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Esther H.

Alexandria, VA

$45/hour

Linguistics-Educated Reading, Writing, and Math Tutor

In-person lessons
200+ Hours
5.0 average from 90 ratings
Kind and skillful tutor
— Sarah, Alexandria, VA on 3/7/16

$45/Hour


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California State Univ Fullerton
Linguistics
California State Univ San Bernardino
Graduate Coursework

Education

California State Univ Fullerton (Linguistics)

California State Univ San Bernardino (Graduate Coursework)

About Esther

I'm an innovative Reading, Writing, and Math tutor with a college degree B.A. in Linguistics, approximately 3 years part-time teaching/tutoring experience, and 5 years part-time volunteer teaching/tutoring experience.

Students call me simply "Ms. Esther" or "Mrs. H." I am a caring, capable, and dependable tutor, whose chief goal in tutoring these subjects is your -- or your child's -- learning success.

I attended California State University, Fullerton, 1983-1986. I began as a Biology major for the first couple years of my education, but then I switched over to the study of Linguistics, in which I received my B.A. degree in January of 1987. I found the study of Linguistics to be fascinating, fun, and a lot of hard work too.

My path towards teaching and tutoring was anything but direct! I started out in administrative/clerical work. But I eventually discovered how much I love tutoring and teaching -- especially tutoring.

My first exposure to teaching was in 1991-92, when I taught 20 gifted students in grades 1-8 for one year on an Alternative (Emergency) License in New Mexico. It was a "jump in and swim" situation, and I worked very hard that year. I taught in the subjects of English and Math, with a little Science and Art besides.

In the Fall of 2012, I began to tutor through WyzAnt. Since I have advanced ability and education in English and Math subjects, I sought qualifications through WyzAnt in these areas. Since that time, I have tutored 8 students in grades 1-8 -- primarily in Reading, although also in various levels of Math. I have tutored 2 adult students in college-level Writing as well.

I engaged in volunteer tutoring in my free time for 1 ½ year, during 2015-2016. I enjoyed this at an elementary school in the Alexandria area.

As to my tutoring methods, I find that an individual student's primary learning style - auditory, visual, or kinesthetic (hands-on) - is important to establish right away. A student's personality is also key to determining the method of tutoring; it helps to take this into account with respect to both the academic lessons and student motivation.

Imagination and humor also play an important role in good tutoring. For example, periodically and purposefully towards my pupil in poetry, I might spice up my speech with spoonerisms! And as always, I try diligently to do this without sacrificing compassion, common sense, or (especially) academics. A "spoonful of sugar" approach such as this often helps lessons seem not quite so tiresome! However, above all -- with every student -- positive reinforcement for each hard-fought improvement and each achievement -- no matter how small -- is essential.

At times, the student may be experiencing more than one difficulty with the subject. Addressing one issue at a time is, I believe, the best approach, so that the student does not become confused or overwhelmed. A lot of patience and many, many "baby steps" can do wonders to get the job done!

Finally, I will simply say "thank you" for your time and consideration of me as your potential tutor. I look forward to hopefully both meeting and working with you soon!
I'm an innovative Reading, Writing, and Math tutor with a college degree B.A. in Linguistics, approximately 3 years part-time teaching/tutoring experience, and 5 years part-time volunteer teaching/tutoring experience.

Students call me simply "Ms. Esther" or "Mrs. H." I am a caring, capable, and dependable tutor, whose chief goal in
Read more

Policies
Cancellation
2 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 6 miles of Alexandria, VA 22304
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons

"Kind and skillful tutor"

- Sarah, Alexandria, VA on 3/7/16

"Very detailed and patient"

- Annie, Fairfax, VA on 1/29/16

"Knowledgeable and patient tutor"

- Frances, Upper Marlboro, MD on 11/28/15

"A very patient and kind tutor"

- Valerie, Arlington, VA on 10/13/15

"Excellent Tutor for My First Grader!"

- Cindy, Alexandria, VA on 10/26/12
Esther replied on 10/28/2012

Thank you, Cindy! Your daughter is very lovely, bright, eager to learn, and a joy to be getting to know! I look forward to getting more into growing her ability & love for reading and her interest in and fun with math. I look forward also to you and your husband's active participation in your daughter's learning process, alongside me, to increase her skills and joy in these activities, both of which are not only fundamental academic subjects but also fulfilling careers, fun pasttimes, and foundational skills for daily living. I'm so grateful for this opportunity - thank you again.

"Excellent reading coach!"

- Kristin, Alexandria, VA on 10/22/12
Esther replied on 10/23/2012

Thank you, Kristin! Yes, your son is progressing very, very well in his reading - in pronunciation, expression, pacing, and comprehension. It should be fun to see how much further along he is by the time this academic year comes to a close! I look forward to tutoring him in Math as well; if he has the same sharp observation skills in tackling math problems that he does in tackling difficult word pronunciation, I expect great things!

"Very patient"

- Lorice, Springfield, VA on 10/18/12
Esther replied on 10/28/2012

Thank you, Lorice! Since you already know your writing "voice," all you need now is to mature and develop that voice, with its unique style and personality, through a practical, down-to-earth (most likely journalistic) approach to grammar and organization of ideas. And do not neglect to regularly practice the principles you learn; apply them whenever you can. I believe that people--including me--need to "hear" the beauty of your written message to everyone around you. Believe in this yourself-- and don't give up!

"Makes reading fun!"

- Lisa, Alexandria, VA on 10/10/12
Esther replied on 10/11/2012

Thank you, Lisa! I am so happy that he and you are finding joy in his learning as he increases his ability to decode unfamiliar words. I am learning a lot more about dyslexia in the process, too! Wanting so much to see him succeed and feel good about his reading is a real motivator for me. Thank you so much for this opportunity, your son is a real joy!

Science:
Biology
Language:
ESL/ESOL
Elementary Education:
Elementary Math,
Elementary Science, Grammar,
Reading,
Spelling,
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.

Algebra 1

Algebra I is primarily (1) solving basic equations with multiple operations going on (and learning that "multiply" and "divide" have priority over "add" and "subtract"), and (2) solving equations containing one variable ("Solve for x").

I love the subject of Math and love to explain it to other students of varying capabilities, strengths & weaknesses, & learning style preferences. I maintained a 4.0 GPA in all my elementary, junior high, and high school math courses. In college, I took 3 quarters of math courses: Calculus (2 quarters), and Probability and Statistics. I received a 3.0 GPA for these college courses.

I have been advised by colleagues and friends over the years that I have a way of explaining and demonstrating lessons or processes on an easy-to-understand level. I have received this compliment from colleagues in office settings, from colleagues in academic settings, and from friends in both academic and informal settings.

As with most subjects, there is often more than one pathway in Math to calculate the equation or story problem at hand. Often, however, only one or two methods are taught in school, and those methods of choice may not "reach" certain students according to their brains' ways of processing data, thereby leaving those students to make feeble yet futile attempts to catch on. I can help these otherwise "left behind" students by using alternative or innovative methods to reach them according to their particular learning styles and ways of processing the world around them.

I can also successfully provide enrichment activities or advanced lessons for students who are advanced placement students or who are gifted in the subject of Math. I myself was an advanced placement student in high school and appreciated the challenges offered me in the classroom for those courses. I also taught gifted students in grades 1-8 for one full academic year, so I have a bit of experience in this area as well. For advanced students who do not have the benefit of A.P. classes, I can challenge them to maximize their ability and reach towards their potential.

As to methods, it can be helpful to not only be attentive to individual learning style of the student but also to their level of motivation in the subject. It may be beneficial to have the student work math problems similar to those of their homework assignments, but ones which apply the math to a subject the student is highly interested in. For example, if the student loves to play soccer, it may help to have him or her work a story problem involving "solve for x" in the context of determining whether their current best record (from a previous season) of the ratio of goals to wins is beatable in the current season.

American History

In high school I received a grade of B or better for all American History courses taken, and in college I took a Survey of American History course for which I received a grade of B. But I also love to watch historical programs such as those on the History Channel or the Discovery Channel and become informed in that way. History especially comes to life when you get to see it firsthand by visiting notable historical sites as well, and I have visited several. We have a rich history in this country of ours, and I enjoy sharing it with others.

Elementary Math

I excelled in Math at every grade level. I have taught Elementary Math using exercises and tools which are appealing to and appropriate for children at each age or grade level.

English

The subject of English is composed of several narrower subjects within its broad scope: Reading, Writing, Spelling, Grammar, Vocabulary, and Literature.

The best approach in tutoring any student in an English subject depends upon the student's learning style and also upon the student's strengths and/or weaknesses in this subject.

For my approach to tutoring Reading, Writing, Spelling, Grammar, and Vocabulary, please see the description for each respective, separately-listed subject in my tutor profile.

As to Literature, this is a subject within English that this tutor studied in college but has not taught, other than Poetry of mostly American authorship. An approach similar to that for the subject Reading is what I tend to want to use. I also, however, make certain to give my students opportunities to try their own hand at writing poetry, to get the "feel" (or "insight" or "inspiration") for creating poetry themselves.

ESL/ESOL

I graduated from California State University, Fullerton, with a B.A. in Linguistics and a 3.13 GPA. In just the Linguistics courses I received almost entirely A and B grades. I have teaching / tutoring experience of about 3 years put together, part-time, mostly in Language Arts subjects. I love the English language and enjoy imparting its usage to others through tutoring.

General Computer

In this day and age when the people of the world are continuously brought closer together through technology, travel, trade, and keeping in touch with loved ones spread far and wide, it is essential to have a good grasp of general computer knowledge. I have experience for 35 years in using computers, enjoying the usage of them, and growing in that knowledge as time progresses and technology changes. I would like to have a part in communicating that knowledge to people so that they won't be caught behind when it comes to competing in the workplace, doing internet research, engaging in coursework online, producing formal documents of various sorts, Skyping with loved ones, or just living life.

Geography

Geography is a subject I enjoy and one which is often not thoroughly addressed in the schools. In this day and age when the people of the world are continuously brought closer together through technology, travel, trade, and keeping in touch with loved ones spread far and wide, it is essential to have a good grasp of geography. I would like to have a part in communicating that knowledge to young people so that they won't be caught behind when it comes to competing in the workplace, involvement overseas, or just living life.

Grammar

The best approach in tutoring any student in Grammar depends upon the student's learning style and also upon the student's strengths and/or weaknesses in this subject. An auditory learner, again, best learns how to grasp a grammatical exercise with clear and concise instructions for the assignment and a description of each grammatical part of speech that she can understand and apply. A visual learner best learns to succeed in this subject by visual memorization and also visual placing each part of speech or punctuation in any given sentence construct. A kinesthetic learner will better learn placement of parts of speech or punctuation through use of "cut-outs" for each item, which can then be moved or shuffled either to learn placement in a sentence or as "flash cards." Preferably each "cut-out" is made from a different textured paper (or other textured material). Sentence types (statements, imperatives, questions, etc.) can be taught to the kinesthetic learner through association with actions, behaviors, or body language.

Literature

Literature is a subject within English, which I studied in college. I have experience teaching American Poetry.

The best approach in tutoring any student in Poetry or other Literature depends upon the student's learning style and also upon the student's strengths and/or weaknesses in this subject.

An auditory learner will likely be assisted by taking turns reading small passages aloud and then answering questions that evaluate and enhance comprehension, and discuss portions of the work that are "open" to some interpretation. Listening to an audio recording of the literary piece may also be incorporated, if available for use.

A visual learner will also likely benefit from an audio recording of the work, as performed by seasoned radio/recording actors who use appropriate vocal inflections as well as good diction, which aids in imagining the characters' faces as they speak, or the setting which the characters describe and in which they find themselves. Reading aloud short passages at a time, interspersed with having the student paraphrase his description of what is happening and what the scene "looks like" is helpful. A video version of the work may possibly also be of benefit (if available), although only after the student's imagination is first elicited via reading and through listening to the audio.

A kinesthetic learner will likely learn best by a combination of reading aloud, listening to an audio recording, and also acting out selected scenes as they recount the dialogue by paraphrasing, preferably with the use of some well-chosen and available props.

I also, however, make certain to give my students opportunities to try their own hand at writing in the form of the genre being studied. For example, if poetry, then write a poem; if a short story, then create their own short story; if period literature, then write a description of their day according to the linguistic expressions of the period for that literary work; if modern literature that uses modern linguistic expression, then perhaps imagine what might have been a "deleted scene" from the work and write that.

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is the primary spreadsheet program that I used when involved in clerical work. I began using MS Excel in the workplace in the early 90s and have been using it ever since. My level of expertise in its usage is intermediate. I have also been relied upon, in some of my clerical jobs, to assist others in using it for various purposes. I have produced accounting worksheets, tables, complex lists, informational spreadsheets, a loan calculator, and other spreadsheets using this program. I enjoy using Excel and also find it fulfilling to show others how to use it, too. I am knowledgeable in MS Excel up through MS Excel 2010.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is the primary word processing program that I used when involved in clerical work. I began using MS Word in the workplace in the late '80s and have been using it ever since. My level of expertise in its usage is advanced. I have also been relied upon, in most of my clerical jobs, to assist others in using it for various purposes. I have produced business correspondence, tables, reports, brochures, flyers, invitations, mail merges, labels, envelopes, and other documents using this program. I enjoy using Word and also find it fulfilling to show others how to use it, too. I am knowledgeable in MS Word up through MS Word 2013.

Prealgebra

Prealgebra --the preparation of the student for taking the subject of Algebra I-- takes the student to a whole new level and world in the realm of Mathematics, one which may excite and challenge the student's ability and imagination, or possibly one which may frustrate and bore a student into endless cries or complaints of "I don't see how this could EVER apply to me," or quite simply, "I hate Math!!!!"

I love the subject of Math and love to explain it to other students of varying capabilities, strengths & weaknesses, & learning style preferences --and this includes those whose preference or style would be that Math be obliterated permanently from school curriculum.

I maintained a 4.0 GPA in all my elementary, junior high, and high school math courses. In college, I took 3 quarters of math courses: Calculus (2 quarters), and Probability and Statistics. I received a 3.0 GPA for these college courses.

I have been advised by colleagues and friends over the years that I have a way of explaining and demonstrating lessons or processes on an easy-to-understand level. I have received this compliment from colleagues in office settings, from colleagues in academic settings, and from friends in both academic and informal settings.

As with most subjects, there is often more than one pathway in Math to calculate the equation or story problem at hand. Often, however, only one or two methods are taught in school, and those methods of choice may not "reach" certain students according to their brains' ways of processing data, thereby leaving those students to make feeble yet futile attempts to catch on. I can help these otherwise "left behind" students by using alternative or innovative methods to reach them according to their particular learning styles and ways of processing the world around them.

I can also successfully provide enrichment activities or advanced lessons for students who are advanced placement students or who are gifted in the subject of Math. I myself was an advanced placement student in high school and appreciated the challenges offered me in the classroom for those courses. I also taught gifted students in grades 1-8 for one full academic year, so I have a bit of experience in this area as well. For advanced students who do not have the benefit of A.P. classes, I can challenge them to maximize their ability and reach towards their potential.

As to methods, it can be helpful to not only be attentive to individual learning style of the student but also to their level of motivation in the subject. It may be beneficial to have the student work math problems similar to those of their homework assignments, but ones which apply the math to a subject the student is highly interested in. For example, if the student loves to play soccer, it may help to have him or her work a story problem involving "solve for x" in the context of determining whether their current best record (from a previous season) of the ratio of goals to wins is beatable in the current season.

Proofreading

Despite the advent of Spell Check, proofreading remains a skill that is highly useful and often necessary, since even Spell Check won't find every error. I have experience for 25+ years in proofreading, and I have grown in it as times and technology change. I would like to have a part in communicating that knowledge to the people who need to use it, whether for writing papers for school, or for editing reports, correspondence, and such in the workplace.

Reading

I have a B.A. in Linguistics and experience in teaching and tutoring Reading at the elementary and middle school levels. My tutoring methods are based on each student's individual learning style (auditory, visual, or kinesthetic), his or her Reading strengths and weaknesses, learning disability (if any), and his or her level of self-motivation. I find that the best way to teach a child to read better is first and foremost to READ, and additionally to engage in some practice exercises to teach and reinforce good (or better) habits in one or more aspects of Reading. Such aspects may include word sounding out, word recognition & vocabulary, understanding the overall meaning of what is read, pronunciation, reading aloud to help clarity and focus, and good sitting posture to encourage better breathing and focus.

Spelling

The best approach in tutoring any student in Spelling depends upon the student's learning style and also upon the student's strengths and/or weaknesses in this subject. An auditory learner will be especially frustrated when any word is not spelled the way it sounds; hence, one approach is to teach the student to associate that word with what the actual spelling of the word "sounds like" when "sounded out" from the spelling. Association of a word spelling with its sounding-out can help her recall the spelling. A visual learner is most likely to have the greatest success with spelling; however, when difficulties arise, "picturing" either the spelled word or an image associated with any portion of it can help. As for a kinesthetic learner, a word's spelling may be associated with a physical object or action, or the spelling could be put to rhyme, rhythm, or a musical tune for assistance with good recall.

Vocabulary

The best approach in tutoring any student in Vocabulary depends upon the student's learning style and also upon the student's strengths and/or weaknesses in this subject. The auditory learner is generally satisfied with the dictionary definition of the word being taught, provided that each definition is clearly understood by the learner, and provided there are few or no apparent contradictions among definitions for the same word. If there are contradictions, however, then further explanation by examples or by examining the etymology (history/origin) for the word would be best. A visual learner will probably best succeed by associating the word with its corresponding image, or, if the word is strictly abstract, by associating the word with a related word's corresponding image, until the student can form a ready visual image that makes sense - to him - to aid in recall of the word's meaning. The kinesthetic learner will best succeed also by formulating an associative relationship to the word, except that, unlike the visual student for whom an image is sufficient, he must connect it with the actual physical object (if there is one), or with a familiar place or person.

Writing

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics, and I have experience in teaching/tutoring Writing at most grade levels and at the adult level. My tutoring methods will depend on individual learning style, strengths/weaknesses in the subject, and student motivation level. Writing is something I enjoy doing, and I enjoy helping others -- through confidence in writing correctly as well as engagingly and personally -- to find their "voice" in written communications and expression.

California State Univ Fullerton
Linguistics
California State Univ San Bernardino
Graduate Coursework

Education

California State Univ Fullerton (Linguistics)

California State Univ San Bernardino (Graduate Coursework)

Kind and skillful tutor

My 5th grade son has just started working with Esther on his spelling. He was anxious to begin tutoring, but we both have greatly appreciated Esther's encouraging and kind nature. She is patient and positive, and has tailored his lessons to highlight his strengths, and to help him grow where he needs to improve. We are now looking forward to each session with Esther, and feel certain that his tim

— Sarah, Alexandria, VA on 3/7/16

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $45.00

Cancellation: 2 hours notice required

Travel policy

Esther will travel within 6 miles of Alexandria, VA 22304.