve their vocabularies. Some students prefer to write lists of words and definitions. Other students learn better by playing vocabulary hangman, vocabulary bingo, or even charades. Most of my students enjoy learning through a combination of techniques. I create and provide (for no extra charge) all materials students need to meet their educational and professional goals. In addition to working with students on reading, writing, speaking, history, civics, and many other fields, I also always help students (if they want to) prepare resumes and cover letters and practice job interview techniques.


Appreciating that different students learn in different ways ensures that every student I tutor is engaged and invested in learning - not just memorizing facts, but also understanding and appreciating how what they are learning directly applies to their goals and plans for the future.

Education

Presbyterian College
University of Missouri-Columbia (BSIE)
Master's
Ashley University
PhD

Education

Presbyterian College

University of Missouri-Columbia (BSIE) (Master's)

Ashley University (PhD)


Tutor Policies

Cancellation
1 hour notice required

I always start with a free introductory session to set goals with the student and/or parent. I also offer discounts for students I see more than once a week.

Travel Radius
Travels within 40 miles of Carrollton, GA 30116

Lara’s Subjects

English:
ACT English,
ACT Reading, Bible Studies,
English, ESL/ESOL, Grammar, IELTS, Literature, Proofreading, Public Speaking,
Reading,
SAT Reading, SAT Writing, TOEFL,
Vocabulary, Writing
Science:
Philosophy
Language:
ESL/ESOL, IELTS, TOEFL
History:
American History, Classics, Criminal Justice, Government & Politics, Religion, Social Studies
Music:
Saxophone
Art:
Theatre
Elementary Education:
Elementary (K-6th),
Grammar, Phonics, Reading,
Study Skills,
Vocabulary
Special Needs:
ADD/ADHD,
Aspergers, Autism, Dyslexia, Phonics, Special Needs
Business:
GRE, Public Speaking
Homeschool:
Elementary (K-6th),
English, ESL/ESOL, Reading,
SAT Reading, Study Skills,
Writing
Test Preparation:
ACT English,
ACT Reading, ASVAB, College Counseling, GRE, IELTS, MCSA, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, TOEFL
Corporate Training:
College Counseling, Criminal Justice, ESL/ESOL, Grammar, Proofreading, Public Speaking

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.


Background Check Status for Lara H.

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