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Steve S.

What really matters is your child's mind.

Glenview, IL (60025)

Travel radius
10 miles
Hourly fee
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I'm a tutor, teacher and published writer with degrees in English from Harvard (BA), Yale (MAT) and the University of California at Berkeley (PhD).

I work with students of all ability levels from middle school through college. I enjoy motivating students who hate school as much as I enjoy challenging gifted students. Years ago I founded and for six years directed an independent elementary school in Chicago, the Thomas Jefferson Academy. A school for life purpose, it enabled young people to use the basic tools of learning to discover who they are and what they want to do with their lives.

I'm not a fan of standardized tests. But I help students develop the reading, writing and study skills needed for success on these tests by designing special projects with students that tap deeply into their interests and talents.

I've taught at Northwestern and Olive Harvey College and have headed up special projects with Chicago public school students. Currently I'm an English instructor at Oakton Community College.

My expertise is in English and American literature, U.S and world history, politics, philosophy and education. These days I read a lot of economics writers. My freelance articles on education and politics have appeared in 20 publications, including The Reader, Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune.

My expertise is in English and American literature. U.S and world history, politics, philosophy and education.

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Steve’s subjects

Corporate Training:
Test Preparation:
SAT Reading, SAT Writing
Elementary Education:
Government & Politics
English, Grammar, Literature, Proofreading, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, Vocabulary, Writing

Ear Training

I have relative pitch. I play piano, compose music, and have organize many close harmony singing groups over the years.


Like my father before me, who taught English at Yale for over 40 years, I'm an English teacher. From him I learned that the study of the English language and of literature written in English is both a window on the world and a window into the self. We are what we read.

If all this sounds otherworldly, I can assure you that it makes good sense to many of the students I've had the privilege of working with over the years.


I speak and write French nearly fluently, having learned the language as a sixth grader living with a French-speaking Swiss family.

I have the accent down cold.

I spent a year studying at the Universite de Montpellier in southern France.


Get ready to learn the eight parts of speech, and to see how grammar - word, phrase, clause and sentence structures of all kinds - takes shape the parts of speech.

Most students these days are ignorant of grammar as well as the parts of speech: a major reason why students no longer like to write.


I've taught English and American literature at middle school, high school and college levels. Although my Ph.D. was in the field of 18th century English prose fiction, I'm familiar with most of the prose and poetry being taught at middle and high school levels in north suburban schools.

Literature for me is a key to making sense of life itself. While I want my students to do succeed at school, my main concern is for them to learn to read for insights about themselves and the world we live in.

Microsoft Word

Word has been my primary writing tool since 1995. I use both Word for PC and for Mac, mostly Word for Mac 2008 but (at work) also Word for Windows 7.


Good proofreading is the icing on the cake of a good paper.

I was a professional proofreader at the University of California at Berkeley. I help students develop the habit of using a pencil and reading aloud, including punctuation marks, as the pencil moves from word to word.

Study Skills

I have 20 years of experience helping students with study skills from middle school through college levels.

I currently teach community college students who need a LOT of help organizing their work and clarifying their own reasons for hard work. I also help students who procrastinate clarify for themselves exactly why they put off work.

I encourage students and families to develop contracts for work performed which, when completed, will give students real satisfaction for having done the job.


The writers I like best tend to use simple words to get the job done and complex/unusual words for precision and full expression.

I am willing to teach from word lists when a student is under the gun to improve his or her vocabulary for a multiple choice ACT or SAT test. But I hate those tests and I find that a better way to build a truly working vocabulary is to learn words in clusters of words with both similar and opposite meanings.


I regard writing as a survival tool: as an essential device for self-discovery and self-development in an age of information that offers more opportunities for growth and enjoyment than any age in history.

I've taught composition courses at middle school, high school and college levels. Since 2009 I've taught English 101 and 102 at at a community college.

I like working with students on both long and short papers, with genres ranging from autobiographical journals to research papers.

Typically I encourage students to do research papers on topics they are already interested in: a ten page paper on how to be a great soccer goalie, for instance, or (for a future aeronautical engineer) a long paper on the discoveries and careers of the Wright Brothers.

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Harvard University (English)

Yale University (Other)

University of California, Berkeley (PhD)

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $80.00

Cancellation: 12 hours notice required

$10 hourly discount for sessions at my home office in Glenview. Extra prep time: I will notify in advance. Hourly rate: $40.

Travel policy

Steve will travel within 10 miles of Glenview, IL 60025.

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Usually responds in about 11 hours

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