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Susan D.

Don't Know Much about History? I can help!

Arlington, VA (22204)

Travel radius
40 miles
Hourly fee
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My name is Susan D., and I have over ten years of experience teaching History and English at the junior high, high school, and college levels. I have a doctorate in U.S. Diplomatic and Military history from Ohio State University, and a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA. I can tutor history, psychology, reading, writing, composition, and literature, and I love working with kids of all ages! While at OSU, I tutored in writing and history at the Student Athlete Support Center. During graduate school, I also held discussion sections, which are essentially extended tutoring sessions to help students who might need extra assistance in history. Finally, I taught English and History at Stuart Hall in Staunton, VA, so have experience working with a range of age groups.

My style is open, friendly, and collaborative. An open environment promotes lively, interesting discussions that make learning fun. Open expression also allows me to identify each student’s individual learning style and use that knowledge in lessons. Since all students have different ways of processing information, I try get individuals interested in learning in the way that best fits them. Supplementing tutoring sessions with recommendations for books, films, and music gives each student a chance to really explore how history and literature impact them today. Different technologies also allow me to respect all abilities without underestimating any student’s intelligence. Moreover, if a student does not understand a concept, having more than one teaching tool in my arsenal allows me to take responsibility for changing my technique to fit that person's abilities.

I work as a historian with the U.S. Air Force, so also have considerable practical experience in the work force, and have had great success explaining how a solid background in History and English, and superior writing skills, can help students find jobs and succeed in their chosen fields. I have found that when students see the practical applications of a particular subject, they are much more invested in learning.

Most of all, though, I am relaxed, friendly, flexible, and encouraging. I want to work with students to get them interested in learning while improving grades and study habits along the way.

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Susan’s subjects

ACT English

I taught the SAT/ACT prep classes at Stuart Hall School and at the Columbus School for Girls Summer program. My focus was on Reading and English.

ACT Reading

I taught the SAT/ACT prep classes at Stuart Hall School and at the Columbus School for Girls Summer program. My focus was on Reading and English.

American History

I hold a doctorate in U.S. Diplomatic history, and am an Air Force historian, so am considered an expert in this field. I have taught U.S. history at the high school level, and taught AP U.S. history, with all my students earning a 4 or 5 on the exam. I am particularly adept at helping students learn to write critically - that is, helping them to create and support a well thought out and articulate argument.


I taught English and literature at the junior high and high school levels at Stuart Hall School. I also have considerable coursework in this field.


I am a native English speaker with excellent grammar. As a writer by trade, my profession depends on my facility with the English language. I am also well-traveled so understand other cultures, and read some French and Spanish. I am patient, friendly, and flexible, and want to communicate my love of language to others!

European History

I have taught Western Civilization courses at Pikes Peak Community college, and European Military History at the University of Southern Mississippi. Both courses looked extensively at European history, and I have coursework in the area.

Government & Politics

I have a Ph.D. in American history, with a focus on diplomacy. Diplomacy is impacted by the government and politics, so an understanding of both is critical to becoming an expert in my field.


As a USAF historian, I am a professional writer. My job is to write grammatically correct, well-edited, annual histories. I edit my colleagues' work, and as a teacher, edit student work for grammatical errors.


I have taught literature at the junior high and high school levels. I also helped tutor English and Literature at the Ohio State University Student Athlete Support Center.

Music History

My studies in music history began early. I was a classically trained musician, and in college, most of my extracurricular courses involved music history (specifically: History of Opera, History of Classical Music, Classical Music Appreciation, History of Contemporary Music). I also study music history as a side interest because it informs my teaching. When I teach Modern U.S. History courses, it is important to me to incorporate music into each lesson to give students an idea of the cultural milieu, the development of music as a form of cultural critique (particularly as it relates to WWI and especially in the 1950s and 1960s), and of course, to draw students into the lesson. Not only have I studied music history as a serious musician and student, it continues to inform my historical studies today.


Proofreading is part of my job. During the week, I work as a USAF historian, where I write annual unit histories. This is a collaborative effort, and part of the job is editing my colleagues' work. I am considered an expert in this area.


I taught the SAT/ACT prep classes at Stuart Hall School and at the Columbus School for Girls Summer program. My focus was on Reading and English.

SAT Reading

I taught the SAT/ACT prep classes at Stuart Hall School and at the Columbus School for Girls Summer program. My focus was on Reading and English.

SAT Writing

I taught the SAT/ACT prep classes at Stuart Hall School and at the Columbus School for Girls Summer program. My focus was on Reading and English.

Social Studies

Historians are often asked to become experts in a variety of topics: sociology, psychology, political science, popular culture, and other humanities-based competencies. Because I have a doctorate in U.S. History and my work incorporates a variety of disciplines, I am uniquely qualified to teach social studies. I have a degree in psychology, have coursework in sociology and political science as well as economics, military history, and diplomacy. All of these subjects are currently incorporated into social studies, and historians use social studies concepts on a daily basis to inform their own work, so I can bring a unique perspective to tutoring students in this subject.

Study Skills

One of my strengths as an instructor is helping students get organized for school. I can help clarify important themes, create a notebook, streamline study time, and break tasks down into manageable chunks. One thing students have always complimented me on is the way I help them keep track of tasks and understand how organizational skills apply to the real world. I use a variation of the Franklin Covey method (although I'm by no means an acolyte), where tasks are organized from least to most urgent, checked off when completed, and broken down into manageable segments. From there, I help students organize work spaces and notebooks, and have even gone so far as to help them set up files on their computers. For this, I use my experience as an electronic records manager and archivist with the USAF - I take those skills and apply them to classroom assignments, and it works well!


I have taught SAT/ACT prep courses, and our classes focused extensively on reading to develop vocabulary. I also teach history courses regularly, which involves editing student papers for vocabulary errors.

World History

Ph.D. in history, and teaching experience at the community college and university levels in World History.


I have a Ph.D. in history and am a USAF historian, where my job is predicated on my writing abilities. I am a professional historian, and write annual histories in addition to my own publications.

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James Madison University (Master's)

Ohio State University (PhD)

Patient, Knowledgeable, and Helpful Susan was great to work with our daughter during a history day project. She provided a lot of help and assistance with getting the project started and developed. We recommend Susan as a tutor for others that might be need help. ...

— David from Waldorf, MD on 1/8/14);

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $60.00

Cancellation: 1 hour notice required

My rates are negotiable. I can work with groups of up to five students. Cancellation requires at least one hour notice, or full price is charged for the session.

Travel policy

Susan will travel within 40 miles of Arlington, VA 22204.

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