Pamela’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Pamela’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
I can help you prepare the thinking, analytical and practical aspects of standardized tests. My expertise is in English (reading and writing) and math. However, beyond the subject matter, these tests require specific test-taking skills. These skills can and should be taught separately from the subject matter. I personally have scored in the 95-99% percentile of every standardized test I have ever taken, including SAT, ACT, GRE, ASCP, and MTLE (Minnesota teacher competencies). I also have researched the tests and have a handle on their specific requirements. I can share my knowledge and test-taking tips with you to help raise those scores.
I have worked with ADD/ADHD students at the elementary and middle school levels. Not only have I worked alongside special-education teachers, I have also researched and taken coursework on effective methods of teaching to meet the unique needs of these learners. I am familiar with techniques to sustain interest, productivity, and motivation. In addition, I have two relatives in my immediate family with ADD/ADHD, so I am very familiar with the interactions and planning that can take place at the school about goal-setting, supportive environments, and other services.
Algebra I and II are my math specialty areas, as a tutor and as an ongoing math student myself. I have tutored many students in these subjects as well as pre-Algebra, geometry, trigonometry, remedial math, K-8 math, college algebra, and pre-calculus. My explanations are tailored to the learner. I use a multi-modal approach that draws on the student's innate learning style (visual, artistic, verbal, kinesthetic). We can concentrate on test preparation, daily concepts and practice, and/or diagnosing and correcting any gaps that may exist. I follow research recommendations and proven teaching techniques to teach math. While older students benefit from hour-long sessions, I have found that shorter, well-focused sessions (30 - 45 minutes) can reinforce and boost learning for younger students. I also use a 30-minute "blast of math" approach during holiday and summer breaks, so that students can "keep what you know, and get ready for the next." Again, this approach is based on educational theory about how students learn best.
I am currently receiving professional training to be a teacher of math and English for grades 5 - 12. I have had classroom experience teaching children of all ages, from 3 to 18. I also have a background in science, art, social studies, nature, crafts, and music, all of which I can adapt to the age of the student. (Often a multi-subject approach works well to deepen a student's understanding.) As part of my educator training, I am practicing research-proven techniques that apply specifically to students in kindergarten through college, according to their unique stages of development.
Math is my specialty area, as a tutor and a teacher-in-training. I have tutored many students in K-8 math, as well as pre-Algebra, geometry, trigonometry, remedial math, college algebra, and pre-calculus. My explanations are tailored to the learner. I use a multi-modal approach that draws on the student's innate learning style (visual, artistic, verbal, kinesthetic). I am comfortable and effective with one-on-one lessons as well as small groups. We can concentrate on test preparation, daily concepts and practice, and/or diagnosing and correcting any gaps that may exist. I follow research recommendations and proven teaching techniques to teach math. With younger students, I have found that shorter, well-focused sessions (20 - 40 minutes) can reinforce and boost learning. I also use a 20-30 minute "blast of math" approach during holiday and summer breaks, so that students can "keep what you know, and get ready for the next." Again, this approach is based on educational theory about how students learn best.
ESL/ESOL: I have taught elementary, middle school and high school students, adults preparing for GED and citizenship tests, adult professionals in banking, business and science. Settings have included one-on-one, small groups, and classrooms. My specialties are grammar, spoken proficiency, vocabulary building, writing skills, accent reduction, idioms and day-to-day fluency. I have tutored native speakers of Spanish, Hmong, Chinese, Somali, Arabic, Croatian, Hungarian, Dutch and other languages. I use research-proven methodologies, adapted to the student's individual needs and goals. My familiarity with linguistics, foreign cultures and the process of language learning helps students build bridges from their existing knowledge and experience to a stronger mastery of English in daily life.
I have scored "off the charts" (higher than the 99% percentile) in proofreading, spelling and grammar in standardized tests of English proficiency. During my career in journalism, editing, publishing and communications, I have learned and used many different styles (AMA, Chicago, New York, AP, medical and legal, and more). I love the technical as well as literary aspects of language. I will teach you the basics as well as the fine points of grammar (for instance, the difference between a hyphen, an en dash and an em dash, and when and how to use them correctly). I can teach you grammar and editing techniques that will improve the structure, impact and quality of your written work.
The MTLE is the gateway exam required for teacher licensure in Minnesota. I have passed with flying colors all of the exams for basic skills, elementary education/pedagogy, math K-8, and language arts 5-12. That's 8 MTLE exams altogether! I can help you learn the content of these exams, and also share insights and tips about the actual exam.
Phonics is a critical aspect of reading, speaking, spelling, and writing. This is generally taught in the preschool and elementary levels, but also is helpful with middle and high schoolers as they expand their skills. As part of my teacher training, I have studied and applied phonics techniques that will help your child succeed as they begin to master the English language.
First-year piano students, get ready to have fun!
I began playing piano at my mother's knee! Piano is the most wonderful foundation for any kind of music awareness and lifelong appreciation of music. I studied, practiced and performed piano throughout my childhood and adolescence, and have continued to "keep in shape" over the years. As a tutor, I have taught first-year piano to youngsters from age 5 - 12. At that stage, it's all about fun and joy. At the same time, they are making music, reading music, learning what chords and melodies are, and - absolutely - using the correct techniques that will support their future practice.
I use a variety of beginning music books, and also encourage personal ownership of their practice by using nifty assignment pads that document their progress - using stars, stickers, prizes and more!
Praxis is a teacher certification standardized test used for all teachers in Minnesota at all grade levels, to assess basic competency in English and math. It was recently replaced by the MTLE exam which is very similar. I personally have taken the MTLE as part of my teaching training, which focuses on middle school math and middle/high school English. I scored exceptionally well in both subjects. I am familiar with the test-taking procedure itself as well as the subject content and can give student teachers effective, succinct tips and strategies for success.
Public Speaking: It's all about the audience: What is your core message to them? What "language" will you choose, so that you instantly connect with them? Do they want facts, short and sweet - or, will they react better to anecdotes, visual imagery, or emotions such as generosity or even personal gain?
Bottom line: What do you want your listeners to do? Believe? Change? You may be wondering how "just talking" will make that happen.
Happily, there are proven techniques - lots of them - that you can apply to your public speaking event. You don't have to be boring; you can be engaging, purposeful - and effective.
During my career in public relations and corporate communications, I have written and delivered numerous presentations and speeches. Even more important, I've written speeches and presentations for other people to deliver as their own, including corporate business leaders, small business owners, and internal department heads. I have prepped corporate clients for press conferences as well as persuasive and informational presentations to professional colleagues, employees and bosses.
I've also rehearsed these clients, prepped them for audience questions, critiqued their delivery, and evaluated their effectiveness. Every one of these "side" elements is just as vital as figuring out where the podium is and what you want to say.
In addition to the mechanics of speech writing and developing PowerPoints, videos, charts and other visual aids, we can draw on my background in the performing arts (including acting and directing) to bring a personal flair and impact to your moment in the spotlight. This approach deliberately utilizes elements such as "blocking" (appropriate physical movement around the stage), pacing or tempo, voice control and versatility, gesture and eye contact.
In some circumstances (and we'll analyze this), your point can be reinforced through handouts, "sales collateral" and "leave-behinds" - and these don't always have to be just pieces of paper! Depending on your purpose, it might be helpful to invent something else, inexpensive but memorable, with your message or main point literally "in the hands" of your target audience.
Nervous? I've collected an entire toolbox of relaxation, focus, and visualization techniques that will help you take that step onto the stage with confidence and clarity.
As part of my teacher training, I have worked with students with ADD/ADHD, autism, EBD, Down syndrome, learning challenges in reading and/or math, and physical disabilities. These children require special techniques and close cooperation with parents, teachers and other resources. I have also worked with "gifted/talented" students. Together, using proven educational approaches, we can give our children the best possible opportunities and success.
I have long experience and formal training in note-taking methods, reading strategies, multi-modal learning tips, vocabulary building, reading skills, online resources, interactive multi-media learning, organizational concepts for adolescents. Most of these skills apply across the board to all academic subjects. I can create an individualized plan for your student that takes into account learning style, home and school schedules, academic goals.