Shawni P.

Laurel, MD


Experienced with children who have 504 plans and IEPs

In-person lessons
Background check passed as of 3/25/14

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University of Maryland


University of Maryland

About Shawni

Every child is unique so my tutoring styles accommodate individual needs. Knowing how your child learns is just as important as what your child learns. Tutoring time should be productive AND enjoyable. I have worked with children who have a variety of learning challenges including Asperger's, ADD/ADHD, and epilepsy. My son and several of his friends had 504 plans or IEPs. As they grew, so did my experience in working with developmental disabilities. The photo is of my son and took a lot of hard work, but he graduated! I have experience advocating for children in the public school system. I'm also good at supporting parents. I've been there, and I know what you're going through.

Except for Pre-Calculus and Calculus, I can provide assistance in a variety of subjects and for a variety of grades. Incorporating learning games, activities, and physical movement are some of the tutoring methods I use. I will NOT sit by your child continuously for an hour and lecture to him/her. That's not my style. Depending on the age of your child and the subject, we may play "Hopscotch Math," "Basketball Spelling," or discuss how the topic relates to his/her personal life.

About me: I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from UMBC, graduating with honors. Although I was accepted to George Washington Medical School, I decided to continue to volunteer in the medical field instead of pursuing a medical career. I started working for the Columbia Association in 1986 and developed their children's programs. I designed lesson plans, physical activities, and special events for children ages 3-13. After 24 years with the Columbia Association in the marketing and children's areas, I revived my medical experiences and was appointed Director of Community Health. I am currently developing a comprehensive program for overweight children and their families.

I look forward to meeting you and your child. Thank you.
Every child is unique so my tutoring styles accommodate individual needs. Knowing how your child learns is just as important as what your child learns. Tutoring time should be productive AND enjoyable. I have worked with children who have a variety of learning challenges including Asperger's, ADD/ Read more

5 hours notice required

FREE initial consultation. Group rate discount.

Travel Radius
Travels within 7 miles of Laurel, MD 20723
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons
Elementary Math,
Anatomy, Nursing, Nutrition
Grammar, Proofreading, Public Speaking,
Reading, Vocabulary, Writing
American History, Geography
Special Needs:
Special Needs
Elementary Education:
Elementary (K-6th),
Elementary Math,
Elementary Science, Grammar, Reading, Spelling, Study Skills,
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.


Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In both conditions, a person will find it difficult to focus his attention as much as most people would. The person's thoughts may wander, he may turn away from where he is supposed to be focusing. When you add the hyperactivity component, the person may need to continuously move their fingers by tapping, or their legs may bounce, or they may need to get up and move. This is a neurological disorder that can be misunderstood. For example, sometimes a child is thought to be misbehaving because they may get up from their desk often. Sometimes a child is "labeled" with ADHD even though their activity level falls within expected norms. Before medication is used, options should be considered. Periodic breaks, extra play time, written checklists, consistent expectations and reward systems are examples of what the school system and parents can do to help.

My son was diagnosed with ADHD at age 6. Although I was aware that he was always way more active than any of the children I taught in pre-school, I was hesitant to put a label on a condition. However, after exploring all options, seeing four psychiatrists, and my son being kicked out of three day cares, something had to change. He started taking medicine and the change was enormous. It was like night and day, being on and off the medicine. During his school years, I still used all special techniques in addition to the medicine. This combination worked for him. Each child is unique, so I'll need to meet and talk with you and your child to understand what works best for him/her.


Part of the Autism Spectrum, Asperger's Syndrome or Aspergers is characterized by deficits in societal norms. Persons with Aspergers are typically awkward in social settings regarding conversations and actions. During a one-on-one conversation, a person with Aspergers may give an answer seemingly unrelated to what is being discussed. My son was misdiagnosed with Aspergers, but after attending an eight week social workshop, he was no longer exhibiting symptoms of this condition. Two of his friends, however, have been correctly diagnosed with this disorder.

When the friends visit, I make sure they feel comfortable by keeping noise down, speaking directly to them, clearly explaining my thoughts, and allowing them time to process and respond..all important techniques to reduce what can be a very frustrating condition.

I have taught courses to those with Aspergers. I use similar techniques, making sure the person is comfortable in the setting, understands the directions, works in a smaller than average group size, and others class members are patient and encouraging. When possible, I work with the student one-on-one.


Cooking involves math, science, and creativity. Understanding portions and ingredient interactions are essential to developing the foods you are seeking. My mom taught me to cook. I didn't think I would ever be able to stir cake batter as fast as she did. I taught both my children to cook and bake. I taught some of their friends as well. They learned the importance of collecting ingredients, reading the recipe clearly and re-reading as needed, following steps, measuring accurately, never leaving the kitchen while the oven is on, listening for the timer, and most importantly (for me) cleaning up!

Elementary (K-6th)

These years are essential in establishing a child's social and learning expectations. Appropriate interaction with adults and peers, showing respect and empathy, learning to take turns, and following established school rules are examples of what children learn in these grades. The reading, writing, creativity, geographical, mathematical, and other academic learning are started in these grades while the young brain is so eager to learn and can process a lot of information. It is during these years that learning deficits and social difficulties should be discovered and attended to.

My tutoring experiences include children in this age group. Some of these children had no idea how to interact with others so we worked mostly on social skills. Other children clearly had learning deficits. I discovered a reading disorder in one little girl that eye exercises corrected. One boy in 5th grade would roll around on the carpet while trying to study math. I devised a very strange, but effective! strategic plan of study. If these issues hadn't been discovered and addressed in these early years, I have no doubt learning and the school setting would have been progressively worse.

Elementary Math

I can teach public school required Elementary Math and more advanced math concepts if needed.


I was actually asked by the principal to sit in my son's 7th grade English class to help the students because the teacher had no clue how to present the material. This was necessary over a 3 month period until they could re-train the teacher.


Fitness relates to the measure of the body to perform it's necessary functions. If the body is in peak fitness, it's systems are all in order (for example, blood pressure is within normal limits, bones are strong, hormone secretions are at appropriate levels, etc.) With regards to schooling, fitness involves the act of getting fit via a variety of physical activities and exercises. With the assistance of community physicians, I developed a program to address nutrition, behavior changes, and physical fitness for youth ages 10-13 and adults. (We are working on a program for other age groups, but they have not been implemented yet). My full time employment is with a fitness association so my knowledge and experience are quite extensive in this area.


Nutrition involves a variety of components...the study of chemical reactions from and between foods, the process of digestion, ingestion of foods and drink, understanding a balanced diet, selecting an appropriate diet for your health condition, etc. As a subject, nutrition should include understanding the latest studies done on this subject and current recommended dietary guidelines. With the help of community dieticians and physicians, I developed programs that incorporate nutrition wellness. I teach participants how to recognize tricky advertising, how to make step-by-step changes in their diet, and how to plan nutritious and delicious meals.

Public Speaking

Knowledge! In public speaking, having knowledge is critical. Know your subject, know your audience, know what happened last time someone talked on this subject, know how much time you have, know your visuals, know your voice and body language. By knowing what you're doing and how to do it, you will have the confidence to succeed in public speaking. As a subject, public speaking should teach all of this.

I have had the opportunity to present several topics during my 25 year history with a community health organization. I wish I had known then what I know now! My first public speaking experience was in front of the Board of Directors. I had to show statistics and persuade them to build a new health facility. I thought I bombed, but the facility was approved! I was later told that had I not had the visuals to focus on, my voice would have been too shaky to convince anyone of anything. Learning experience #1!

I have tutored several younger colleagues in the area of public speaking to help them mature, gain confidence, and persuade others in their topic.

Special Needs

Old terminology included "handicapped" and "retarded." Fortunately, we now recognize that not all individuals learn via traditional teaching methods. A child's special needs may include longer processing time, larger print in books, an object to fiddle with to stay focused, a reduced number of homework problems, a reminder sheet, or assistive technology. As tutors and teachers, it is our job to discover the needs a student has in order for him/her to learn. This subject is near and dear to my heart. I certainly wasn't expecting to have a child with seven learning and medical difficulties. Yes, seven! Epilepsy, dyscalcula, dysgraphia, neurocognitive dysfunction, gross and fine motor skill deficits, OCD, and memory impairments. It was hard, very hard, to raise him, but I learned so much. He also had so many friends with learning problems.

It was only because of these experiences that I am able to work so well with many different kinds of special needs. I have tutored many children with a variety of special needs. My techniques vary depending on the child, but involve learning in a fun and focused environment. I've taught reading, math, and writing to students diagnosed with ADHD; reading to those diagnosed with dyslexia; and math to those diagnosed with dyscalcula.

Study Skills

Each student will have their own interest in learning how to improve their study skills. Some won't be interested in doing this at all; others are perfectionists and want to use every skill imaginable. It is my job to work with your child to match their interests with effective techniques. I have tutored more than 20 children in the area of study skills. Methods include using a daily tickler/folder system, agenda/journaling, stickers/calendars, reward systems, and reading/editing.

University of Maryland


University of Maryland

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $50.00

Cancellation: 5 hours notice required

FREE initial consultation. Group rate discount.

Travel policy

Shawni will travel within 7 miles of Laurel, MD 20723.