Sheila A.

Amherst, MA


Tutoring Philosophy

In-person lessons


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University of MA/Amherst
University of MA/Amherst


University of MA/Amherst (BA)

University of MA/Amherst (MEd)

About Sheila

A dedicated teacher and educator for over twenty-five years in urban and suburban school settings, I’ve taught in all subject areas and age groups (pre-school-12) in Special Education, Remedial, Bilingual/ESL & ESL, college & ABE, and the gifted; however, my specialty is English/Humanities. My approach to education is a global one, and my students have been more than exposed to the rudiments of an education. In those years, I’ve demonstrated professionalism in many areas- teaching, consulting, research, writing, curriculum development, and classroom management. I am extremely meticulous and thorough in my presentation to students. Interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal are strong, but I feel that one of my greatest abilities is to communicate with my students from the very young to the very old. I have a unique rapport that shows genuine love for them, and they are aware. Intuitiveness is a given for me, so I’m able to intuit what each student needs immediately, and the level of readiness. I probe their minds, asking questions, and I then lead them to the best learning experience. (I adapt the curriculum to different learning styles by offering different learning modalities). The learning process is a shared journey, and each student represents a major link in that decision-making process.

Tutoring Philosophy

The word tutor is synonymous with teacher: passionate, dedicated, understanding and unassuming, who sets and maintains high standards for her students. Believing in one’s student(s)to excel holistically is the main ingredient in being able to teach. Often times, students falter in their subject matter because they haven’t learned or honed those skills necessary to adapt to an environment in which the expectations of them are high as opposed to low expectations. (Urban/rural and sometimes-suburban public education is often lacking in expectations and praise, so assuming that one hasn’t the ability to learn is bogus–many times these students need only the basics and much encouragement and applause to go forth). Your student might have been working and raising children for the last 20 years and has since lost touch with the world of academia, or her first language is one other than English, or she has undiscovered learning differences that heed success. In any case, you as her tutor must provide the best learning resources, so that you will be able to foster a positive milieu, in which learning without a doubt becomes a shared journey.

As a writing tutor, I’d realized my 10th grade sixteen year-old home-schooled charge didn’t have grammar basics; his study, research, time management and organizational skills had become sediments to be dismissed as trivia, and his creativity had taken a back seat to his natural born instincts. But a bright young man, we scurried along to hone his inherent talents as an enthusiastic sleepwalking writer, who was somewhat shy in expressing himself. I as his tutor began to teach him grammar and the art of originality, and therefore, encouraged him not to be coy when writing a creative piece. At ease with me after a few days, our teacher/student relationship became one of trust and high expectations, and thus, his search for words and meaning began to emerge. He spoke and I edited– the words would stream from his lips as I sometimes typed, and then after, when he’d typed his final drafts, communication in format was composed with fluidity.

Ask the student about himself in relation to his wishes, desires, dreams, interests and goals. Really listen to what he iterates, and quite often you will find that spark which ignites his gift-a unique way of learning. My aforementioned student had a dream to become a famous guitarist; his passion was to create hard-rock/blues compositions. So, I as his tutor and integrator of the previously mentioned deficits began to describe to him ways in which his words could be rhythmic. His genius began to flourish, and each new writing project flowed with as much intensity as his strumming the guitar with a since suppressed sense of humor. Boost and boast strengths, not weaknesses, and motivation will trickle into enthusiastic fervor! Your student’s sometimes-shrugged shoulders and bowed head will lift with ardor.

Responsibility is key to learning, not only for the student, but for the tutor as well. Preparedness is a must; the tutor must not only be well heeled in her subject matter, but organized and resourceful enough to be immersed in her student’s. Each session must be planned, designed and implemented so that time is not lost. I feel, is important. Be creative! Mastermind homework assignments, so that you are assured your student begins to master her difficulties, and put the pressure on, so that you can expect that she will always do her best!

Sheila D., M.Ed

A dedicated teacher and educator for over twenty-five years in urban and suburban school settings, I’ve taught in all subject areas and age groups (pre-school-12) in Special Education, Remedial, Bilingual/ESL & ESL, college & ABE, and the gifted; however, my specialty is English/Humanities. My approach to education is a global one, and my students Read more

24 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 5 miles of Amherst, MA 01002
In-person lessons
Elementary (K-6th)
English, ESL/ESOL,
Grammar, Proofreading, Reading, Vocabulary, Writing
General Computer, Microsoft Word
Reading, Writing
Special Needs:
Elementary (K-6th), Phonics, Reading, Special Needs
Elementary Education:
Elementary (K-6th), Grammar, Phonics, Reading, Vocabulary, Writing
Microsoft Word, 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.


As a 10th-Grade Language Arts teacher at a Charter School, my 6th-period class encompassed mostly SPED students. I developed, designed and implemented the English curriculum (inclusive of multiple learning styles; and developed and executed lessons to meet multiple needs of learners who had ADD, ADD/ADHD and other learning disabilities. (All my students passed the MCAS exam.)

As an educational consultant at Elementary School, I worked with an ADD 3rd-grader along with a physician and SPED Team to monitor behavior to moderate the child’s medication. I designed, implemented and taught an academic program (IEP), which best met the child’s needs.

I have a master's in education, and have been teaching children with learning disabilities for the last 30 years.


2009 - With the Holyoke Upward Bound Summer Academy, I identified an ELL (formerly named ESL) student, and designed and implemented curriculum; taught conversational, writing and grammar.

1991-2000 - I taught bilingual and ESL students (Russian and Spanish) from grades 1-6 in the Springfield, MA school system.

1998 - I taught ESL to adults (ages 13-85) Spanish speakers in Salt Lake City, Utah.

1997 - I taught at an English Language School in Riverdale, New York to young adults to adults (Korean, Japanese, Brazilian, French).

1994-1995 - I taught ESL to 4 multilingual students (ages 5-16) in Poland.

1985 - I learned how to teach ESL to Cambodian and Vietnamese immigrants (new) in junior high school. Also, I taught Japanese student who spoke no English; I used a Japanese/English dictionary to translate for her in her Earth Science class. She has since become an honor student.

I use phonics and conversation as a basis for my teaching methodologies. Each student is taught individually based on his/her level and need.

I have an M.Ed with honors and have been teaching ESL/ELL since 1985.

When I studied Russian, I tutored the other students in my classes since grammar in any language had been an issue for them. I received A's.


I've been teaching writing for the last 30 plus years.

A non-ethnocentric and metaphysical novel revering humanity/the human family and global peace; researched peace issues concerning the Sudan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to better formulate a creative piece of work); 2nd sequel; and short stories. (1997-present)

Prep undergraduates & graduates for graduate school (i.e. law, medical, teacher training, etc.). Edit personal statements, resumes, cover letters, biographical sketches, and college essays; writing tutor. Assist them in finding employment. (Present)

University of MA/Amherst
University of MA/Amherst


University of MA/Amherst (BA)

University of MA/Amherst (MEd)

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $50.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Travel policy

Sheila will travel within 5 miles of Amherst, MA 01002.