Deirdre A.

Gaithersburg, MD


Creative Tutor, ADHD Coach, College Applications Navigator

200+ Hours
Background check passed as of 4/24/14
5.0 average from 91 ratings
Knowledgable and Patient Tutor
— Nicole, Olney, MD on 10/12/16


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Response time: 11 hours

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Wellesley College and Catholic University
American University


Wellesley College and Catholic University (English)

American University (Master's)

About Deirdre

I love students of all shapes and sizes! I love shepherding students through the process of writing an essay, understanding the Pythagorean Theorem, or studying for a biology test. I love helping students with ADHD and/or executive function disorder to make a homework plan, break their work into manageable chunks, and GET IT DONE with a minimum of stress. I love helping college students with anxiety, ASD, ADHD, or LD figure out how to fit all the many pieces of their lives together - from doing laundry, to writing a research paper, to asking a professor for an extension, to making friends on campus. And I love helping high schoolers and transfer students find a college to call home and the money to help pay for it.

My introduction to teaching came through my years as an ESL instructor at the Maryland English Institute on the University of Maryland College Park campus. I have a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Linguistics, with a concentration in teaching English as a Second Language. My work at the institute, for eight years, involved teaching college-age students to read, write, speak and understand English. It is in this setting that I learned how to teach writing as well as how to support young adults through an exciting yet challenging time of life.

After having children, I spent many years teaching homeschool writing, literature and history classes. My strengths seem to be in making hard things easy, making the daunting doable, and making everything fun!

Although my primary training is in the area of English and the humanities, I can assist students in various subjects. Much of the time, I find I don't need to "teach" the subject, merely help the student find the best way to finish homework, study for tests, or complete projects to the teacher's specifications. Occasionally, there are subjects and concepts too advanced for me. However, much of the time, I am able to research unfamiliar topics on my own and come up with a way to communicate the concepts to the student.

Since assisting my own sons in the college application process, I have helped a number of students - homeschooled, private and public - apply to college. I assist with picking a roster of schools, filling out applications, determining the requirements for each school, writing the Common Application essay, answering supplemental questions, and tracking collegiate deadlines, among other things. I particularly enjoy helping students with ADD, learning disabilities, and anxiety apply to college. So far, most of the students I have helped apply to college have had ADD and less than stellar grades. All of my applicants have received acceptances to competitive schools, substantial merit offers and comprehensive financial aid packages.

The thing I most enjoy doing is encouraging students that there IS a way they can succeed. They can do it and I can help them to get there!
I love students of all shapes and sizes! I love shepherding students through the process of writing an essay, understanding the Pythagorean Theorem, or studying for a biology test. I love helping students with ADHD and/or executive function disorder to make a homework plan, break their work into manageable chunks, and GET IT DONE with a minimum of Read more

3 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 10 miles of Gaithersburg, MD 20879
Background Check: Passed

"Knowledgable and Patient Tutor"

- Nicole, Olney, MD on 10/12/16

"Great tutor"

- Maria, Clarksburg, MD on 4/29/16
ACT Math,
Algebra 1, Elementary Math, Geometry, Prealgebra, SAT Math, Trigonometry
ACT Science,
Anthropology, Philosophy, Sociology
ACT English,
ACT Reading, English,
Public Speaking,
SAT Reading, SAT Writing, Writing
Test Preparation:
ACT English,
ACT Math,
ACT Reading, ACT Science,
ASVAB, College Counseling,
GED, ISEE, SAT Math, SAT Reading, SAT Writing
Anthropology, World History
Special Needs:
Phonics, Special Needs
Elementary Education:
Elementary (K-6th), Elementary Math, Elementary Science, Homeschool, Phonics, Reading,
Spelling, Study Skills
Business, Public Speaking

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 a BA in English and an MA in Linguistics with a focus on teaching English as a Second Language. I spent eight years at the University of Maryland teaching international students to speak, read, and write well in English. For the last nine years, I have taught middle and high school writing to home schooled students. My strengths are getting students excited about writing while providing the skills needed to approach writing assignments with confidence.

ACT Math

I scored very well on the college boards when I was in high school and received admittance to an Ivy League sister school. Test taking has always been a strength of mine and I am particularly good at teaching test-taking strategies. My two eldest children have been home schooled and I helped prep them for their standardized testing. Both have scored quite well. My eldest received a number of merit scholarship offers from colleges based on his scores. Currently, I am assisting in both SAT and ACT prep classes at my daughter's school.

ACT Science

I would not see science as a particular strength of mine, but have found that the ACT science passages do not rely on any prior science knowledge. All information is provided in the given passages.


I have home schooled my own children, two of whom have ADD/ADHD. In the course of doing so, I have read and studied extensively on the subject. I am currently a consultant for my home school umbrella group assisting members with children who have special learning needs. I have become known in this group for my success in teaching writing to middle and high school students with ADD/ADHD. Last year, I assisted three young men with ADD/ADHD in applying to college and coached one young man in effectively handling his community college courses. My eldest son is currently in school at the University of Miami and I am essentially functioning as his coach, as well.

College Counseling

In the past four years, I have assisted ten students in applying to college. I have taken them through the process of picking a slate of colleges (composed of reach schools down to safety schools), filling out the Common Application, determining the requirements for each school, choosing recommenders, signing up for the SAT and SAT subject tests, requesting fee waivers, if necessary, sending high school transcripts and test scores, and more. My particular strength lies in helping the students determine a topic for the Common App essay and in encouraging them to write one that is very personal, creative, engaging. I assist my students in staying on top of all deadlines and encourage them to keep in close contact with their admissions counselor at each school. I also assist in arranging college visits. A number of the students I have worked with have been home schooled. I have been able to help these students effectively present themselves to colleges and have advised the parents on how to create a detailed high school transcript. Some of the students I have worked with have had challenges, such as ADHD/ADD and/or less than stellar grades. I have helped such students write essays and/or submit a separate statement explaining their specific situation. My students have received acceptances from a full range of colleges. Some examples are: the University of Michigan, American University, the University of Maryland, Catholic University, Ithaca College, Ohio Wesleyan, RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology), Goucher College, Penn State, the University of Miami, Hope College, and the University of Minnesota and Ohio Wesleyan. Students have received partial to full scholarship offers. I have taken two students through the process of auditioning for theater programs across the nation and advised one student who wished to major in music (violin - focus) and so, have some knowledge of how to approach the audition process for arts majors. I have also assisted a number of students in applying for specific scholarships. It is my pleasure to help students find schools that are right for them and to facilitate a smooth, and relatively stress free college application process.


My daughter has dyslexia. She was homeschooled from kindergarten through 7th grade and I taught her how to read using a phonics curriculum that worked well for children with dyslexia. In addition, I have taught writing classes for 8 years. A number of my students have had dyslexia, other learning disabilities, and ADD/ADHD. I have been very successful is assisting student with dyslexia to improve their writing skills. Currently, I assist in the SAT/ACT classes in my daughter's school. Her school is an innovative school in our area which has many dyslexic students. I have spent the year assisting such students in preparing for the SAT and ACT. In the past two to three years, I have also assisted a number of dyslexic homeschooled children in choosing a college and have provided support as they applied to college, wrote college application essays, and applied for scholarships.


I majored in English in college and then went on to get a Masters degree in Linguistics with a focus on teaching ESL. I spent about eight years teaching English language learners to function in a college environment - writing papers, reading literature, taking notes, etc. After that, I spent many more years homeschooling my own children and teaching writing and literature classes for middle and high school students. Currently, I tutor high school and college students, mostly assisting them with their current classes. I help students to understand class assignments, structure and complete essays, divide projects into workable segments, and, simply, to succeed overall.


I have a BA in English and an MA in Linguistics. I have taught literature in a number of situations, from ESL classes with university students at the University of Maryland to classes composed of middle school and high school home-schoolers. I can assist students with the comprehension and analysis of literature as well as the enjoyment of literature. I particularly enjoy helping middle and high school students who struggle with reading and with the writing assignments that often accompany it.

Public Speaking

I taught ESL for many years at the University of Maryland. Part of my job involved training teaching assistants from other countries. Each student was taught how to speak publicly. In addition to working on basic English skills, such as vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, students were given many tips on effective public speaking. Students were encouraged to use visual aids and to provide appropriate examples to catch and hold the attention of their audience. They were taught how to speak slowly and clearly, how to speak confidently, and how to maintain eye contact and engagement with their audience. In addition to teaching foreign students, I have taught writing to middle and high school students for a number of years. I always include opportunities for presentation in my classes in order to prepare my students for situations they may encounter in a classroom setting. My students finish my classes able to share research findings, to present book reports, to deliver persuasive speeches and more.


I have home schooled my three children and taught all of them to read. My daughter is learning disabled and needed extensive help and a different methodology than my sons. I prefer working with middle, high school and even college students who struggle with reading. I enjoy helping those types of students to find strategies to assist them in their struggles.

Study Skills

As a homeschooling parent, I have had the task of teaching my children study skills. Both of my sons began taking some classes outside the home in high school. I assisted them in learning how to take notes, how to outline, how to review material, and how to use flashcards and mnemonics to memorize information. I also assisted them in learning how to set up an effective schedule of studying so that material was reviewed incrementally over a period of days, rather than studied at the last minute or only the night before an exam. During my eldest son's high school years, we held study groups for his Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 classes in our home. Over the past two years, I have worked with three college students, assisting them in learning how to set up study schedules and suggesting effective study techniques.

Wellesley College and Catholic University
American University


Wellesley College and Catholic University (English)

American University (Master's)

Knowledgable and Patient Tutor

Deirdre and I sat down and discussed what colleges I am applying to, GPA, and test scores. Deirdre brought in college essays that have worked so that I understand what paths I can take to write a successful paper. She did an amazing job helping me outline my college essay as well as giving me positive feedback. She is very patient and made my first session an enjoyable one so I am looking forward

— Nicole, Olney, MD on 10/12/16

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $65.00

Cancellation: 3 hours notice required

Travel policy

Deirdre will travel within 10 miles of Gaithersburg, MD 20879.