Tess M.

Campbell, CA


All Elementary/Middle School - ADD/ADHD - ABA Therapist

In-person lessons
1750+ Hours
Background check passed as of 6/10/14
4.9 average from 358 ratings
Fantastic teacher!!!
— Gayatri, San Jose, CA on 1/12/16


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Response time: 10 hours

Contact Tess

San Jose State University
English and Fine Art


San Jose State University (English and Fine Art)

Yes (Other)

About Tess

I love working with elementary and middle school age kids and have been a private tutor for the last eight years. I take pride in my ability to motivate and inspire young minds to get the most out of school and enjoy their time there. I employ a fun, yet firm, approach and will create or purchase any additional learning aids as needed. As good study habits are the key to success in school, I encourage my students to develop habits and routines that will serve them throughout life.

When I meet with you we'll discuss the educational challenges your child is experiencing, any IEPs in progress, and how we can achieve those goals. I offer a daily report for your review in which I list all assignments and any additional work we perform to achieve our educational goals.

ABA Therapist - If your child has some problem behaviors my best approach is to work with them incrementally, with modest goals initially, to achieve compliance in completing tasks. I increase demands as the child's cooperation improves. I employ the proven scientific principles of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis). I recommend that you limit the amount of time spent on video games, particularly just prior to our sessions. You will see results in terms of better grades and enjoyment in learning. Several children I have worked with are now college bound! My goal is to make your child a life-long learner.

A little more about me:
I helped found and currently serve on the Board of Directors of an ABA school called The Mosaic School, located in Wantagh, NY. I ran a drop-in after school tutoring program in Port Washington, NY, at a local teen center.

Look at my 5-star reviews! You've tried the rest, now go with the best! Tess the Tutor!
I love working with elementary and middle school age kids and have been a private tutor for the last eight years. I take pride in my ability to motivate and inspire young minds to get the most out of school and enjoy their time there. I employ a fun, yet firm, approach and will create or purchase any additional learning aids as needed. As good Read more

12 hours notice required

Depending on the number of hours per week a client agrees to retain me the above rate is negotiable.

Travel Radius
Travels within 20 miles of Campbell, CA 95008
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons

"Fantastic teacher!!!"

- Gayatri, San Jose, CA on 1/12/16

"Highly Educated And Professional Tutor"

- Lyubov, Campbell, CA on 7/25/17

"Great Teacher"

- Agnes, San Jose, CA on 6/27/17

"Excellent first lesson"

- Jason, Cupertino, CA on 9/19/16

"Math & English Tutoring"

- Felora, San Jose, CA on 9/8/16

"Knowledgeable and patient tutor"

- Donna, San Jose, CA on 7/27/16

"Great tutor!"

- Luisa, San Jose, CA on 7/13/16

"Very likable and motivating tutor"

- Samantha, Newark, CA on 4/28/16

"Patient and fun"

- Geraldine, Santa Clara, CA on 10/10/15

"Fantastic and patient all round tutor!"

- Annie, Campbell, CA on 6/1/15

"Very patient and makes learning fun"

- Karri, San Jose, CA on 5/30/15

"Very Patient!"

- Cherie, Sunnyvale, CA on 1/23/15

"Boost of confidence"

- Anna, Santa Clara, CA on 12/28/14

"Creative, innovative experienced tutor with great ability to motivate child to love learning."

- Sandra, Santa Clara, CA on 7/20/14

"Artful Tutoring"

- Brenda, Santa Clara, CA on 3/24/14

"The best tutor ever!"

- Claudine, Morgan Hill, CA on 5/3/13

"Very good with kids"

- Philippe, Saratoga, CA on 4/29/13

"Just the right balance!"

- DeeDee, Sunnyvale, CA on 3/29/13

"Creative Tutor but not what we expected"

- Cheri, San Jose, CA on 2/19/13
Tess replied on 2/22/2013

The guardian of this child retained and directed me to run an educational program that she had put together with school books she purchased on her own. She has a disabled grandchild whom she is homeschooling with these materials. Most of these materials are for a child that can perform at 8th grade level, with the exception of a high school history text and abridged novels that are more in line with the child's reading level, which is 4th or 5th grade. She insisted that her grandchild could perform at 8th grade level, sometimes, but that he does not test well. I found the child performed closer to 4th grade level and he has significant deficits in his education and many behavioral quirks. I do not see the logic in making a child work with educational materials that are way beyond his abilities.
In addition to using materials that are beyond the child's understanding, Cheri had irregular teaching practices that she instructed me to follow. Her methods were designed more to keep the child calm, i.e., he needs to get everything right, rather than offering him any real opportunity to learn. Being cooped up in the house all day doesn't help. It may serve the grandson better to receive some training in life skills outside of the home.
Up until the last day, I tried to find workable solutions that would benefit the child while meeting Cheri's daily changing objectives and constant interference.
The last day, within earshot of her grandson, she berated me for not bringing lesson plans when she had never required them before and asked if I understood the CA standards for 8th grade. I informed her that her grandson can barely understand the concept of a map much less understand a high school level history text and, since the child can't perform at 8th grade level, he should be evaluated so that proper materials can be provided for him. I was alarmed by the manipulation she subjected this boy to. When we attempted to work he was so upset by what he overheard that he was unable to concentrate on the lesson.
I acknowledge that Cheri has taken on a huge task in attempting to educate her disabled grandson, but her methods are flawed. Her intimate understanding of the child's disabilities and her many 'accommodations' actually impede the child from making any meaningful progress. My hope is that she can get a qualified special education teacher to assess the child's educational level so that he can start using materials that will be useful for him. I wish both of them success.

"Patient and fun tutor for kids"

- Michi, San Jose, CA on 4/5/12

"What I like about Tess"

- Day, San Jose, CA on 3/13/12
Tess replied on 3/13/2012

Thanks Aliya. It was a pleasure working with you! Wishing you all the best in your new school.

"Great Tutor"

- Kavitha, San Jose, CA on 2/6/12

"Great tutor"

- Victor, San Jose, CA on 1/8/12
Tess replied on 1/25/2012

It was fun working with you, Victor. I hope you were inspired to continue with your studies in this subject.

"Good, creative & artistic tutor"

- Christina, Sunnyvale, CA on 1/2/12
Tess replied on 1/25/2012

It is a pleasure working with your child! Highly intelligent and motivated.

General Music
English, Grammar,
Public Speaking,
French, Reading,
American History,
Art History,
Public Speaking,

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.


I helped found and serve on the Board of Directors of the Mosaic School for Autism and Foundation. I have worked with several children with ADD/ADHD and Aspergers at the Mosaic School and in private tutoring practice. I use the scientifically proven principles of ABA (Advanced Behavior Analysis) to work with my clients who have attention issues. Several of my former clients are now college bound.

Adobe Photoshop

I have worked extensively with Photoshop (and Illustrator) since it was first released in 1990. I use it regularly to do photo correction from my digital cameras and scanned photos. I use it in combination with Illustrator for advertising, executive presentation, booklets, and websites.

Algebra 1

This class is a study of the language, concepts, and techniques of Algebra that will prepare students to approach and solve problems following a logical succession of steps. Skills taught in the course lay groundwork for upper level math and science courses and have practical uses. Algebra I is offered 8th through 12th grade. The majority of students take Algebra I as 9th graders.

Typical topics in this course include:

A. Introductory Concepts
1. Simplify and evaluate expressions
a. variables and expressions
b. apply order of operations
c. stem and leaf plots
2. Recognize field properties
3. Translate from word phrases to algebraic expressions
4. Vocabulary

B. Exploring Rational numbers
1. integers
a. add
b. subtract rational numbers
a. add, subtract, multiply, divide
b. square roots Square roots and real numbers Write equations and formulas

C. Solving linear Equations
1. Write and solve equations
2. Write and solve equations concerning consecutive numbers, consecutive odd numbers, consecutive even number

Angles and triangles (Geometry) Solve equations
a. variable on both sides
b. using standard formulas
Measures of central tendency
a. Mean
b. Median
c. Mode

American History

A lifelong student of American History, I use the foundation I established in grade school and high school to continually deepen my understanding of the events and people that have shaped this great country. Understanding the basic facts about American History is important. A deeper understanding comes when one looks at various interpretations of events and finds relationships to personal experience. I look forward to teaching and sharing my unique knowledge of the American experience.

Art History

Art History is one of my favorite areas of study and I maintain a library of over 200 books on the subject. I have taken 18 credits of art and architecture history in college and continue to do research. In addition, I have made it a point to visit the great art museums of the world in my travels, including some of my favorites: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, The deYoung and Asian Art Museum in SF, The Louvre and Musee D'Orsay in Paris, the Uffizi in Florence, The Vatican Collection in Rome, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam (and many others) . I also have a significant architecture history collection.


I have given art and drawing classes at various venues throughout my career (Lafayette Art Museum, The Mosaic School, and Port Washington Teen Center, to name a few). I have taken many courses in sketching and drawing (including figure drawing) throughout high school and college. Add to that my additional experience and working knowledge of the mechanics of drawing including two- and three-point perspective and computer-based design. I also understand the principles of color theory. I am a fine artist working in oils, watercolors, and acrylics. I have been a drawer for most of my life and keep a sketchbook with me wherever I go.

Elementary (K-6th)

I specialize in working with clients in this age group. I have been offering tutoring in all elementary subjects for the last seven years. Starting with approved textbooks and homework assignments I work closely with my clients to make sure they have a full grasp of the concepts they are expected to learn. If the client requires additional help in a subject (or as described in an IEP) I provide additional learning aids as needed. I employ a firm, yet fun, approach to learning, very directed in completing assignments in our allotted time. My goal is to make my clients life-long learners, as I am.

Elementary Math

Elementary math is one of the most important foundational areas in elementary education. All too often students find themselves falling behind in grasping important concepts while their teachers move on to topics which build upon those concepts. I make sure my clients fill those gaps in their understanding so that they can continue to progress. I use flash cards for math facts and I take a very methodical approach to helping my students master word problems. I have seen most of my students improve their math grades by at least one letter grade in a semester when they follow my methods. A few students have become consistent A students following the solid math foundation I offer,

Elementary Science

I love helping my students understand science! Elementary science is one of the most important foundational areas in elementary education. Starting with homework assignments, I assess how well my clients understand the material they are being presented in school. Making the learning both fun and informative is my aspiration. I like to supplement school learning with all the wonderful resources for learning available on the Web. My goal is to make my client a lifelong learner!

General Music

I have been playing guitar since I was seven years old and took private guitar lessons at a local studio through my senior year of high school. I also headed a church folk group for three years. I have a thorough understanding of the fundamental parameters or elements of music including rhythm, harmony, melody, structure form and texture. As a member of chorus thoughout school and a student of piano, I have a firm grounding in music theory including the language and notation of music.


I use Geometry extensively in my design work. I like to explore the relationships Geometry uses to describe our physical world. A good grounding is Geometry is very useful in everyday life. If you are trying to make it through a Geometry class then I have the tools to help you succeed.


The rules of English Grammar can be confusing, but having a good foundation is vital to communicating well, whether in speaking or writing. I do a fair amount of writing and I still keep my copy of Gregg Reference Manual handy. I regard it as 'my definitive reference for the rules of grammar.' Let me help you navigate through these rules so you can become a better communicator!


I minored in Fine Art and currently work in the following media: acrylic, oil, and watercolor. Over the years I have adopted some very practical techniques for getting my images to canvas or paper so I can spend more time using my paints to depict color and light. I have a thorough understanding of color theory, a must for anyone who wants to control the colors in their work. I also foster an understanding of layout and design that makes paintings more engaging and pleasing to the eye. I also use digital photography as an aid to my work.


I teach my young clients how to connect the sounds of spoken English with letters or groups of letters (e.g., that the sound /k/ can be represented by c, k, ck, ch, or q spellings) and teaching them to blend the sounds of letters together to produce approximate pronunciations of unknown words.
For the client that is experiencing difficulty in pronouncing specific kinds of words I employ the use of flashcards illustrating these sounds that we practice until the client gains proficiency. I find this is a very effective method as using phonics requires students to learn the connections between letter patterns and the sounds they represent.


I minored in Fine Art in college and took many traditional photography classes including documentary photography, 2D and 3D photographic design, and several Special Projects in Photography seminars. I have adapted my understanding of composition, layout and design, photo correction and other techniques to digital photography and have been using Photoshop since it was first released in the early 90s.


In my experience as a tutor, Prealgebra is the pivotal math course which separates those who will go on with their studies in mathematics. If your child has some holes in his math education then we can work together to fill them. Algebra and other math courses build on the concepts offered in Prealgebra. Don't let your child be left behind. I have plenty of excellent math workbooks with supplemental exercises to help your child master this important subject.


Working as a marketing communications manager, one of my roles is to proofread all material that goes out to the public, for print and the Web. In teaching proofreading I help my writer clients to understand the standard rules of punctuation, active or passive voice, rules of grammar, how to use proofreader's marks, and using these tools to achieve their writing objectives.

If a student or other client wants to retain me to proofread a term paper or other report I will mark up hard copy with a red pen using standard proofreader's marks (I provide a key to these marks). I will advise client on the use of tenses and make sure they employed consistently throughout the document. I will also make sure all citations, footnotes, and references are properly included in their document.

I DO NOT write papers for clients nor do I conduct research on any topic for which they are responsible.

Public Speaking

Public Speaking is a valuable skill to have, whether you have the need to speak in front of your class, work colleagues, or simply offer a toast at a social function. As a long time member of Toastmasters, an organization devoted to learning public speaking skills, I worked to overcome my natural shyness and developed the skills of organizing and delivering well received speeches of various lengths.

Good preparation is the key to success. Let me help you to be a successful speaker.


My reading approach with clients depends on their individual needs. After discussing the student's reading challenges with the parent/s I can employ any or all of these strategies:
1 First, have the student read aloud passages from current reading material and check their comprehension.
2. Determine student's current reading level (grade level)
3. Evaluate the student's reading posture; assessing attention issues, sitting posture, study environment, etc.
4. Employ different techniques to help student remain focused on material.
5. Write down any vocabulary words as the student reads and make sure my client understands the meaning of these words. Also teach skills in using the dictionary as a tool to aid reading comprehension.
6. Throughout the reading tutorial I assess student's comprehension, by sentence, paragraph, passage, and chapter.
7. I make sure the student understands the role punctuation plays in conveying meaning.
8. I like to have the student read from a variety of subject books, from school or other sources, including social studies, science, and math (word problems) to expand his proficiency in reading different subject matter.
9. I write my assessments of each tutoring session, including all work covered, for the parents and student to review.


I like to use flash cards to help my clients master spelling. I always carry flash cards in my tutoring kit. For each word on my clients' spelling lists I make sure they master proper pronunciation, understand meaning, and can use each word in a sentence.
If my client continues to have difficulty with spelling I resort to fun spelling games and drills.

Study Skills

Study skills are best taught each session by demonstrating what works with the client. I assist my clients by helping them set up a good environment for completing their school work, free of distractions. Add to that ideal approaches for completing assignments and tackling challenging material. I also show my clients how to do effective searches on the Web. My goal is to make my clients life-long learners and good study skills are key to that objective.


Vocabulary building is often overlooked as a language art skill. It is one thing to review and learn to spell all the words on a weekly list, but the most important step, that of incorporating the words into one's personal vocabulary, is often not emphasized enough. I offer my students incentives for using their new vocabulary words in their daily speech and writing. Proper use of a dictionary is another important tool for building vocabulary which I make sure my clients understand well.

San Jose State University
English and Fine Art


San Jose State University (English and Fine Art)

Yes (Other)

Fantastic teacher!!!

Tess M is an amazing teacher. Since the time she started, my kid has made tremendous improvement in terms of reading, and writing. She encourages creativity, and motivates my kid to do better n better. She makes the whole session fun and productive for my son. She is very dedicated and gives her best to bring the best from my son. I am very happy with Tess and would recommend her if anyone is loo

— Gayatri, San Jose, CA on 1/12/16

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $65.00

Cancellation: 12 hours notice required

Depending on the number of hours per week a client agrees to retain me the above rate is negotiable.

Travel policy

Tess will travel within 20 miles of Campbell, CA 95008.