Over 5 tutoring hours

Jeff S.

Highland Park, IL


I Build Confidence

In-person lessons
Background check passed as of 10/15/12
Competent, supportive tutoring
— Lisa, Highwood, IL on 2/15/14

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U. of Illinois at Urbana, U. of Southern Florida, NYU, Eastern Illinois University


U. of Illinois at Urbana, U. of Southern Florida, NYU, Eastern Illinois University (English)

About Jeff

Tutoring is work, of course, but I enjoy connecting with students and understanding their thought processes. Most of the time, I am able to have some fun with the interaction, and that is one of the reasons for my success.

A tutor must be a good communicator. Communication means listening and having the flexibility to adapt to different student personalities and to bring forward the best in each student. Students respond positively to the effort that the tutor makes, to humor, and to genuine encouragement.

I have worked with students at widely varying levels of academic ability. I find the level for each student at which that student is successful. We then proceed from that level, building confidence and ability lesson by lesson. I facilitate the release of the student's natural ability.

I completed an intensive course of instruction in tutoring the English and reading sections of the ACT. This course was given by a large, well-known educational company. I worked for this company for more than a year and spent about two hundred hours tutoring a variety of students, from one who scored 31 on an ACT practice test to another who needed to work on identifying parts of speech. For the student who needed help with parts of speech, I created custom materials, and I have a library of instruction sheets, exercises, and problems that I made to help my students. Virtually all of my students improved their ACT scores, and some improved dramatically. Prior to instructing in ACT preparation, I tutored high school English and math for the Polk County Learning Center when I lived in Florida.

I attended the University of Illinois in Urbana, the University of South Florida,NYU, and Eastern Illinois University. I graduated with a BA in General Studies with areas of concentration in English and American Literature and Creative Writing. At the University of South Florida, I won the Anspach Fiction Award for the final chapter of my novel manuscript when it was submitted as a short story. In addition, my poetry has been published in several magazines.

Thank you for taking a look at my profile. I look forward to hearing from you.

Tutoring is work, of course, but I enjoy connecting with students and understanding their thought processes. Most of the time, I am able to have some fun with the interaction, and that is one of the reasons for my success.

A tutor must be a good communicator. Communication means listening and having the flexibility to adapt to
Read more

24 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 20 miles of Highland Park, IL 60035
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons

"Competent, supportive tutoring"

- Lisa, Highwood, IL on 2/15/14
Elementary Math
ACT English,
ACT Reading,
Grammar, Literature, Reading, Vocabulary, Writing
Test Preparation:
ACT English,
ACT Reading
Elementary Education:
Elementary Math, Grammar, Reading, Study Skills,

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

As stated above, I have substantial experience tutoring ACT English and reading prep. I have identified the two main ways that the ACT test differs from classroom tests that students normally take. These two differences cause anxiety and confusion, but, through an exposure and discussion of the differences, we will minimize the difficulties they cause.

I spend some time presenting test-taking strategies, with ten strategies, some unconventional, to improve performance.

All students get plenty of practice answering actual ACT test questions. This practice helps me diagnose any academic weakness a student may have. We do remedial work, where necessary, to ensure that the student has a sound foundation of knowledge from which he or she can move forward.

ACT Reading

Especially with the reading portion of the ACT exam, students need to understand the two ways that the ACT differs from tests that they normally take in school. I explain the two differences and thereby relieve much of the pressure and confusion of the ACT reading exam.

It is also particularly important for this exam that the student use some good test-taking strategies and stay focused on the material. I teach several techniques for maintaining and sharpening focus on this exam, and I discuss a variety of test-taking strategies. Some strategies are essential, while others are optional. The student can choose from the optional strategies the ones that most appeal to him or her.


When I was young, I studied chess with a passion and spent many hours playing. One of my friends usually beat me, and the defeats spurred me to intense effort to improve my play.
I am familiar with the importance of opening play, pawn development, and the control of the center of the board. Like many games, chess rewards solid play, and reckless attacks usually end badly for the attacker.
I am qualified to teach beginning or intermediate chess, but I would not call myself a chess expert.


I have been studying English formally and informally for more than thirty years. My poetry has been published in several magazines, and I am currently looking for an agent for my novel manuscript.

Reading and writing English are natural to me, even if not always easy. My attitude toward English, my comfort with and love of the language, is communicated to my students and rubs off on them.

All of my students can improve their reading and writing ability because I am a patient, persistent teacher and am willing to spend time discovering the source of a student's problem. Whatever aspect of English - reading, writing, literature, grammar, or vocabulary - is the student's concern, I can help.


Poker, in the long run, is a game of skill. Of course, luck can overwhelm skill on a particular night or in the short run, but luck becomes insignificant as a factor over any long stretch of time.

Poker players, or any gamblers, try to position themselves so that the odds are in their favor. They try to make sure that they make a profitable potential return on their investment in the pot. That is, the pot odds are greater than the odds against them. For example, if the odds against a successful flush draw are 4-1, then players need to be sure that the money in the pot is more than four times the amount they must bet. Players, then, need to be familiar with the probabilities of success of various hands. This element of poker is merely a matter of math.

The other main element of poker - psychology - is more an art than a science. Very good players have an ability to discern the strength of opponents' hands, and this ability is a huge advantage.

I have been playing poker successfully for many years. I played a great deal of poker in high school and college in informal home games. Recently, when I lived in Florida, I played poker in the casino. I have also studied the books of David Sklansky, who is considered one of the top experts on poker and gambling.

Study Skills

When I lived in Florida, I passed the English subject area exam for public school teachers. Passing this exam was the strongest piece of evidence that I know how to study because I had never taken an education course and had to study four years of college course material in several months. How did I do it? I read and reviewed a great deal of material, and I practiced writing analyses of poetry because one part of the exam was an analysis of a poem. When I wrote the practice essays, I simulated test conditions by timing myself. I wrote an essay a week for ten weeks, and by the end of the ten weeks I was well-prepared to write a timed essay on a poem. Although I have generally been successful in school, the English subject area exam provided the strongest proof of my study skills.

Self-discipline is probably the most important study skill. If students have weak self-discipline, I can motivate them. Students need to know how and when to study. Although studying habits are personal and will vary, I tell students that it is much better to study for an hour a day than to study for five hours on Friday. Studying is also a habit that becomes easier for students the more they engage in it.

Finally, I teach students several specific studying techniques. They can choose from the techniques the ones best suited to their learning style.


I am a published poet and have written two novel manuscripts. Currently, I am trying to sell one of my manuscripts.
I have been extremely successful academically, receiving A's in all my college English courses.
Because of my patience and ability to communicate, my track record as a tutor is excellent.
I possess the two main skills necessary for success as a tutor: knowledge and ability to communicate.

U. of Illinois at Urbana, U. of Southern Florida, NYU, Eastern Illinois University


U. of Illinois at Urbana, U. of Southern Florida, NYU, Eastern Illinois University (English)

Competent, supportive tutoring — Tutor Jeff gave my daughter excellent guidance during the ACT English prep sessions. He brought extra study materials with him and he always showed up on time. He facilitated and tuned-up her focus, which increased her confidence going in to take the exam. We expect a great outcome with test scores. ...

— Lisa, Highwood, IL on 2/15/14

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $45.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Travel policy

Jeff will travel within 20 miles of Highland Park, IL 60035.