Rachel S.

Champaign, IL


Reading? Writing? Testing? Research?

In-person lessons
20+ Hours
Background check passed as of 9/20/14
4.9 average from 16 ratings
Great Chess Tutor!
— Daphne, Champaign, IL on 10/8/14


Send a message explaining your needs and Rachel will reply soon.

Response time: 10 hours

Contact Rachel

william paterson
English Lit Writing
william paterson


william paterson (English Lit Writing)

william paterson (Master's)

About Rachel

From kindergarten through college, ACT 1 through Zine 5, special education and ESL 2, I can equip you with the confidence and skills you need to ace the
academic challenges you face.

Hi, I'm Rachel, academic coach in language arts, social studies, humanities, communications, study skills, testing, research, public speaking, reading/writing/rhythm, the whole nine yards, all phases, all ages.

With an MA in English/education and several years of classroom and private
teaching experience, I've helped countless youngsters in NJ, CA and now,
the great state of IL, achieve their academic goals. What are yours?

I'll customize your game plan, play to your strengths to eliminate weakness,
and develop the winning strategies you need.

Specifically, I'm certified to teach in NJ, CA, and have just finished a term with first graders at Sinai Temple in Champaign.
Prior to that I was a guest teacher at several elementary, middle, and secondary
California Distinguished Schools in Marin County, CA (this included special ed
students). In New Jersey I was a professor at Ramapo College, William Paterson
Unviersity, Montclair University and the Language Institute For English
(a subsidiary of Berlitz). I've also worked in the Bergen County Division of Special Services and Huntington Learning Center in New Jersey.

My educational philosophy? There are no stupid questions, studying is hard
work, and whatever you need to learn now (even the boring stuff) will improve your life.

If we were to "team up" I'd talk with you, your parents and teacher(s) (if applicable), evaluate your background and determine the best method(s) going forward to achieve your academic success. Yes, I do like sports and games; they build character, and I adapt the "learn and
play" method whenever appropriate, with good results.

I like a quiet and relaxed teaching environment, indoors, outdoors, whatever works best for your learning needs. I respect you and expect the same in return. I'm friendly and funny but very serious about your academic success. That's what I'm committed to.

So let's talk. And let's team up, today.
From kindergarten through college, ACT 1 through Zine 5, special education and ESL 2, I can equip you with the confidence and skills you need to ace the
academic challenges you face.

Hi, I'm Rachel, academic coach in language arts, social studies, humanities, communications, study skills, testing, research, public speaking,
Read more

24 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 20 miles of Champaign, IL 61820
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons

"Great Chess Tutor!"

- Daphne, Champaign, IL on 10/8/14

"Super Good Tutor"

- Tianjiao, Champaign, IL on 10/6/14

"Very intuitive"

- Lisa, Champaign, IL on 8/17/14
ACT Math, Elementary (K-6th),
Elementary Math, GED, GMAT
ACT Science, Elementary Science, PSAT
Music Theory
Art Theory, Film
ACT English, ACT Reading, Bible Studies, English, ESL/ESOL, Grammar, IELTS, Literature, Proofreading, Public Speaking, Reading, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, TOEFL, Vocabulary, Writing
Test Preparation:
ACT English, ACT Math, ACT Reading, ACT Science, College Counseling, GED, GMAT, IELTS, LSAT, PSAT, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, TOEFL
ESL/ESOL, Hebrew,
IELTS, Reading, TOEFL, Writing
American History, Classics, European History, Geography, Government & Politics, Social Studies, World History, Writing
Special Needs:
Elementary (K-6th),
Elementary Math, Elementary Science, Phonics, Reading, Special Needs, Study Skills
Elementary Education:
Elementary (K-6th),
Elementary Math, Elementary Science, Grammar, Handwriting,
Phonics, Reading, Spelling, Study Skills, Vocabulary, Writing
ESL/ESOL, GMAT, Public Speaking, Tax Accounting, Writing
Football, Golf, Poker, Softball, Swimming, Volleyball

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.


Having taught children and adults before ADHD was diagnosed, I've monitored its inception and progression with interest and compassion.

The ability "to focus on the task at hand": the loss and thus the educational objective when working with ADHD.

I first observed and worked with ADHD--this unrelenting and crippling series of mental interruptions--at the Blesham Institute in Paramus, NJ some 25 years ago. Ritalin was being introduced along with behavior management techniques, attention lengthening methods, calming experiments...whole new curricula were be launched and tested nationwide. "Why Can't Johnny Read?" became "Why Can't Johnny Sit Still?"

I believe ADHD sufferers know little if any "inner quiet", and as an educator work to calm the psychological turbulence and build/restore the silence, the inner sanctum that's been destroyed.

A quiet, non-threatening, pleasant learning environment is key. That's what I seek to create. Ultimately, outer quiet becomes inner calm.

One method I've had consistent success with: directions/instructions to build something tangible. Theory and application. Variation as required. Attention span extension. It works.

We should remember that "good things take time". With ADHD it's never a rush to the finish line--it's "finishing the line" while tripping on as few distractions as possible.


As a USCF Member, tournament player, I was rated about 1200. My Philosophy: Chess lessons are Life lessons; we set a goal, develop a plan to achieve the goal and strategies (tactics) to implement the plan. Chess builds character and confidence, enhances math, logic and analytic capacities--and when taught in the true spirit of the game, instills sportsmanship at its best. How you play the game is how you advance in life..

And let's remember to laugh:
Q Why is the chess player wearing a raincoat?
A He got caught in a pawn storm.

Q Why did the vampire enter a chess tournament?
A He heard it was a blood sport.

Elementary (K-6th)

The first K-6 student I tutored was Michael D. We began when he was in 4th grade--awkward, insecure academically--and finished when he was in 6th grade: a confident young student accomplished in all phases of the required curriculum. Today, Michael is a successful financial planner, having been graduated from Pace University in New York.

While guest teaching, oh, two years ago for the Marin County CA Distinguished Schools K-12, I worked privately with two brothers, Jacob and Joseph H., (K and 1 grades respectively, ESL background) in the areas of language arts, reading, writing, basic letter/number skills--elementary but critical to early academic development. Today, Jacob and Joseph H. do quite well in all elementary subject areas.

More recently I taught a small group of 1st graders at Sinai Temple where I continue on staff. With WyZant I work with 6 year old Sebastian H. as a chess tutor; and, Alexander G., 11, in handwriting and by extension, basic studies.

I've joined the ranks of substitute teachers here in Champaign, IL and have been working with K-8 students at Thomasboro Elementary.

Additionally, I'm working with U of I to develop a new approach to teaching geometry at the K4-K6 level.

I had a young friend J.J. back in California who, though extremely intelligent, hadn't yet learned how to read. This was creating all kinds of social/academic problems. He was 7.

One day, after school, he knocked on my door; and, over cookies and milk lamented: "Rachel, you know, there's nothing worse than being a kid." I thought about this. J.J. was so miserable, so stressed. At seven? Seriously?

"J.J., there's only one thing worse than being a kid," I said.

"What?" said J.J.

"Not being a kid."

He nodded, understanding this completely, as only children can.

"So finish up, go outside, and play. You'll be okay."

And he was. J.J. did learn to read that year and 90% of his social/academic issues disappeared.

So that's why we do what we do and do what we can to inspire achieve...and to dream.

Thanks for considering me.

With every respect,

Rachel A S.


I have an MA in English/education. When I was a youngster, penmanship was a graded, daily, and mandatory part of the K-4 curriculum: block print K-1; cursive, 2-4. No student could advance to fifth grade without legible handwriting (C or better).

Now, though, with less classroom time spent on correctly developing this very critical skill, student writing is often rushed, illegible, and underdeveloped. The result? Lower test scores, inability to "keep up" with the rest of the class, negative academic perception and performance, and lack of confidence.

Fortunately, once the reason(s) for the poor handwriting is determined, several methods can be employed to reverse the trend and achieve success.

Here's what I do:

1) First, I question and evaluate. Why is the student's handwriting illegible? Are fine motor skills an issue? Lack of focus? Hand/eye coordination? Perhaps the student simply needs some quiet, guided, relaxed time to practice. Once this is determined, I develop lesson plans and use materials based on the student's age, skill level, and personality.

2) For print and cursive, most schools use either the Zaner Bloser or D'nealian method. Pencil and claw grips help students slow, steady, and correctly reshape letters and numbers. I test various pencil grips, sizes, thicknesses and curvatures and use whatever the student works best with; same with handwriting tablets. We start large and downsize accordingly. I like combining Evan-Moor's Daily Handwriting Practice with specific teacher assignments. The Donna Young resources also work well.

Additionally, I enjoy (as do most students) working with crayons, markers, chalks, etc., and bring my modest calligraphic talents to the table when appropriate: letter/number write'n'wipe plastic mats and freestyle drawing are effective precursors and/or provide creative downtime.

Finally, and perhaps most important, I key into the student's interests and build on strength to eliminate weakness. We work until we get it "write".


As the "heart is the seat of learning", we begin with the root (shoresh) lamed, vahv and proceed to dahlet, ayin, tav. To build a good (yesod) foundation we can teach letter to root to word (aleph-bet, shoresh, dvar). From there, we can extend.

Between teacher and student there must always be kavod. I begin with kindness to create a structured yet relaxed learning environment. Next, we determine: what is the goal? We create a plan and strategies to achieve said goal. From this we develop method, text(s) and pace. We move from strength to strength realizing every challenge creates opportunity for success. What may be commonly perceived as "failure", in Judaism, is always another opportunity to succeed.

My credentials are modest, my dedication, unwavering, and, my respect for all things Hebraic, infinite.

I study at Chabad in Champaign, IL; I have recently finished my first teaching semester at Sinai Temple (also in Champaign).

william paterson
English Lit Writing
william paterson


william paterson (English Lit Writing)

william paterson (Master's)

Great Chess Tutor!

6/30/2014 Rachel is an awesome chess tutor for our 6-year-old son. She is not only knowledgeable in all matters of chess, but she is patient and funny and makes chess a fun and pleasurable game, which is what it should be for a child. We are looking forward to more lessons with Rachel and to her helping us have our son tournament-ready by this fall! 8/9/2014 Our son won a game in his very first

— Daphne, Champaign, IL on 10/8/14

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $60.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Travel policy

Rachel will travel within 20 miles of Champaign, IL 61820.