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Pamela H.

Lexington, MA

$65/hr

Experienced teacher supports student success in skill building

Background check passed as of 3/17/14
Usually responds in about 1 hour

Experienced teacher supports student success in skill building

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I have 40 years' experience working with students with special needs or needing extra academic support. Within the public school and privately, I have tutored in all subjects at the secondary and elementary level. I worked with private students for years or for the time needed for test preparation or support in a specific subject. I have worked privately doing independent tutoring, in the public school and in private school with students on the autism spectrum, with ADHD, with specific learning disabilities, nonverbal learning disabilities and communication disorders. Although my educational background opened other opportunities, including ethical decision making, editing books and writing, and career counseling for adolescents and adults, I have returned to work locally again with individual students.
My undergraduate degree is in English with a minor in zoology. I have a Master's degree in special education. I am Orton Gillingham certified with training at Mass General Hospital, and I have supplemented that training with techniques from Wilson Reading system. I have taken a course in techniques for teaching students learning English. I have a doctorate in developmental and educational psychology with a focus on cognitive differences in learning, stress and coping, motivation and risk and resilience factors. I have been successful teaching adolescent non readers to read and write, giving early learners the boost they need to be successful with reading, including giving a solid background in phonics and comprehension skills, writing, and math and strengthening the skills of average middle school and high school learners needing support. More skilled adolescents have had test scores boosted considerably (MCAS, SAT, ACT) after I have taught them test taking techniques and strengthened vocabulary, reading comprehension and writing skills. My educational philosophy includes guiding the student to discover information and techniques so learning is internalized and confidence increased, reinforcing information by using different modalities and cycling back as needed, and increasing self awareness as a learner to increase efficiency and satisfaction.

Testimonials

"Innovative Tutor"

- Suzanne, Westford, MA on 9/29/14

"Dependable"

- Pam, Burbank, CA on 11/25/14

"Reliable, flexible, and knowledgeable"

- Laura, Stoneham, MA on 10/25/14

"Very helpful"

- Laure, Arlington, MA on 10/23/14

"Wonderful Surprise!!"

- Isabelle, Lexington, MA on 6/13/14

"Enjoyed First Session"

- Lisa, Bedford, MA on 4/10/14

"Incredibly smart Tutor"

- Carol, Concord, MA on 4/8/14

"Such a warm, patient and kind tutor."

- Tara, Watertown, MA on 9/2/13
Language:
ESL/ESOL
History:
American History, World History
Business:
Career Development

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

I am a certified high school English teacher and have worked with students for many years helping them understand the rules of punctuation, grasp grammar and usage, detect and rewrite awkward sentences, avoid redundancy, and maintain relevancy. The English section of the ACT focuses on those writing skills, and through practice and careful explanation when needed, the student gains mastery and confidence. I have supplemental material for all aspects of the ACT English, and we work together to check off all the areas as mastery is accomplished.

ACT Reading

I am a certified high school English teacher, who has taught both literature/composition classes and reading courses. I take a systematic approach to the ACT Reading test, focusing on the organization and development of passages, the role of signal language, and contextual clues to vocabulary. We work together, so the student masters identifying detail that answers the question, pulls information together to draw inferences and steps back to see the overarching idea presented in the passage. My experience has been that students quickly improve their scores on practice tests as they become more familiar with the format, learn specific skills presented in the tutoring and gain confidence.

ACT Science

I minored in biology in college and have been certified to teach science at the secondary level. I have tutored and taught science to elementary, middle school, high school and college students,including earth science, biology, chemistry and physics. My own research has required me to read and construct tables, charts, graphs and figures, so I do well taking the mystery out of data presentation. I have been able to help high school students struggling with the ACT science test by familiarizing them with the types of passages and variety of charts, graphs and tables and how to read them. I take an approach which allows success by focusing on what is written and drawn and finding the answer, which is "right there" rather than relying on depth and breadth of scientific knowledge. With the right approach, even a reluctant or discouraged science student can do well on the ACT science section.

ADD/ADHD

I have taught students diagnosed with ADD/ADHD for many years in the classroom, in small groups and individually. I also grew up with brothers with the diagnosis. I have given workshops on working with such students. Working with students with ADD/ADHD involves capturing and sustaining their attention by a multi-sensory approach, changing approaches and work frequently, and emphasizing discovery information, not just being told, as well as helping them understand what gets in the way and how to manage that.

Aspergers

I have worked with students with Aspergers syndrome for many years, including before we knew what we know today of the diagnosis. I have had such students in a larger class, sometimes the students first entry to a mainstream class, in small group and one to one. I have tutored them for MCAS, SAT, SSAT and to generally increase skills while also addressing their social and attentional needs.
I worked at a school with students on the autism spectrum and my caseload included students diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. Part of my work was to help them understand their diagnosis.

Autism

I have worked with students diagnosed with autism for many years in the classroom, in small groups and individually. Although they present with difficult behaviors at times, they can also be endearing, motivated and capable of learning well. Teaching always involves skill building, guided discovery of what is new and interesting, and social development. Pace of lesson, changes in approaches while maintaining familiarity, and giving both personal space and firmness are important to sustain engagement and foster learning.

Biology

I minored in zoology in college, taught high school biology years ago and have tutored biology at the middle school, high school and college level. I have conducted research in genetic conditions and have both interest and scholarship in genetics. As a special educator and developmental psychologist, I have had an interest in the biological basis of behavior, especially cognition/neuropsychology, which I studied in graduate school courses.

Career Development

I have worked for a career counseling firm as the psychologist on the team. I have worked with students selecting courses, extra curricular opportunities and internships, college graduates seeking a first job and high level executives seeking advancement in corporate America. I am certified to help clients understand personal preferences and use this information to chart a career course.

College Counseling

I have worked with high school students for many years to help them decide on appropriate colleges, complete testing and work required for admission and manage their time well in terms of filing completed applications. I do well assessing their accomplishments and helping them present themselves honestly as a candidate that brings value to the school. The process can be a lengthy one, but approaching it systematically makes an important difference in how well it is done.

Dyslexia

I am certified in the Orton Gillingham reading method, which emphasizes skill building through a phonetic approach. I taught small group classes for students diagnosed with dyslexia for many years, as well as, tutoring students with dyslexia both privately and in pubic school. My methods combining a phonetic approach with a systematic approach to reading comprehension and guided practice work. Even adolescent non readers learned to read. Students who had been discouraged from going to college, graduated from college.

Elementary (K-6th)

I have not taught elementary school but I have tutored elementary students K-6 in all subjects, but mostly reading, spelling and writing. I have worked with students who had a dedicated tutor in school or were in a self contained classroom and students who needed a boost academically. I was trained in Orton Gillingham reading method by supervised tutoring of students age 7-10.

Elementary Math

I take a systematic approach to elementary math, following the mandated frameworks. I rely on a hands on approach when possible, discovering solutions, rather than being told, and practice with difficulty increasing by increments. This builds a sense of success and avoids discouragement. When a student has experienced math challenges, there is usually a need to cycle back as we move into new areas, and this becomes part of each lesson. I work from the student’s cognitive strengths, employ a multi-sensory approach and look for patterns to difficulties and to grasping material. I teach compensatory methods and as needed. I have taught elementary math to private young students and in public and private school in small groups and individually to older students with math disabilities.

Elementary Science

I minored in biology in college, taught ninth grade science when I began teaching and have tutored private students and resource room students in earth science, biology, and chemistry. With elementary students I work with terminology, scientific procedure, and knowledge. I work with them to guide them to discovery, which both keeps their interest and helps them remember what happens. The best science is hands on, based on good questions and backed by information from a variety of sources. I love the enthusiasm of elementary science students. I encourage them to ask questions, put information together to draw conclusions, create and read graphs and charts and consider what it means, what happens next and why that matters.

English

I am an English major, who taught English grades 9-12 for many years in a highly competitive high school. I also taught reading classes with English credit. I have tutored students privately and in a resource room setting in vocabulary development, grammar and usage, all aspects of writing: sentence to term paper, and literary analysis. I am a published writer and lifelong reader mixing the classics with new literature. When I work with students I read or reread the assigned books along with them, and we work from discussion to written analysis. I have always tried to lead my students not just to an ability to explain short stories, plays, poems, essays and novels but to appreciate and enjoy them.

ESL/ESOL

My experience teaching English as a second language comes from several areas. I have had students recently arrived from a non English speaking country, or students who have been here a while but are from bilingual homes and their English is weak. I have worked with students who came with their families from another country and older foreign adoptees. I have worked with graduate students. I use techniques I learned in an ESL course, but I also use techniques that work in special education for students with language based learning disabilities. Helping students increase their facility with English involves a natural process that simulates how they learned their first language: listening, conversing, labeling, controlled readers, grammar and expected sentence structure. Explanation is given as needed so the new constructions make sense. Work is provided with pronunciation, connotation of similar words, vernacular and idioms. Students are helped to make connections. Difficulties are analyzed and addressed, so they are not perpetuated through habit. Work is provided to create successful learning and confidence building.

Grammar

I taught grammar as a high school English teacher, as well as individually and in small groups as a resource teacher and a private tutor. I also work as an editor, so catching grammatical errors or usage errors is second nature for me. I have a good ear for what is correct, but I also know the rule that determines the correct word or construction. Areas I cover in tutoring include agreement of subject/verb, tense, plural forms, case, parts of speech,distributives, complex and compound sentence constructions, verbals, fragments, run-on sentences, quantifiers, and punctuation. Although studying or applying rules of grammar can be tedious,practice coupled with a solid understanding greatly simplifies writing tasks.

ISEE

I have a Master's degree in special education. I have worked with students preparing for secondary entrance exams. I have many years' experience with teaching reading skills and systematically teach reading comprehension in various subjects. This includes identifying the main idea and supportive detail, identifying vocabulary in context, drawing inferences, identifying components of logical argument and analysis, and identifying and understanding literary conventions and techniques. Verbal reasoning is strengthen through systematic work with synonyms and sentence completion, both vocabulary tasks that require analysis in selecting the best choice. Practice for the writing prompt involves work with organizing and developing ideas, as well as, practice with varied sentence structure, paragraph development and transitions and proper usage and grammar.
Math preparation includes a systematic review of numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, basic statistics, and word problems. My approach involves an analysis of strengths and weaknesses, practice tests (includes test taking guidance) and drill of similar work to strengthen weak areas. There is some cycling back to assure older work remains mastered. I have worked privately with students on test preparation for several decades, an have been successful because I individualize the work to the student's learning style and academic needs.

Literature

I was an English major in college and taught literature classes at the high school level for many years. I have tutored students in literature privately, including college students, and in the high school resource room. I am a voracious reader, and if a student is struggling with a book I have not read or read recently, I welcome the chance to enjoy a new book.
I have a solid understanding of many literary genres: novel, essay, short story, poetry, plays, biography/autobiography. I do well explaining character development, theme, plot, tone, language and point of view. I help students understand and find examples of irony, foreshadowing, symbolism, and other techniques used by authors.I guide them to know what to look for and explain why that is important to the work in question.
My hope is that students will not just read what is assigned but get caught into it, appreciate the language, intricacies of plot, insights if characters and importance of ideas and learn that reading a book well can make a difference.

MTLE

I have successfully tutored students who passed the MTEL. We go over the grammar from elements of a sentence to usage, until the many aspects of grammar are mastered. I include work from practice tests and my own supplemental work. I teach students to apply techniques to reading comprehension, and I analyze any errors they make. I work on summarizing articles, especially articles related to teaching. I provide questions for essays and analyze what students write and make suggestions. I keep students on schedule, checking off what is mastered and assigning work to be done between sessions.

Phonics

I am a certified Orton Gillingham tutor from Massachusetts General Hospital. I have worked with students using this systematic phonetic approach for more than 40 years. I have had over 200 students, who were reading and writing at least five years below grade level, who benefited from this approach. Most went on to graduate from college. I have had several students 8-10 years below grade level in reading and writing who reached a literacy level.

Proofreading

I have many years of experience proofreading the papers of high school students and making suggestions for improvement. I have also proofread books which are now published. I read to catch mechanical errors and to improve organization and expression. As I writer I write multiple drafts, thus constantly proofreading my own work before publication.

PSAT

I have many years of experience working with students preparing for the PSAT, both privately and within my reading classes. I work on strengthening skills, anticipating the kinds of questions that will be asked and practicing test taking techniques. As a diagnostician I am able to analyze what gets in the way and use student strengths to compensate for learning challenges. I refine reading comprehension by emphasizing the ways information is organized, by the importance of language that signals relationship of ideas within a passage and by understanding unfamiliar vocabulary from context. I approach both writing and math systematically, so the student understands there is a limited range of possible questions, and all have been practiced. This serves to reduce anxiety and increase confidence. All lessons are built individually based on the work that will be included on the test.

Psychology

I have a Ph.D. in developmental and educational psychology. I focused on the cognitive and behavioral bases of behavior, including genetic and early environmental influences, individual differences, risk and resiliency, loss, stress and coping, transactional behavior, and aggression, along with the work on theorists and how the theories are applied.

Reading

In reading, I combine a systematic phonetic approach to build accuracy, including phonemes and lists by patterns or difficulty, monitored oral reading to build fluency, vocabulary development in context and by building from components, and comprehension development through an understanding of the relationship of ideas in a passage. Lessons cover all components using topics of interest to the students and introducing new topics and genres. Errors made in reading are addressed through spontaneous lists of patterns after the text reading that day and through systematic study the next lesson. All errors are tracked and analyzed. There is a writing component based on phonetic work and understanding of the text read. When needed spelling dictations based on the reading (phonetic and topic) are given to reinforce decoding through encoding and to increase auditory memory and discrimination.

SAT Reading

SAT Reading work includes an analysis of areas of difficulty with work targeted to those weaker areas. Reading comprehension is strengthened through attention to how information is organized, including language that cues that organization. Work includes drawing inferences and making judgments, making comparisons and determining reasons for events and situations. Techniques are taught through reading comprehension selections of varying length and difficulty. Vocabulary is strengthened with contextual work, for both text and sentence completion. I have many years experience working with individual students on SAT Reading with excellent results.

SAT Writing

SAT writing is the most daunting part of the test for many. The student must know something of the assigned topic, elaborate on initial ideas and build a strong, cogent argument. It is necessary to write a thesis statement which is backed by specific supports with clear, interesting examples. The reader must be "hooked" into what is written and follow a logically presented rationale. The piece must avoid redundancy, irrelevant examples and vagueness. There needs to be something worth saying and it must be said/written not just well, but well enough to stand out. This is a tall order in a short time. I support all aspects of writing and combine practice with explanation and constructive critique. Weak areas are addressed. Strengths are developed. Writing improves.

Special Needs

I have worked with students with special needs for over 40 years as a diagnostician, tutor and classroom teacher. I have a Masters degree in special needs and a Massachusetts certification until 2016. I have taught many workshops on meeting the needs of special learners. I have worked directly with students on the autism spectrum, with dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities, with ADHD, non verbal learning disabilities, communication disorders, intellectual disorders, OCD, cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders.

Spelling

Although students today have the luxury of spell check, that does not mean spelling correctly is irrelevant or out of date. There is still value in honing spelling skills. Some people seem to learn correct spelling by osmosis: see the word and forever know how to spell it. For others spelling prowess comes only after systematic study, a few tricks and lots of practice. Although English is notorious for patterns that only work some times (I before E with a list of exceptions), combining auditory analysis, sight memory and rule and pattern application increases spelling accuracy. Make a great impression, write more quickly, improve your spelling.

SSAT

I have taught the work on the SSAT for many years. To cover the reading section I address how reading selections are organized, signal words to help the reader anticipate how the ideas are organized and the development of ideas. Analogies and synonyms address both depth of language knowledge and logical thinking. Practice increases vocabulary and familiarity with the format. The quantitative section should be approached systematically, so the student's knowledge can be checked against what needs to be mastered. Weak areas are addressed through practice and explanation, first by the tutor then by the student.

Study Skills

I have taught study skills within curriculum in the public school and with private tutoring students. This includes skill building, note taking techniques, time management techniques, setting priorities, recognizing roadblocks and developing test taking and review techniques.

Vocabulary

I have been tutoring and teaching students in vocabulary study for many years. I take a multifaceted approach. Root study helps students cluster words and translate unfamiliar words from increasingly familiar components. Sentence completion exercises require students to consider definition and connotation within a framework. Figuring out words in context is learning vocabulary in the most natural way. Synonyms, antonyms and analogy have a game component that can keep interest while negotiating unfamiliar words. There is still advantage to drill, despite its monotony.

Writing

Writing lessons focus on generating fluency in writing from oral fluency, organization of ideas, development of ideas, refinement, and mechanics. Sentence structure, precision of language and grammatical accuracy are taught. The next focus is the five sentence paragraph with attention to the logical development of ideas. Paragraphs are then built into the standard five paragraph essay from which longer writing is built. Writing is based on reading selections, videos and general fund of knowledge enhanced by research. Creative work is also done to balance formulaic writing with more free individual expression.

Connecticut College New London CT
English
Regis College Weston MA
Master's
Boston College
PhD

Education

Connecticut College New London CT (English)

Regis College Weston MA (Master's)

Boston College (PhD)

Innovative Tutor — Both my girls enjoy working with Pam on a weekly basis. She takes the time to interact with them and makes learning to read very fun. Highly recommend her, as we have seen such an improvement in schoolwork and attitude toward learning over the first couple of months. We are very happy with Pam as a teacher and will continue to utilize her services throughout the school year. ...

— Suzanne, Westford, MA on 9/29/14

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $65.00

Cancellation: 6 hours notice required

Travel policy

Pamela will travel within 20 miles of Lexington, MA 02421.


About Pamela

I have 40 years' experience working with students with special needs or needing extra academic support. Within the public school and privately, I have tutored in all subjects at the secondary and elementary level. I worked with private students for years or for the time needed for test preparation or support in a specific subject. I have worked privately doing independent tutoring, in the public school and in private school with students on the autism spectrum, with ADHD, with specific learning disabilities, nonverbal learning disabilities and communication disorders. Although my educational background opened other opportunities, including ethical decision making, editing books and writing, and career counseling for adolescents and adults, I have returned to work locally again with individual students.
My undergraduate degree is in English with a minor in zoology. I have a Master's degree in special education. I am Orton Gillingham certified with training at Mass General Hospital, and I have supplemented that training with techniques from Wilson Reading system. I have taken a course in techniques for teaching students learning English. I have a doctorate in developmental and educational psychology with a focus on cognitive differences in learning, stress and coping, motivation and risk and resilience factors. I have been successful teaching adolescent non readers to read and write, giving early learners the boost they need to be successful with reading, including giving a solid background in phonics and comprehension skills, writing, and math and strengthening the skills of average middle school and high school learners needing support. More skilled adolescents have had test scores boosted considerably (MCAS, SAT, ACT) after I have taught them test taking techniques and strengthened vocabulary, reading comprehension and writing skills. My educational philosophy includes guiding the student to discover information and techniques so learning is internalized and confidence increased, reinforcing information by using different modalities and cycling back as needed, and increasing self awareness as a learner to increase efficiency and satisfaction.

Testimonials

"Innovative Tutor"

- Suzanne, Westford, MA on 9/29/14

"Dependable"

- Pam, Burbank, CA on 11/25/14

"Reliable, flexible, and knowledgeable"

- Laura, Stoneham, MA on 10/25/14

"Very helpful"

- Laure, Arlington, MA on 10/23/14

"Wonderful Surprise!!"

- Isabelle, Lexington, MA on 6/13/14

"Enjoyed First Session"

- Lisa, Bedford, MA on 4/10/14

"Incredibly smart Tutor"

- Carol, Concord, MA on 4/8/14

"Such a warm, patient and kind tutor."

- Tara, Watertown, MA on 9/2/13
}

Education

Connecticut College New London CT
English
Regis College Weston MA
Master's
Boston College
PhD

Education

Connecticut College New London CT (English)

Regis College Weston MA (Master's)

Boston College (PhD)


Tutor Policies

Cancellation
6 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 20 miles of Lexington, MA 02421

Pamela’s Subjects

Language:
ESL/ESOL
History:
American History, World History
Business:
Career Development

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 Pamela H.

Pamela H. passed a background check on 3/17/14. The check was ordered by another user through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

After sending a message to Pamela, you will be able to order a new background check for $7.99. As part of your tutor selection process, we encourage you to run updated background checks. Please also review the safety tips for hiring tutors.