Over 100 tutoring hours

James S.

Joliet, IL


Master of Education degree Tutoring Math, Science, ESOL, and Test Prep

In-person lessons
4.8 average from 56 ratings
Great Tutor!
— Lyle, Plainfield, IL on 11/13/15

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Shimer College, Chicago, Illinois
BS in Natural Science
Concordia University, Portland, OR


Shimer College, Chicago, Illinois (BS in Natural Science)

Concordia University, Portland, OR (MEd)

About James

I'm a semi-retired ‘techy’ professional with expertise in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics, measurement uncertainty, electronics, microwaves, fluids, force, light and radiation. I’m approved to tutor in over 30 subjects! If you speak another language and need to learn English, or if you are struggling with general coursework outside your specialty area, let me help!

Throughout my professional life I have continuously tutored others in all aspects of a technical field of occupation. I have even written exam questions for technical certification programs and served on a writing committee for international quality standards. My focus then was on helping companies succeed.

Now my focus is on helping students succeed in mastering the knowledge and skills to pursue their dreams in life. Combining the knowledge and experience I have gained with my love of helping others lets me bring an engaging perspective to learning.

Going "back to school" myself, I recently completed a Master of Education, majoring in Curriculum & Instruction, with dual concentrations (minors) in Science (K-14) and ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages). If you want to improve your understanding and grades in math, science, English, academic test preparation, I can help.

Let me help you achieve the academic success you know is within you. Open the doors of your future by demonstrating your understanding of the past, the knowledge discovered by those who have gone before and now passed on to you.
I'm a semi-retired ‘techy’ professional with expertise in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, Read more

12 hours notice required

Group rates: 2 students = $25/hr per student 3-4 students = $20/hr per student

Travel Radius
Travels within 15 miles of Joliet, IL 60435
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons

"Great Tutor!"

- Lyle, Plainfield, IL on 11/13/15

"Exceptional tutor and particularly capable in reaching communication challenged (autistic) students."

- Tristan, Boulder, CO on 11/26/14

"Excellent tutor. "

- Jakob, Joliet, IL on 6/7/14
ACT English,
ACT Reading,
Literature, Proofreading, Reading, TOEFL,
ACT Science,
Philosophy, Physical Science
General Computer
American History,
European History, Geography, Government & Politics, Social Studies,
World History
Elementary Education:
Elementary Math,
Elementary Science,
Reading, Spelling
Algebra 1,
Algebra 2,
Reading, Writing
Corporate Training:
General Computer,

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

I have 2 years experience tutoring all ACT subjects. This part of the ACT covers six elements of effective writing: punctuation, grammar and usage, sentence structure, strategy, organization, and style. In the workplace my coworkers often would ask me to check over things they had written, and management asked me to write instructions and procedures for everyone in the company to follow. Whether you prefer to work on all six elements of the ACT English test or focus on only certain areas, I am happy to tailor our tutoring sessions to best fit your needs.

ACT Math

I have 2 years experience tutoring all ACT subjects. At the undergraduate level I have completed 20 semester hours in math at accredited schools, plus additional industrial coursework in statistics, statistical process control, measurement uncertainty, Six Sigma, design of experiments, and quality engineering. I have applied these math skills in the technical work environment continuously for more than three decades. I can help in any area(s) of the ACT Math subject where you need help.

ACT Reading

The ACT Reading Test is based on four types of reading selections: social studies, natural sciences, prose fiction, and humanities. I have completed over 25,000 pages of reading assignments in these areas during my undergraduate work at a liberal arts college, achieving honors score on the comprehensive exam in my major study area of natural science. I can assist in any or all of these four types of reading selections depending on the individual's needs.

ACT Science

I have 2 years experience tutoring all ACT subjects. When I was in high school, my highest score on the ACT was the science section. Later, I went on to earn my BS in natural science, and I worked in science for many years, and recently completed my M.Ed. with a concentration in science. I guess you could say science has always been my favorite subject. If you need help preparing for the science portion of the ACT, I will be happy to help.

Algebra 1

Algebra 1 tutoring: Linear Expressions, equations & inequalities, polynomials, factoring, fractions, square roots, Pythagorean's Theorem and related vocabulary terms can be conquered and even be fun when you have the help of a geeky friend who has been living and breathing this stuff his whole life. I have used algebra concepts and tutored teens as well as adult technicians, engineers, and scientists. I can help you understand and apply the concepts, so that the test questions will make sense and not sound like so much gibberish when you read them.

Algebra 2

Algebra 2 tutoring: Inequalities, linear equations, polynomials, rational expressions, radical functions, quadratic equations, proportions, analytic geometry, exponents and logarithms, sequences, matrices all made easy! I have tutored teens and adults on this material informally for many years, and have applied these concepts in the real life workplace since I was a teen myself. Let me mentor you through those areas where you are having difficulty!

American History

I am available for elementary, middle, high school, and community college history and course material as well as high school US Constitution coursework and ACT, GED, or GRE Exam preparation. Whatever level you are at, I will be happy to create a customized lesson plan tailored to your individual needs based on State and National education standards and requirements. I have done well in the history section on all of those exams and have recently completed my M. Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction.


I have played chess since 1970, and during High School I would read Chess strategy books and then use what I learned in chess matches. Occasionally over the years I have played in tournaments and chess clubs with co-workers or classmates. From beginning Chess basics to exploring a variety of game-play styles of the Masters, I love to help others improve their level of success and enjoyment of the game.


The classics from Homer to Freud; Shakespeare and Chaucer to Herman Melville and Thomas Aquinas; Plato and Aristotle to Newton and Tolstoy, were the basis for much of my undergraduate study. I've completed assignments on over 25,000 pages of reading and more than 7,000 hours of round table discussion on those classics, which enable me to bring the text alive. I strive to engage the material from philosophy to physics, from literature to politics, encouraging students to give equally close attention to each text. In seminar discussions, I encourage students to contribute regularly and productively without ever imposing their views on others.

Elementary Math

Using the Illinois State Board of Education Common Core Math Standards and your child's textbooks as my framework, I can help her or him achieve a better understanding of the material. I completed over 20 semester hours of college level math, a BS in Natural Science, and a Masters in Education, Curriculum & Instruction. I have applied math concepts and formula for many years in a scientific setting, and have tutored children, teens, and adults in math for over 20 years.

Elementary Science

Illinois State Board of Education Common Core Standards in science now cover the following three goal metrics: 1) inquiry & design; 2) concepts & principles; and, 3) science, technology & society. There are defined comprehension goals at each grade level. I will work with your child and their school textbooks. If they are doing well in the subject area and your are wanting to move them toward advanced placement/honors type performance, we are easily able to look ahead at what the content will be at a more advanced level. About my science background: I'm a retired technical professional with over three decades of working in science and math, I have a BS in natural science with 40 semester hours in science credits, and a Masters in Education, Curriculum & Instruction, with dual concentration in Science and ESOL.


Language Arts, English Composition, Speech, Grammar, Writing, Literature, Poetry, and Theatrical Play Script are all means of communicating with others about ideas using words. Whatever level you are at, I can tailor a tutoring plan that works to help you improve your mastery of the form and structure and vocabulary of English. I graduated from a private Liberal Arts college in 1993 with a BS in Natural Science, and earned a Master of Education, Curriculum & Instruction in Science & ESOL. I can help you learn what you need to pass your courses or to get high scores on exams like ACT and GRE.


The sounds in English language, history of English words, grammar rules, and vocabulary are challenges for the English Language Learner in reaching a level of proficiency where they can focus more on content material rather than language translation. I know how hard a new language can be because I have studied some in German, Japanese, Icelandic, and Russian languages.

I am a semi-retired technical professional with a science and liberal arts education, as well as earning a recent (9/2015) Masters in Education Curriculum & Instruction with concentrations in Science (K-14) and ESOL. I bring a great amount of 'real world' experience to your language practice.


According to GED Testing Services, the 2014 GED Test is a high-school equivalency test that takes a little more than seven hours to complete and covers the four subjects of Science, Social Studies, Mathematical Reasoning, and Reasoning Through Language Arts. Especially if you have been away from school for a few years, any academic test that takes a "high school equivalent" student seven hours to complete will seem daunting. With practice tests to identify where you are in these areas, and a wealth of review material available today, you and I together can get you prepared and confident about taking this test. I took a GED test myself as a teen, and since then, I have worked in a technical and scientific career for more than 30 years, have earned my BS in Science, and my Master of Education: Curriculum & Instruction with dual concentrations in Science and ESOL.

General Computer

In today's world computers are an integral part of daily life. Whether we are buying groceries, pumping gas, filing taxes or researching for a school paper, chances are that a computer is involved. From bar-code scanners, credit card readers, online IRS tax forms, to electronic books, magazines and news media, computers are ubiquitous today. Being able to use a computer proficiently can make a big difference in your schoolwork and in your professional work life. Get help learning the basic computer skills you need from someone who has used, configured, and even programmed computers for many years!


Parallel, congruent, isosceles, quadrilaterals, polygons, solids, areas and volumes: now we get to put those algebra skills to work understanding how shapes and sizes inter-relate in a tangible way. Each of us understands spacial and dimensional concepts differently. Let's get together and find out how to look at these geometrical concepts in a way that is most intuitive for you, and then it will all make sense!


Classmates and co-workers have asked for my help with their written grammar since I was in High School myself, 40 years ago. I have studied grammar in English, Japanese, Icelandic, Russian and Latin. In the professional arena, I have written numerous technical documents, test procedures, and contributed in a writing committee for International Quality Standards. If you are struggling with grammar or preparing for an important test in grammar, I can help you.

Physical Science

How things work is an area of knowledge that we will apply throughout our lives, whether our main pursuits are gardening, construction, culinary arts, quantum physics, or performing arts. A solid grounding in physical science helps us understand a variety of physical aspects of the world we live in, and this understanding helps us approach life with a broad perspective and the ability for critical thought and ability to bring original solutions to problems. My BS in natural science, my Master of Education, Curriculum & Instruction with a minor in Science, and 35+ years working in science allows me to bring a wealth of understanding and experience to any area of physical science the student might find challenging. Let's work together to get your proficiency in science where you want it to be.


With pre-algebra we want to begin working with variables, and also we want to ensure that the student has mastered ratios, percentages, decimals and fractions because these concepts will be used with variables in all math courses. My degrees and career have been in science and my math background includes 20 semester hours in math, plus additional work beyond school in statistics, six sigma, and quality engineering. I bring a wealth of hands-on experience to the application of algebra and algebraic principles. Let's work through your text material together, and I can promise you will be ready to tackle algebra with confidence!

Social Studies

Social Studies tutoring: I have tutored children in Social Studies from preschool through high school for 15 years. I have tutored students preparing for the Social Studies section of the GED test. I have also worked with college students in this area, and completed more than 20 semester hours of Social Studies at the college level. According to State and National standards, this subject covers many different topic areas, including history, government, economics, civics, sociology, geography, and anthropology. I will work with your child on developing an understanding of the material appropriate for their grade level.


The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) tests a person's ability to read, listen, speak and write in English at a college level. This test is offered online and takes about four and a half hours to complete. I'm a semi-retired technical professional with a science and liberal arts education, as well as a Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction with minors in Science and ESOL. I can bring a lot of 'real world' experience to your language practice and test preparation.

Shimer College, Chicago, Illinois
BS in Natural Science
Concordia University, Portland, OR


Shimer College, Chicago, Illinois (BS in Natural Science)

Concordia University, Portland, OR (MEd)

Great Tutor! — He is helping me with English, and History. He goes into great detail to make sure I understand what is being said. ...

— Lyle, Plainfield, IL on 11/13/15

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $40.00

Cancellation: 12 hours notice required

Group rates: 2 students = $25/hr per student 3-4 students = $20/hr per student

Travel policy

James will travel within 15 miles of Joliet, IL 60435.

Background Check Status for James S.

James S. passed a background check on 2/5/14. The check was ordered by James through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

After sending a message to James, 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.