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Melissa R.

Literacy Specialist: Reading, Writing & Literature for All Ages

Seattle, WA (98133)

Travel radius
25 miles
Hourly fee
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I am an accomplished educator/reading and literacy specialist with more than 20 years of success in curriculum design and program development in PK-12 and higher education environments. I am service minded with a passion for motivating and helping students with diverse learning styles reach their highest potential.

I address the needs of students by taking their interests and the settings in which they live and learn into account. I love interacting with learners, with a variety of strengths and challenges, and helping them develop their abilities to use language in its many forms (oral language, reading, writing, visual, technology, etc.) for effective communication, critical thinking, discovery and access to knowledge.

I approach literacy instruction and tutoring with the following set of core values and beliefs: Literacy is social process; literacy empowers learners; literacy opens doors to infinite worlds and ideas.

A typical tutoring session is based on a 50 minute hour with ten minutes used for parent/guardian consultation and for recording notes. Tutoring takes place in clients' homes, local libraries and schools.

Tutoring hours: M-Th 9:00 A. M.- 7:00 P. M.; S- Su10:00 A.M. - 6:00 P. M
Rates include planning and travel.

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Melissa’s subjects

Corporate Training:
Test Preparation:
ACT English, ACT Reading, SAT Reading, SAT Writing
Special Needs:
ACT English, ACT Reading, English, Literature, Proofreading, Public Speaking, Reading, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, Vocabulary, Writing

Elementary (K-6th)

I am certified as a K-12 teacher, with a specialty in English/Language Arts. My experience in English has been with primary and elementary students (K-6). As a reading specialist I worked with K-8 students both in pull-out groups and whole class configurations, where I also taught Social Studies and other language-based subjects. In my tutoring practice, I have worked with elementary and middle school students in reading and writing. I studied and researched the writing process for secondary students and incorporated the draft, revise, confer and edit process in both my undergraduate and graduate courses in literature, and in teacher education. I have studied Literature Circles as an approach to reading in elementary classrooms, and have also used pairs and small groups in elementary writing instruction.


I earned my bachelor's degree (BA) in English, and it has always been my area of speciality outside of education as I pursued my master's and doctoral degrees. It is a consistent and integral part of my life as I read and write, attend plays, learn about authors and teach and tutor.


I study and read children's and young adult literature and have published many written reviews of novels, non-fiction, poetry and regional literature in teaching journals and online. I also specialize in Native American literature and always strive to emphasize the great multicultural literature that is available for all students.


I studied the process of reading in both my master's and doctoral programs. Phonics is one component of reading. Phonics describes the sound/symbol relationship of sounds and letters In English, and is one method used to teach beginning readers. As the only method to instruct early readers, phonics is controversial, since it often utilizes single words or word patterns (onset and rime) as a way of developing vocabulary. If the other components of reading, such as comprehension and reading connected text, are ignored, then a reader may become a good word caller, but not understand what he/she has read. Also, the rules of phonics that are often taught , don't apply to the many irregular word patterns and spellings in the English language, and such words are encountered more frequently as students gain in reading ability. Thus, they need to be aware that unknown or unfamiliar words can be approached with a variety of strategies, such as asking if a word makes sense, or sounds right or looks right, or do some structural analysis, in order to decode. Sounding it out as a strategy should be one option or strategy--not the only or the first one attempted.


I have edited and proofread many master's theses and projects by graduate students, and essays and stories by K-12 students. I always incorporate these skills when teaching and working with the writing process.

Public Speaking

I have extensive experience in public speaking having been a teacher at the K-12 and college levels. I have presented research at national and state conferences. I have guided many students in preparing for their own presentations at conferences, master's defenses and in student teaching. I have also coached students in events such as readers' theater, choral speaking and preparing for dramatic roles in plays.


I have a master's degree (M. Ed) in Educational Psychology/Reading Disability and a doctoral degree (Ed.D) in Curriculum and Instruction/Reading, Language Arts, and Literature. I have studied and taught these subjects for most of my career, and continue to take writing courses at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle, WA.

Special Needs

Throughout my career I have worked with diverse students with a variety of strengths and challenges. As a reading specialist I often work with students who have learning difficulties in reading and writing. I have experience in diagnoses and remediation and in on-going assessment of progress. I have a master's degree (M. Ed) in educational psychology/reading disability and a doctoral degree (Ed.D) in curriculum and instruction/reading, language arts, and literature.


I have researched the developmental process of spelling and can determine next steps for instruction based on my analysis of students' writing.

Study Skills

I have developed strategies for helping students organize, prioritize and manage their subjects, daily homework and longer term projects. In addition, I can deliver needed instruction in specific reading and writing strategies for the different text structures in students' content area books i.e., social studies, science, and in the different forms of writing they are required to produce.


Vocabulary is a critical component of reading and writing and there are several specific strategies that can be used to develop students' knowledge and use of language. I use research-based strategies that help students learn and apply content area vocabulary and the kinds of academic vocabulary likely to be on standardized tests.


I have worked with the writing process and writing instruction at all ages. Through my teaching, I demonstrate that even very young children have considerable knowledge of writing and will engage in it if given the opportunity, encouragement and modeling.

Similarly, I find that when older students have a real purpose for writing and an interest in a particular form of writing, they are likely to emphasize content first, and be willing to revise and edit/proofread with the audience for the paper/project in mind. This is especially true in writing college admission essays, conducting one's own research, writing non-fiction narratives, and in creative writing.

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University of Washington Seattle, WA (English)

University of Washington, Seattle, WA (MEd)

University of Washington, Seattle, WA (EdD)

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $50.00

Cancellation: 12 hours notice required

Travel policy

Melissa will travel within 25 miles of Seattle, WA 98133.

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