Over 800 tutoring hours

Karen P.

Capistrano Beach, CA

$42/hr

Read Critically, Think Deeply, and Write Creatively with Karen!

Replies in 12 hours
Background check passed as of 7/18/14
4.9 Avg. Rating
 
 
147 Ratings
 
 
12hrs Response Time
Great tutor.
— Minh, Granada Hills, CA on 6/1/15

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CSUN
English Honors
CSUN
Master's
NULA
Graduate Coursework

Education

CSUN (English Honors)

CSUN (Master's)

NULA (Graduate Coursework)

About Karen

Hi! I'm new in South Orange County!

A professional writer and high school/college English teacher, I just relocated from the Hollywood Hills to San Clemente and would like to continue tutoring English writing, reading, and speaking full time. I have brought with me decades of experience as a professional writer and editor, as well as twenty years teaching and tutoring experience. I hold a California Teaching Credential in English K through 12 and Adult but enjoy teaching all ages. I can certainly help you or your child improve in reading, thinking, writing, and confidence, so that you can expect excellence in the classroom and in life.

I focus on my students' intellectual and creative commitment and growth, so I'm also always available to my adult students and parents to discuss specific challenges and learning needs.

My expertise lies in critical reading and writing instruction, including SAT, ACT, and AP English Language/Literature & Composition, and (my favorite) College Personal Statements. (I write, ghost write, and edit professionally, so genre, style, and grammar are, of course, my specialties.) Having worked as a Master Teacher with USC and MSM, I also provide CBEST and CSET MS and CSET Secondary English tutoring to new teachers.

I have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the California Department of Education and Common Core curricula, WASC requirements, and up-to-date teaching methods and techniques, an expertise that helps me achieve solid success in providing students with instruction and support in Core Subjects and Study Skills, K through 10, not only English but also Lower Mathematics, Science, and History. So good, in fact, that over the course of a year or so most of my study skills students no longer need my help.

Please call me, free of charge, for an initial telephone consultation regarding your child's specific challenges and learning needs.

Karen P, MA
CTC ELA SS K-12 and Adult

BIOGRAPHICAL BRIEF
My university studies included linguistics and history of the English language, American, and European literature. After completing my Master of Arts, I worked as a professional writer-editor in Century City, Laguna Hills, and Silicon Valley, and then accepted a Federal Teaching Fellowship at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1989. Six years later, I returned to LA to teach in private and charter schools. I hold a California Teaching Credential (CLEAR ELA SS K-12 and Adult). I would be happy to send you my resume, transcript copies, or letters of recommendation

SUBJECTS I MOST OFTEN TUTOR:
English Language Arts, K-12 and Adult (Undergraduate and Graduate)
College Application and Personal Essay
PSAT, SAT, ACT, & AP English (Language, Literature, and Composition), SAT II Literature
Mathematics (K - Geometry); Common Core Subjects; Study Skills (K-10)
Academic, Business, Creative, and Technical Writing and Editing (All Levels through PhD)

EXPERIENCE OVERVIEW
+ 12 years in test prep: SAT, ACT, AP English, APUSH, AP Euro, PSAT, SSAT, TOEFL, ESL/ELD ELA 5-12.
+ 8 years in AP English (Language and Literature)
+ 6 years CBEST; 3 years CSET MS and SS English
+ 6 years tutoring and teaching Mathematics (K-Geometry)
+ 5 years in University English and Rhetoric
+ 4 years in University Film and Literature.
+ 3 years knowledge of Federal Common Core
+ Umpteen years professional writing and editing in advertising, publicity, film arts, and print publishing.
Hi! I'm new in South Orange County!

A professional writer and high school/college English teacher, I just relocated from the Hollywood Hills to San Clemente and would like to continue tutoring English writing,
Read more

Policies
Cancellation
24 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 25 miles of Capistrano Beach, CA 92624
Background Check: Passed

"Great tutor."

- Minh, Granada Hills, CA on 6/1/15

"Karen is phenomenal!"

- Shirley, Manhattan Beach, CA on 10/24/14

"Great tutor!"

- Rosemary, Los Angeles, CA on 10/6/14

"The best tutor ever!"

- Cheryl, Temple City, CA on 2/14/14

"The best tutor !"

- Jacqueline, Granada Hills, CA on 10/14/13
Math:
ACT Math, Algebra 1,
Geometry,
Prealgebra
English:
ACT English,
ACT Reading, English,
ESL/ESOL,
Grammar,
IELTS, Literature,
Proofreading, Reading, SAT Reading,
SAT Writing,
TOEFL,
Vocabulary, Writing
Science:
ACT Science, Biology,
Nursing
Computer:
Macintosh,
Microsoft Excel,
Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Windows,
Microsoft Word
Language:
ESL/ESOL,
IELTS, TOEFL
History:
European History, Religion,
Social Studies,
World History
Art:
Art Theory , Film,
Theatre
Elementary Education:
Elementary (K-6th),
Elementary Math,
Elementary Science, Grammar,
Phonics,
Reading, Spelling, Study Skills,
Vocabulary
Special Needs:
Dyslexia, Phonics,
Special Needs
Business:
Accounting,
Career Development, Economics,
GMAT, GRE,
Marketing, Microsoft Excel,
Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word
Test Preparation:
ACT English,
ACT Math, ACT Reading, ACT Science, ASVAB, Career Development, CBEST,
College Counseling,
GED, GMAT, GRE,
IELTS, ISEE,
PSAT, SAT Reading,
SAT Writing,
SSAT, TOEFL
Corporate Training:
Accounting,
Career Development, College Counseling,
Economics,
ESL/ESOL,
GMAT, Grammar,
Microsoft Excel,
Microsoft Word, Proofreading

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.

Accounting

I was the full-time accountant and provided daily management of the student (undergraduate senior) advertising manager of the Stanford Daily Newspaper 1985-1988. We wrote off $300K in bad debt in 1985; our gross that year was $400K. In 1988, our gross was $1.4K. We were a non-profit, ASB-owned student company leasing space on the Stanford University campus. Our revenues included a Stanford an annual bulk subscription worth $380K.

ACT English

Since 1995, Karen P. has taught and tutored ACT and SAT examination preparation full and part time alongside teaching ELA 9-12 and 12AP and tutoring K-11 Common Core subjects and study skills tutoring. She has taught at California State University Northridge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Cathedral Preparatory HS (9, 10H, 11), Valley Torah HS (9H, 11H, 12AP), Ferrahian HS (9, 10, 11H), Smart Christian Academy School (5-11H, 12AP), Gertz-Ressler HS (9), College-Ready Academy HS (10), Community Charter Middle School (8), and Shepherd University (ESL I, II, IV).

Algebra 1

I tutored Algebra I as an LAUSD contract tutor through Teach-N-Tutor from February to June 2013, and in the after-school program at Gertz-Ressler High School and SmArT Academy Christian School from 2003 till June 2009. Prior to that, I tutored algebra at various times at the universities where I was working and attending, including UIUC, Stanford U., and CSUN.

Biology

I have worked as an after school teacher-tutor in study halls, tutoring programs, and as a private tutor for many years. I have also taught ACT and SAT reading, grammar, and writing skills for two decades. My own grades in school were excellent because I studied, not because I have a photographic memory. My students usually do much better as a result of our meetings because I teach them the executive functioning skills they need to do well.

CBEST

I completed my own CBEST qualification in one, 4-hour sitting and earned a high pass in Writing, which for many is the most difficult portion of the test. As a Master Teacher, I have also tutored and supported other aspiring private school teachers in their efforts to study for and take the test. All have passed.

I have a strong understanding of how to teach English critical reading in all the subject areas and have taught Lower Mathematics for years.

My skills and experience as an AP teacher/coach and teaching test prep courses assist me in tutoring for CBEST.

College Counseling

I have been a member of the College Team at Valley Torah HS (4 years), Gertz-Ressler HS (4 yrs), and SmArT Academy CS (10 yrs). That means I helped as many graduating seniors as possible with their college choices, applications, and especially their personal statements (essays) because I was the senior English teacher with the strongest writing and editing skills. I worked closely with the counselors all that time, and met with college representatives on many occasions, so I know what the colleges and universities need and expect from student writing.

Economics

I hold a MA in English and a California Teaching Credential and taught AP English Language and Literature in the classroom for many years. I also tutor Economics because it has always been of personal interest to me. (My daughter is currently completing her Masters in Finance and International Economics on academic scholarship in a five year program at Brandeis University near Boston.)

I also provide AP preparation in History, Psychology, Biology, AP English, and CollegeBoard based support instruction in PSAT, SAT, ACT, and GRE preparation to private students -- individuals, small groups, and full classes.

Every fall since 1995, I have assisted high school seniors and college graduates as they write their college personal statements and complete their applications.

My curriculum vitae, employment resume, and professional references are available to prospective clients upon personal request.

Elementary (K-6th)

I taught English 5 for two years at SmArT Academy Christian School using the Prentice Hall textbooks and providing supplemental materials and texts for my ESL/ELD students. I also tutored students grades 3-8 in Reading & Critical Reading at SmArT, developing my own curriculum and lesson plans in reading skills instruction. More recently, I tutored reading grades 3-8 with Teach-N-Tutor under a LAUSD contract for California State mandated additional 29.5 hours of instruction for struggling students (ESL/ELD). I have a California Teaching Credential English (Secondary) with a Supplemental Qualification in K-12 & Adult. I have tutored children in reading since I was 17 years old. My daughter, whom I taught to read at age 2, is now attending Brandeis University on a full academic scholarship in International Business & Economics. I love to read aloud and do it very well (having had performance art experience). I teach my students to take their time, raise questions, look up words, consider character motivation and cause and effect, imagery, symbols, and themes, predict outcomes, make inferences, draw conclusions, and compare story elements to events and characters in other stories and in their own lives. I also offer them reasons why what they are reading contains wisdom and knowledge they will use in their future lives.

Elementary Math

Teacher, Mathematics 8 (PreAlgebra), Smart Academy Christian School, 2009-2010. Tutor, Mathematics (Algebra I and Geometry), Smart Academy Christian School, 2009-2011. Tutor, Lower Mathematics (Math 6-8), Teach-N-Tutor (LAUSD Subcontract), Feb-June 2013. Tutor, Algebra and Geometry, Wyzant Clients, Oct. 2013-May 2014. Tutor, SAT Math Review, Gateway Academy La Crescenta, Feb-Mar 2015.

My specialty is teaching order of operations, proofs and demonstration, sequencing, logical thinking, and interpretation and translation of word problems. I understand students' learning needs and attitudes and have good success in helping them to appreciate the importance of learning and achievement in school and in life.

English

I am a highly experienced and well-qualified English language arts teacher who has chosen to spend the past few years working with students outside of the classroom.

I taught English language arts full-time in the classroom from 1995 until 2009 and part-time 2009-2011. I hold an active California Teaching Credential in English Language Arts (Single Subject, CLEAR K-12 and Adult), 2008-2019. I also taught rhetoric (writing), literature, and film under a Federal Teaching Grant at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1989-1995).

I have taught ELA 8, 9, 10, 10H, 11, 11H, 12, 12AP to second language learners in the classroom and tutored English and Writing to every age student K-12, undergraduate, and graduate levels.

My California Teaching Certification was earned through coursework and internship (while I was already a paid teacher) at National University Los Angeles, and I have tutored private students in English and math since I enrolled in CSUN in 1970.

From 1976 until 1981, I was a full-time, professional writer-editor working for trade and special interest publications, writing news, features, columns, reviews (books, arts, music). From 1981-1988, I worked in Silicon Valley as a freelance magazine writer and advertising copywriter and production head. From 1984 to 1989, I was also assistant to the CFO of the Stanford Daily Publishing Co., at Stanford University.

I earned my MA in English, summa cum laude, at CSUN in 1977 and my BA in English Honors, summa cum laude, CSUN 1975. I also hold a high school diploma in liberal arts (English and theatre Arts) from Hollywood HS, 1970.

ESL/ESOL

I hold current a California Teaching Credential in English Language Arts (CLEAR, K-12 & Adult, 2008, renewed 2013; renewable 2019). As a result of my credentialing through NULA's program, I am well-versed in ESL/ESOL teaching methods (including SDAIE, collaborative learning, and scaffolded instruction), and did my special studies in dual language curricula in Canada and individual schools in the US and France.

During my middle and high school classroom teaching career in Los Angeles (1989 to 2009), I taught almost exclusively mainstreamed, dual and second language learners grades 8, 9R, 9H, 10R, 10H, 11R, 11H, 12R, 12AP at private and charter high schools in Southern California. Prior to that, I had mainstreamed second language learners while teaching at UIUC (1989 to 1995) and always gave them the scaffolding and additional support they needed to do well.

As a teacher and tutor, my expectations are always high yet realistic, and I provided creative lesson plans with enough scaffolding, coaching, and encouragement to garner significant success. All may students have achieved greater success than did those of other teachers in the past or other school in our area, and I am very proud of them.

Please also refer to my Qualifications Summary under "English."

Film

I taught Introduction to Film at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign under supervising professors Richard Carringer (former LA Film Critic) and Ramona Curry (PhD Columbia Film School).

Geometry

I served as a tutor in Geometry in the After-school programs at Smart Academy and Gertz-Ressler HS, as well as a PreAlgebra 7-8 teacher at Smart Academy and Math 7-8 Intervention Teacher for Teach-N-Tutor when it was under LAUSD contract. I worked ten years as a PSAT, SAT, AP (test prep) Teacher where I also tutored SAT Math intervention. I passed the WyzAnt Geometry test, too!

Grammar

I hold a California Teaching Credential in English Language Arts K through 12 and Adult and have many years experience teaching grammar in classroom settings from grades 5 through college. ACT, SAT, and GRE writing and grammar are my specialties. Please see my posted resume for details of previous employment

GRE

I have tutored GRE vocabulary acquisition (really the greatest challenge for most college graduates), critical reading and wrong answer elimination methods, analytical reasoning, and elimination methods for mathematics intermittently for many years. I am an experience English teacher (1975-76, 1989-2008) holding a California Teaching Credential in English Language Arts (Single Subject, CLEAR K-12 and Adult, 2008, renewed 2013, renewable 2019). I have always tutored privately during summers, for church organizations, and while on hiatuses, and I have been tutoring as a full time occupation since February 2013.

ISEE

I have successfully tutored ISEE for students through SmArT Academy Christian School and Academy, as well as privately. My students have been accepted to Notre Dame HS, Philips Andover, and local Catholic High Schools. I have all the skills needed and have multiple experiences tutoring toward the test.

Literature

I hold an MA in English Language & Literature from CSUN and passed my PhD Preliminary Examination in English at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). I have taught AP, Honors, and Regular English, grades 6-8 (four years) and 9-12 (15 years), as well as university level literature and writing courses in the English Department for six years at UIUC. I passed the CBEST with "Highest Marks" in Writing and scored above the 90th percentile on the Graduate Records English Subject Examination. I have also worked as a professional fine arts journalist and literary reviewer.

Macintosh

I have used Macintosh computers intermittently since 1985, currently own a high-end Mac, and am currently enrolled in One-on-One courses at Apple.

Microsoft Excel

I have used Microsoft Excel since before it was on the market and still use it daily to do the accounting necessary to manage my properties and write course outlines and lesson plans. Because I also teach mathematics and elementary accounting, I use the program actively quite often. Prior to working in teaching, I was the assistant to CFOs and CEOs in publishing who required I use Excel in the daily course of my work; since then, I have tutored it several times, including WyzAnt students. During the course of instruction, I am always willing to help design the forms and office systems the student might need to develop.

Microsoft Windows

I have used IBM and IBM compatible computers since their inception, currently own one which I still use, manage my home network, taught Computer-Assisted Rhetoric at the University of Illinois and Computer Science I at Cathedral High School.

Phonics

I myself learned phonics as a child. I have taught it to my daughter and to other students I have tutored. I a have also taught and tutored the subject to ESL, ELD, and ELL readers ages 3-Adult, most recently as an ESL Listening & Speaking, Reading & Vocabulary, and Conversation teacher at Shepherd University.

Prealgebra

I taught prealgebra (grades 7 and 8). I tutored prealgebra, algebra, and geometry (grades 7-10). I was a study skills supervisor and tutor (afternoon study hall, grades 9-12). I helped with PSAT, SAT, and ACT preparation (8-12) since 1997. I was a high school teacher in Los Angeles since 1995. I have six years experience with college teaching (UIUC, 1989-1995). I was a bookkeeper-accountant with Stanford Daily Newspaper at Stanford University (1985-1989). I worked in bank operations and trusts (1971-1977).

Religion

I have passed my PhD preliminary examinations in Medieval English Language and Literature for which I studied Latin and Greek. My focus was Biblical and apocryphal literature in Old English, Latin, and Greek. I have read portions of the Vetus Latina, much of the Roman Catholic Church Fathers, and a wide array of Catholic and Protestant theological and philosophical texts, as well as the Quran and the major works of Hindu and Buddhism. I have a passable knowledge of Shinto customs, Voodooism, Rastafarianism, Native American religious thought, and other neolithic shamanistic and animistic concepts.

SAT Reading

Critical Reading SAT experience (12 years - Valley Torah HS, SmArT Christian Academy High School); 6 years - English Rhetoric and Composition, Literature, and Film (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign), 8 years -- AP Language & Composition and AP Literature & Composition, 12 experience English Language Arts. California Teaching Credential (Secondary) Single Subject English with Supplemental Areas K-12 & Adult. Professional Writer, Copy Editor, & Executive Editor - 8 years.

SAT Writing

I have been a professional writer who has also taught grammar and writing (business, journalism, non-fiction, fiction, theatre, and film) since 1977. As an English Language Arts secondary school teacher (CTC-SS ELA CLEAR K-12 and Adult, 2008, renewed 2013; renewable 2019), I have taught the following courses in Los Angeles private and charter school classrooms: ELA 9, 10, 12 AP; SAT & AP Prep, Valley Torah HS, Valley Village 1997-2000; ELA 9, 10, 11AP; AP Test Prep, Ferrahian HS, Encino 2001-2002; ELA 9-11H; SAT & AP Test Prep, SmArT Academy, Cerritos & Tujunga 2003-2005; ELA Teacher and Afterschool Test Prep, Gertz-Ressler HS, Pico-Union 2005-2009; ELA 5-12, Math 7-10, SAT & AP Prep, SmArT Academy, Tujunga 2009-2011; SAT Prep and Writing Teacher, Gateway Academy, La Crescenta 2012-2014.

Since the skills necessary to do well on the PSAT, SAT, and ACT correlate directly with performance in college courses, I have always believed that teaching students how to do well on college entrance examinations improves their critical reading, thinking, grammar, and writing skills and gives them a better chance in college. Having taught individual and integrated SAT courses full time during summers in the past (2003-2011), I know what to teach and require and how to support each student's learning based on his or her specific strength's and weaknesses. I prefer to teach SAT preparation holistically because the synergy of improvement in vocabulary, reading, and grammar improves student writing performance more quickly that writing instruction and practice alone. I do, however, have a well-developed SAT Writing instructional booklet and lesson plan that I use with contracted students.

Social Studies

I have taken many undergraduate courses in US and Modern British history and have successfully tutored Social Studies at the elementary and middle school levels, as well as AP US History many times. I have a real interest in the topics and have a strong knowledge of Native American culture.

Special Needs

I have taught special needs (qualified SE for a wide variety of reasons) in private and charter middle and high schools in Los Angeles since 1995, as well as in a university setting (UIUC, 1989-1995). My California Teaching Credential (SS - ELA, CLEAR K-12 and Adult) required that I complete three special education courses at UCLA and NULA, and I have served as the ELA SE-GE teacher at three separate schools, and was designated to support one of my SE students through college and graduate school. (He now holds a BA from UC Berkeley and a MLS from UCLA.) On the whole, I have a very good track record teaching and tutoring special needs students, as well as a personal history that helps me appreciate their challenges with peers, teachers, and administrators: I have been partially disabled since age 17, and my daughter had grand mal seizures until age 18.

Study Skills

I am a Certified English Teacher (K-12 & Adult) who taught grade nine from 1997 until 2009. My students were mostly bilingual, ESL, and ELD but performed on the proficient ELL level by the end of their course studies with me because I incorporated study skills, organizational methods, and executive decision-making into my course instruction. From 2005 to 2009, my students came into my grade 9 course with an average of the 34 percentile of grade level. When they left, they were testing at an average of 68 percentile of grade level, and my top third were averaging in the 80th percentile, not bad for one year! I believe that a teacher's first business is not to assign and grade work but to teach the skills that students need to become lifelong learners, to self-affirm for disciplined, executive functioning, and to build organizational skills that allow them time to be creative, imaginative learners.

Theatre

I studied theatre in junior and high school (Hollywood High School Theatre Production) for four years, performed Shakespeare in the University of Illinois campus theater, taught theatre history and analysis in university, AP, and regular high school courses, helped actors preparing for auditions select their materials, coached them during preparation, and have had a SAG actor as a housemate for six years and a stage actress for two.

TOEFL

I have helped SAT, ACT, AP, TOEFL, GRE, CBEST preparation since 1995. I have twenty years experience teaching English language and literature. I have a California Teaching Credential in English language arts, K-12 & adult. I have a business, technical, and creative writing & editing speciality (international, structural, transformational, and generative grammar; process writing; formal essay; business writing applications; plays and screenplays, dramaturgy; poetry; literary interpretation, semantics, and semiology).

Writing

I am a highly qualified English teacher and private tutor who specializes in writing instruction, college personal statement essays and applications for twenty years.

I have taught AP English Language & Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, and English regular and honors courses grades five through twelve (in Los Angeles private college preparatory and public high schools) since 1995.

My California Teaching Credential is recent and active. Early in my career, before my daughter was born, I worked as a professional writer and editor for national publications and then taught six years of writing and literature courses at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and CSUN. (My daughter, twenty-one, is now a graduate student on academic scholarship in Massachusetts.)

In addition to teaching (and tutoring) English Language Arts, I have been providing my private students with instruction in Core Subjects and Study Skills (Science, Math, History, and English K-11), SAT, ACT, AP, GRE Preparation, and College Admissions Support Services for over 15 years.

My Curriculum Vitae and Personal References are available to prospective clients upon telephone request. Feel free to contact me with questions via email, text, or voice.

CSUN
English Honors
CSUN
Master's
NULA
Graduate Coursework

Education

CSUN (English Honors)

CSUN (Master's)

NULA (Graduate Coursework)

Great tutor. — Karen did a great job in teaching and helping my son learn about writing. She is very patient and works diligently on the task. ...

— Minh, Granada Hills, CA on 6/1/15

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $42.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Travel policy

Karen will travel within 25 miles of Capistrano Beach, CA 92624.

Background Check Status for Karen P.

Karen P. passed a background check on 7/18/14. The check was ordered by Karen through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

After sending a message to Karen, 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.