Over 1500 tutoring hours

Natalie B.

Des Moines, IA


Tutoring with a smile :)

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5.0 Avg. Rating
429 Ratings
45mins Response Time
Engaging, positive and very knowledgeable tutor.
— Heather , Des Moines, IA on 6/23/15

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Speech Pathology
Teachers College at Columbia University
U.S. Peace Corps


CSULB (Speech Pathology)

Teachers College at Columbia University (Master's)

U.S. Peace Corps (Other)

About Natalie

- ONE of the 'TOP 100' tutors (out of 75,000) with WyzAnt! -


I am a credentialed teacher from CA (K-12 Science-Biology, K-8 Math - Algebra/Geometry) with over 25 years of experience including consultation and development of IEP's/504's. Professional experiences include public and private education (K-12), working with college students as well as corporate training, teacher development, Peace Corps and ed tech.

I am brave enough to start conversations which matter! I work best with students and parents who value the construction of goals and work progressively towards achievement. Student success is optimal when there is persistence present from the student in their work habits and support from parents for consistent follow through over a period of time. It has been my experience, organization and thoughtful reflection helps students most in any learning situation.

In the past six years I have worked with students and parents of special needs/learning disabled students in the capacity of advocate. This includes helping parents understand and obtain the most benefit of an IEP and assisting in use of both off the shelf and individually designed learning tool(s) for the specific learning needs of a student. More often than not, these tools benefit all students in the class.

Educational Philosophy:

*Education is the only commodity which will always exceed the initial investment value.
*Knowledge is a form of power - it is the most transformative resource to the individual, community and world at large.
*Education promotes self efficacy in marginalized groups.
*Empowered students (agency) are best able to follow their own North Star.

The cornerstone of my teaching practice is the belief of learning and change throughout life being the most significant endeavors one can pursue. Toward these goals, I truly enjoy and am passionate about my role as a facilitator and educator.

I use a constructivist pedagogical style in my work with students (discovery, hands-on, experiential, collaborative, Socratic method questioning, project and task-based learning) across all subjects with my great loves being in science and math. I feel it is important to address where science and math intersect with history, art, writing and philosophy.

In the areas of writing (AP, SAT, Honors classes, college applications), I work closely with students to develop and elevate composition skills, work towards a skillful command of language and create sentence structures which demonstrate high level thinking. I have worked with students taking the following AP courses: English, Literature, U.S. History, World History, Human Geography and Biology (short answers/analysis). The best strategy I have found for the SAT/ACT is a long horizon line in reading and verbal development. This means re-thinking the college admissions process as more than a series of test dates in the junior and senior year of high school.

Practices I integrate into my tutoring and teaching include:

(1) Organizational strategies and structures from The Organized Binder-Mitch Weathers
(2) ELA/ writing skills based on Nancie Atwell's 'The Writers Workshop'
(3) Bio science/paleo/evo from Judy Scotchmoor
(4) Math syntax from Phil Gonsalves and Salman Khan.
(5) For specially organized materials to meet the needs of a single student, I select and curate with CK-12

I keep current on neuro, psych and educational practices and am able to discuss these ideas as well as help you find materials to read to understand various ideas about learning.

As a tutor, I try to find a reasonable balance between the cognitive learning processes and the mechanisms which are necessary to prepare students to excel at the collegiate level and in life. While I do not value standardized testing, it is a reality. Since the SAT is changing for March 2016 (hopefully for the better), I would be pleased to talk with you about these changes.
- ONE of the 'TOP 100' tutors (out of 75,000) with WyzAnt! -


I am a credentialed teacher from CA (K-12 Science-Biology, K-8 Read more

36 hours notice required

Group rates available for >1 student taking the same lesson. Cancellations 24-36 hours in advance will incur 1/2 lesson charge due. Cancellations with <24 hours notice will incur full charge.

Travel Radius
Travels within 40 miles of Des Moines, IA 50314
Background Check: Passed

"Engaging, positive and very knowledgeable tutor."

- Heather , Des Moines, IA on 6/23/15

"Natalie is a knowledgeable, patient, and very serious tutor"

- Zhenqin, Orange, CA on 7/2/15

"Passionate, Dependable and Knowledgable"

- Trevi and Denney, Fort Collins, CO on 5/20/15

"Great With Groups"

- Paige, Oak Park, CA on 4/21/15

"Very Supportive and Enthusiastic!"

- Lilly, Newbury Park, CA on 3/25/15

"Brings Out the Best in Her Students"

- Elizabeth, Brooklyn, NY on 3/9/15

"Great coach for professional presentations"

- Aaron, Westlake Village, CA on 12/11/14

"Passionate, Experienced, Talented"

- Reid, Camarillo, CA on 8/21/14

"Professional and engaging"

- Simonetta, Santa Barbara, CA on 8/20/14

"We have been seriously lucky to have a tutor like Natalie"

- Iva, Los Angeles, CA on 8/20/14

"A great tutor"

- Sara, Camarillo, CA on 4/11/14

"Very Helpful "

- TOMOYUKI, Santa Barbara, CA on 3/19/14

"Empathetic, Patient, and Thorough"

- Jeremy, Westlake Village, CA on 2/5/14

"So beneficial!"

- Carl, Northridge, CA on 11/5/13

"Outstanding Tutor. Very relative and reliable."

- Adam, Thousand Oaks, CA on 10/2/13

"Breaks complicated concepts down."

- Aura, Bernalillo, NM on 8/20/13

"The Perfect Solution"

- Susan, Goleta, CA on 2/18/13


- Christeen, Camarillo, CA on 2/15/13

"Great copy editor."

- Brian, Oakland, CA on 5/5/11
Test Preparation:
ACT English,
ACT Math,
ACT Reading,
ACT Science,
ASVAB, Career Development,
SAT Reading, SAT Writing

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.

ACT English

This test and the tutoring I do is directed at students motivated to do more than short term intensive test prep. I work extensively with students on who to achieve 6-8 points in the writing section by doing great quick essays. The challenges of being able to write to any prompt and how to quickly formulate a good response is the backbone of this section.

ACT Math

This test and the tutoring I do is directed at students motivated to do more than short term intensive test prep.
This section often requires students to review some math skills and I work with them to be persistent in reviewing/practicing/grinding the numbers as well as how to be efficient in problem solving.

ACT Reading

This test and the tutoring I do is directed at students motivated to do more than short term intensive test prep. I work with students to improve test taking by putting in the work to look at what is being asked and how to efficiently extract information from various reading portions.

ACT Science

This test and the tutoring I do is directed at students motivated to do more than short term intensive test prep. I am able to help students get past the 'fear' of the science in the science section and work through the logic of the science section.


My undergraduate degree is Speech Pathology. I have had clinical, teaching and tutoring experience with students requiring alternate study habits/skills to perform well in school.

Algebra 1

I am a CA credentialed teacher who has taught math through Geometry to students up to college. Having worked as a corporate trainer, I am able to help students clear the 'hurdle' of thinking algebraically and getting past the memorization of concepts which impact future learning/thinking.

Most recently I tutored students in the local health care workers union who were looking to apply for nursing school.

American History

I love U.S. and World History. Due to many travel and living abroad opportunities, I have developed a 'fluency' and passion for understanding past and current history and politics.

Most recently I tutored students in AP U. S. History.


As a science teacher, I am able to explain and help students orient themselves to visual landmarks in identification of micro to macro (cells to complete systems). Understanding the location of various cells, tissues and organs of the body helps in interpreting the relationships of systems and prepares a student for physiology. I work at helping students use their book, online resources and models to navigate the body. Recently I have helped a student in a nursing program do a cat dissection for comparative anatomy.


As an undergraduate student, I began my studies in anthropology including a background in physical and cultural anthropology. I have taught 'The Big Dig' with colleague teachers in middle school. On a personal level, I have traveled quite a bit and keep up on news and discoveries within this subject area. I can help you learn to appreciate what our ancestors have provided from the past. There is a rich and thoughtful discourse around the world regarding evolution, migration and how we have come to be where we are now.


During my undergraduate career, I took classes in archaeology. I am a huge fan of Joseph Campbell and his work. In addition to teaching 'The Big Dig' with colleague teachers in middle school, I am well traveled and explore various museums around the world in this subject area. I have a deep personal interest in art objects, specifically masks and costume used for cultural/religious celebrations.
I can help you understand what artifacts teach us about the past. Not only does archaeology help us appreciate what has happened in history, it helps us think about the future. Archaeology helps us think through events before there was the ability to write words!


My undergraduate degree is in Speech Pathology. I have 25 years of professional teaching which includes mainstreaming students.
At various times in my career I have been on the student study team and am comfortable in writing as well as implementing an IEP. Currently I consult with parents to advocate for their students and help improve IEPs as well as work with teachers to assist them in teaching methodology for students with alternate needs.


My experience with ASD students includes age of diagnosis (age 2 years) to adult/college level. I have worked with students/parents fortunate enough to obtain an early diagnosis and begin intervention as well as up through various K-12 schooling situations and then onto college and working with college campus student services. My work with students, parents and the school focuses on providing structure and work towards increasing the focus (time on task) in academic areas. My background in speech pathology is helpful in understanding the issue of autism and have high expectations for student persistence and development.


I am able to help students understand complex functions within the body so they can succeed in biology. I have a graduate degree in secondary science education, specifically biology and have taught for 25 years.


During graduate school I spent time taking various classes of botany or including concepts from botany, most notably on the area of photosynthesis. Over the years I have successfully helped students overcome their mis-education around this important chemical reaction via labs in and out of the classroom. I participated in Teacher Forestry Camp in Oregon. My education includes being a licensed pharmacy technician where I continue to spend time keeping up on botanical research as related to human health. I can help you learn and understand the fundamental most important chemical reaction and precursor to life on earth. In addition, it is a goal to assist you in understanding the developmental process of plant complexity/environmental conditions AND understanding how the DNA of said organisms also managed to become the Red Woods, Saguaro Cactus, various cedars on mountains and sea weed.

Career Development

I have worked in corporate, private, public, not-for-profit, and governmental fields. My background includes working with people both abroad and in the U.S. to develop skills which will help them obtain job satisfaction. I am a certified Toastmaster and exceptional at preparing for interviews through research as well as the 'self-needs assessment'.


Although I took the CBEST long ago, I am very familiar with the contents and the questions asked due to tutoring students over the years. I am able to work with students on both evaluating the question to answer it and strategies for M/C test taking.


I have made yeast bread cinnamon rolls on an open campfire (Peace Corps). This is a portion of my informal education around food, cooking and nutrition. I have the knowledge of cooking a variety of ethnic foods from living in those countries and tutoring students where parents taught me how to cook. My volunteer experiences include working with new immigrants to the U.S. in understanding nutrition and how to cook foods which may not be the same, but similar to traditional foods.
My formal education includes college coursework in nutrition, chemistry and physiology which I can relate to principles of nutritious eating.
Since we all have to eat, I can help you with basic cooking (kitchen chemistry) up through some more sophisticated techniques to turn out a nice meal.
I am not a chef and do not have formal training - I have the training you get from being in the kitchen with people who cook for their families. My science background gives me the ability to explain how various foods help us and how techniques enhance our food (ex: I know how 'shortening' works on gluten fibers).


My undergraduate degree is in speech pathology. I regularly work with students needing support in areas of dyslexia and other processing issues. When working with students, I use a variety of strategies to have students develop the skills necessary for their success. Strategies include everything from tools to block out other distractions on page up to using kinesthetic reminders (b vs. d with hands).

Elementary (K-6th)

I am a Credentialed Teacher in the State of CA. My professional experience includes 20+ years of teaching K-12 and adult professional development/corporate training. I regularly consult at schools where parents need advocacy for implementing IEP's and 504's.

Elementary Math

I work with students to develop the 'foundations' of good math practice and syntax. My teaching philosophy is hands on, most especially with the younger set, and very little memorizing until they understand the underlying concept.

Elementary Science

I work with students to instill a LOVE of science. It is my goal to help students understand the process of scientific method as well as how scientists use information. Examples: How can we use details from examining rocks to determine the type of rock they may be? Why do frogs and birds lay eggs, but different kinds and they hatch them in different ways in different places.


There is much more to writing than a mere five paragraph essay. Being able to perform quality research, note taking and applying this information to your writing becomes incredibly important from MS through college and into the professional work world. I am able to write across the curriculum, most notably science which requires a different mind set. I will work with you to develop your reading (the backbone to good writing) and writing skills and learn many methods of editing.


I have worked with students from a variety of foreign countries (Spain, Japan, China, Jordan, Iran, Kenya, Russia, Ukraine) to develop emerging English skills as well as students who require language help in a particular area (professional correspondence/conversation, computer skills, how to interact with people on LinkedIn, vocabulary specific to a particular field of study, etc.). Many of my students have also requested an 'American Culture' component and I have worked with them in that regard as a 'goodwill' ambassador.

I am a returned U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer and understand the challenges of learning and using a new language. My travels, work and personal interest in history, art and culture have allowed me a reasonable familiarity with many cultural customs and nuances from other parts of the world.


I will be able to help you successfully understand the math questions, self check your answers and prepare to complete the exam. Many students need help with the process of MC tests as much as the material itself and I am able to work on both issues.


Geometry is an application of logical thinking. I am able to work with students and reinforce the underlying algebra skills as well as help students navigate the process of proofs and constructing various geometric drawings to understand the complex ideas at hand.

Government & Politics

I work with students to understand local and global political systems, the impacts of local decisions in the larger community and around the world. My experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer and teacher allows for a 'beyond the book' insight. It is my aspiration to help students be aware of the great benefits we have being American Citizens and how we can effect change.


Grammar is a unique set of rules for any specific language. While it is rule based, it is usually developed through reading skills and applied into writing. I am able to help you discern what 'sounds' and 'looks' appropriate as well as the reasoning behind these important ideas so you can improve your writing.

Hard Of Hearing

My undergraduate degree is in Speech Pathology. I have taught for 25 years including students with different needs in a mainstreamed classroom. My speech cadence is articulate and I am able to modify what needs to be done within instruction to help students who have lost or are losing hearing.

This past year, I worked with a young student who had a cochlear implant and was assisting in both improving the students speech, fluency and ability to localize sound as well as improve academic work related to time lost in classroom with minimal hearing.


My undergraduate degree is in Communicative Disorders and my clinical work required work in the area of phonics use for language acquisition/development. As a credentialed teacher, I use concepts from phonics regularly for classroom teaching, most especially with students where English is not a first language. Phonics is also helpful in the understanding of Latin and Greek words in the sciences.

Physical Science

I am able to help students understand fundamentals of chemistry and physics so they can succeed in physical science. I have a graduate degree in secondary science education and am familiar with common scientific misconceptions.


As a science teacher, I am able to explain and help students understand the processes of various cells, tissues and organs of the body AND I can help in interpreting the relationships of organs.


I am a CA credentialed teacher who has taught math through Geometry to students up to college. My strong suit is helping the student go from concrete thinking to the abstract world of algebra. Syntax is an important skill set and I have worked with all types of students to get through this necessary grinding of the numbers.


I can edit in person or online with MS Edit. My experience has included students and professionals in many fields which require a polishing up of their work.


I enjoy working with students to evaluate human behavior and the connection to organic brain issues vs. learned experiences. My own personal interest in the field of neuro keeps me up to date on developmental concepts and the basic application of psychology research from the 'book'. I encourage students to use their increasing knowledge of psychology to improve their own lives instead of just seeing it as a 'class to pass'.

Public Speaking

I am a Certified Toastmaster and do public speaking regularly professionally and personally. As a credentialed teacher, I have coached students, both K-12 and adults in best practices for presentations.


Reading is a favorite activity of mine and so I strive to pass on the love and enjoyment to students. I am well versed in phonics, development of reading and the transition of reading for information at Gr 4. In addition, I am able to work with students on reading in all subject areas, how to take notes, summarize and using a text book vs. other types of books. Reading is the portal to all knowledge and I make every effort to make it fun, enjoyable and more than a task from school.

SAT Writing

The SAT is rigorous in testing how well you take a test - not necessarily how intelligent/smart you are. I am aware of what the SAT is after and how to evaluate questions efficiently as well as write a good piece. As an avid writer/blogger, I am aware of what it means to be on point, articulate yourself by marshaling the evidence and ending the case succinctly. I regularly work with students on the SAT/ACT and AP courses requiring writing.

Social Studies

During my undergraduate years in college I studied anthropology/sociology/history. I have had the opportunity to use many of the skills of sociology working as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer and also as classroom teacher. In addition, I keep up with local, national and worldwide news, discussions and World Affairs via KQED.

Special Needs

I have worked with students who have IEP's and 504's. Not only am I familiar with the education jargon, I am able to work with students and parents in helping students develop strategies and skills for learning, thinking and producing meaningful work.
My undergraduate degree is in speech pathology and I have years of classroom experience with a variety of differently abled students.


I am a Certified Toastmaster who has presented to large and small groups professionally. My writing skills have been well received by others who need assistance in creating an effective presentation/speech.


There is spellcheck on the computer......there is also spellcheck in your brain! Knowing some of the tenants of word construction and practicing will help you be able to read and write more efficiently. I am able to work with you on techniques to make spelling more familiar, in particular, science and maths language.

Study Skills

My undergraduate degree is in Speech Pathology. During my 25 years of teaching, I have worked with youth through adults on becoming better learners/students through developing a variety of study skills.

I practice a modification of Mitch Weathers' Organized Binder when appropriate. I help people understand how to modify behaviors for better learning in all subject areas as they each require a different technique, style of thinking for mastery.


One of the most critical skills for students is developing a vocabulary from all areas of knowledge. A broad vocabulary is essential for SAT/ACT and college success. There are techniques for increasing vocabulary beyond the flash card method, which involve Greek/Latin roots (most notably in science and maths), contextual reading and the use of a thesaurus in order to obtain the best possible verbiage for the situation.
I have been called a wordsmith by many and work with students to develop the interest in learning more words/vocabulary beyond the classroom setting.

World History

We all need to know all we can about the world we live in. As a returned U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, I feel that I am able to give world view which is not xenophobic nor overly 'Americanized' in view.


I work with students on analyzing the task, reviewing the rubric and methodically going through the writing process. Some of my strengths include helping students self edit, use tools such as a thesaurus to develop better word choices and effective research. I do believe that good readers make good writers and work with students to develop better reading skills to ferret out information.


Part of my training in undergraduate work was understanding zoology. In graduate school, I took more coursework in this area, specifically related to evolution, DNA and epigenetics and their effect on living organisms. In addition, I have taught this subject matter over many years and keep abreast of current research as a licensed pharmacy technician.

First came the plants and then the animals. I can help you understand the transition plant organisms needed to make from self sufficient photosynthesis to adapting to a different mode of nutrition. Single celled protozoan to mammal... every living (and some dead, but found by anthropologists!) animal organism came about with unique AND related (we have some banana genes!) adaptations to the environment.

Speech Pathology
Teachers College at Columbia University
U.S. Peace Corps


CSULB (Speech Pathology)

Teachers College at Columbia University (Master's)

U.S. Peace Corps (Other)

Engaging, positive and very knowledgeable tutor. — Natalie was engaging and showed a sincere interest in helping my son. She quickly picked up on his area of interest and tied those topics to be covered during the tutoring session. As a parent, I was impressed with her ability to reassure my son that he could tackle the obstacles he was facing. We are both looking forward to working with her! ...

— Heather , Des Moines, IA on 6/23/15

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $48.00

Cancellation: 36 hours notice required

Group rates available for >1 student taking the same lesson. Cancellations 24-36 hours in advance will incur 1/2 lesson charge due. Cancellations with <24 hours notice will incur full charge.

Travel policy

Natalie will travel within 40 miles of Des Moines, IA 50314.

Background Check Status for Natalie B.

Natalie B. passed a background check on 5/1/15. The check was ordered by Natalie through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

After sending a message to Natalie, 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.