Betsy B.

Pittsburgh, PA


"I am not a teacher but an awakener" Robert Frost


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About Betsy

I graduated from Seton Hill University with a degree in elementary education and a minor in music. Shortly after graduation from college, I was married and lived in France. There I worked with a couple of young french students who wanted to learn English. I used "easy to read books" like The Cat in the Hat which delighted them and they learned quickly. Because I write children's stories, I am in touch with what appeals to children.
We went back to France a number of years later with our children as part of a twinning program. Again, I taught English to French adults.

It was more challenging because adults do not learn a language as quickly as children but I was successful in teaching them the basics of English.

I taught French in a prep school in Pennsylvania and was successful in teaching English to several students from non English speaking countries. Two that I remember specifically were from Iran. They were difficult to deal with in the beginning but eventually I was able to settle them down and teach them to speak proper English.
During my years at St. Bede in Pittsburgh, I taught a number of youngsters who did not speak English.

One little boy in particular was of French extraction and he was a delight to teach. Again, I used children's books that I thought were appealing and not as dry as some of the materials tutors sometimes use to teach the language.
I have always relied on concrete objects to get my points across. Especially with very young children, that is necessary. Because I am a musician, I believe strongly in using songs to teach a language. Words associated with a melody are hard to forget. Poetry is equally effective because it has a rhythm.

I believe that if a tutor approaches the teaching of English as something natural and not as a task to be conquered, she will have much success. Maybe because I raised four children I understand that the quickest way to a child's heart and also his mind is to keep it light. I always reminded my students who were intimidated by the thought of learning a language that it's not that hard. I reminded them that they began to learn their native tongue when they were toddlers. I think my greatest strength as a teacher is that I am articulate and know how to get a point across. I have a good sense of humor and I use it in teaching because it is the best way to relax a student so that he or she will not see learning as something
to be afraid of. At the risk of sounding arrogant which I am not, I love kids and they know it. I relate to them while at the same time keeping just enough distance that they can understand that I am their teacher and we are here to learn.

Through my years of teaching whether in a classroom or not, I understand the absolute necessity of repetition. Practice makes perfect. Those are not just words, just as in learning any skill one has to repeat and repeat until the new knowledge is firmly planted in the mind of the learner. I am a patient person and it takes patience to be a good teacher. It takes patience and understanding.
This is my philosophy as a teacher. If I am to correct a student because he or she hasn't gotten something right, I always try to find some part of a student's answer to comment about positively. We all learn more quickly and solidly in a positive environment. I am well qualified to tutor students in grammar because I am a writer and good grammar is one of the tools of the trade. Please be in touch if and when you need a tutor. I can't wait to meet you and we will find times that work for both of us.
I graduated from Seton Hill University with a degree in elementary education and a minor in music. Shortly after graduation from college, I was married and lived in France. There I worked with a couple of Read more

6 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 20 miles of Pittsburgh, PA 15206
English, Grammar, Literature, Reading, Vocabulary, Writing
Elementary Education:
Grammar, Reading, Vocabulary

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.


I am qualified to teach flute because I have not only played the instrument since I was very young, but also because I have been taught by outstanding flute teachers. I am innately musical and know the instrument.
I have played in chamber groups, orchestras and as a soloist.
While in college, I studied with the first chair flutist with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Later, I studied with Britton Johnson of the Baltimore Symphony. I had a few lessons with Julius Baker who was one of the premier flutists and flute teachers of all time.

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $45.00

Cancellation: 6 hours notice required

Travel policy

Betsy will travel within 20 miles of Pittsburgh, PA 15206.