Over 200 tutoring hours

Paula M.

Bonney Lake, WA


Relaxed & Patient - Let's Have Fun While Learning

Replies in 8 hours
Background check passed as of 10/22/11
5.0 Avg. Rating
60 Ratings
8hrs Response Time
— Maureen, Federal Way, WA on 5/31/13

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Chapman University


Chapman University

About Paula

I probably should have become a teacher. In fact, one of my high school teachers was sure that I would. Though I didn't choose that route, I find myself often taking on the role of teacher. I have a deep well of patience to tap into when teaching that seems to dry up during other times of my life! I love math. Algebra is like chocolate to me! I enjoy finding ways of explaining math principles to people in a way that makes it click for them. I understand that minds work differently and that saying the same thing over and over with a louder and louder and slower and slower voice isn't going to help! I have fun with math and try to help my students have fun with it, too.

I also adore words and writing. Learning a new word is like being handed a priceless little gem. I have quite a few "gems" and many of them still make my eyes sparkle. The satisfaction of exclaiming, "I'm going to DEFENESTRATE this computer!", when it's on the blink, or the playfulness of the witty reply to, "Does that ring a bell?" of "Nope, no tintinnabulation happening over here!" I love a well-worded sentence and love analyzing how to make sentences read smoothly. Be it essays, prose, short-stories, professional correspondence, poetry, or commercial articles; my writing is consistently of a high-quality.

Additionally, I have worked as a tax and accounting professional for the majority of the past twenty years. I worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Seattle for a number of years as well as for several local CPA firms. I have strong accounting skills and a thorough working knowledge of Excel, Quickbooks and other common business software.

Most importantly, I like kids. I have three of my own. One has autism and all three are very smart. They all think in very different ways and amaze me every day. Because of my son's sensory issues, I understand that some kids need to move to learn, or need to fidget. Some need constant re-enforcers, some need very little. The goal is to get a child in an optimal state for learning and to use their time in that state wisely. I also believe you have to know when they are done and respect that. Every session should end with them feeling successful to pave the way for success in the following session.

I look forward to talking with you about your or your child's needs and hope that we have an opportunity to work together.
I probably should have become a teacher. In fact, one of my high school teachers was sure that I would. Though I didn't choose that route, I find myself often taking on the role of teacher. I have a deep well of patience to tap into when teaching that seems to dry up during other times of my life! I love Read more

1 hour notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 15 miles of Bonney Lake, WA 98391
Background Check: Passed

"Paula is FANTASTIC."

- Maureen, Federal Way, WA on 5/31/13

"Always helpful!"

- Maureen, Bonney Lake, WA on 6/19/15

"Great Tutor, she is a trooper"

- Diane, Bonney Lake, WA on 3/17/12

"Overall Awesome Tutor!"

- John, Tacoma, WA on 11/15/11

"The Tutor you want and must have"

- Dinda, Kent, WA on 11/13/11

"most wonderful tutor"

- Sherrill, Bonney Lake, WA on 4/5/11
Algebra 1,
Algebra 2,
English, Grammar, Proofreading, Reading, Vocabulary, Writing
Elementary Education:
Elementary (K-6th),
Elementary Math, Elementary Science, Grammar, Reading, Spelling, Study Skills,
Special Needs:
Algebra 1,
Algebra 2,
Elementary (K-6th),
English, Prealgebra,
Precalculus, Reading, Study Skills,
Corporate Training:
General Computer,
Grammar, Microsoft Excel,

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 have my bachelor's in accounting and have worked in the field for over 15 years. I currently own my own small accounting and tax business.

I discovered accounting in 10th grade and it clicked with me on a core level. I began tutoring fellow students while still in high school. I love accounting and get kind of excited talking about it. This makes for an enthusiastic, positive environment that seems to help my students stay engaged in learning. I am able to break the information down and present it in a way that is tailored to my student. Accounting if fun! Let me prove it to you!

Algebra 1

I know it will sound odd, but I absolutely love algebra! I feel my heart rate rise with excitement when I look at a page of algebra questions (notice I refuse to call them "problems").

I am math-minded and find it comes easily, but I understand that many people have minds that do not work like mine. I struggle with art, abstract thinking, languages - we all have our strengths and weaknesses. My goal with helping others master algebraic concepts is to find a way to explain it to them so that it clicks. I understand the core concepts of algebra on a molecular level and am able to break them down and explain them using illustrations tailored to my student.

You can do it, and I'll be right there to celebrate your victories with you!

Algebra 2

When it's time to get into the meatier algebra concepts presented in Algebra 2, math problems can look intimidating. My goal as a tutor is to break the information down into manageable pieces, giving the student confidence in their math skills. At this level, algebra can actually be a lot of fun - like solving a puzzle. Together we can tame those scary-looking equations!


Having a son on the autism spectrum myself, I have had eight years of hands-on experience working with him and many other children ages 4 - 10 with autism as an active part of his therapy and public school self-contained program. In the past, I worked with Children's Hospital's Autism Center in developing strategies to deal with my son's own aggressive behaviors and since then have been trained in and utilize the behavioral approach for managing aggressive behaviors by Jane Donald, a Bahavioral Specialist in Seattle; and Ryan Ferguson, a Behavioral Technician who works with the Orting School District. I've also taken classes over the years through Children's Therapy Unit in Puyallup, WA in Sensory Processing Disorder and other autism related topics. I have written on the topic of parenting spectrum children for various online publications and have published an ebook through kindle designed to guide parents of newly diagnosed children through the process of getting therapies started, advocating for their child, and dealing with the day to day reality of living with autism.

When asking any child to "work," there is a need to reward those efforts and recognize their limits. When working with children on the spectrum, this is even more crucial. I understand their need for schedules, built-in reinforcements and breaks for getting and keeping them in an optimal frame of mind for learning. This combined with my patient and calm style of teaching makes me an effective tutor for those on the spectrum.


In my younger years I studied to be a professional ballet dancer and was awarded a full scholarship with the Professional Dancer's Society in California. I trained in a very serious studio and was planning to apprentice with the San Francisco Ballet. I decided that the life of a dancer was not for me and quit. It was the hardest thing I have ever done.

In college I danced so much that half of the school believed me to be a dance major, including many of the dance instructors. I also substitute taught adult ballet classes at the YMCA for a teacher when she was unavailable and enjoyed it immensely.

Though many years have passed since then, I took an adult ballet class last year and found that it was all still there. My body struggled to do it, but my mind remembered it all. Ballet was my first love and I would be honored to share my love and skill to the next generation.

Elementary (K-6th)

My experience working with elementary school children comes primarily from working with my own three children. My son was diagnosed with autism at 22 months old and from that time on I have been heavily involved in his day to day therapy and education. Additionally, I have an eight year old daughter in second grade that I work with in the subjects of math, reading, and spelling. I have been reading to my children and with my children since they were born. For the last two years I have volunteered to work in my daughter's class working with students one on one building math skills. I am Art Docent for my son's class this year, teaching art there.

Since the actual subject matter is pretty simple for an educated adult, the real requirements, as I see them, for working with elementary aged children are patience, appropriate expectations, and the ability to connect with and engage them. I believe my life experiences as a mother, my current volunteer experiences, and my general personality give me these tools.

General Computer

I have worked as an accountant and tax specialist for almost 20 years using a variety of computer programs. I have a good knowledge of the internet, Microsoft Office programs, Facebook and other social applications, and just about any other kind of program a person could have interest in learning.

I have a great amount of patience and a good sense of humor. I am very encouraging and make a person feel at ease to ask any question.

Microsoft Excel

I love Excel and have used it extensively in my profession as an accountant. I have taught many co-workers to use the program effectively and have a well-developed process of helping people take a page of little rectangles and turning it into a useful tool.


The needlework I am proficient in is knitting. I have been a knitter for 15 years and have written a number of articles related to knitting for online publications. Knitting is making a come-back! If you'd like to learn this traditional craft, a little one-on-one assistance is all you need to be on your way. Warning - knitting is highly addictive!


This is the time to cement the foundation skills vital to being successful in algebra. My goal in tutoring this subject is to flush out gaps in my students' skill-set and fill them. I also aim to provide a gentle, meaningful introduction to algebraic concepts that will stick with my students as they move forward.


I have worked as a professional in the tax and accounting field for most of the last twenty years. Most of those years were as a full-time accountant or tax specialist. I worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers for several years, I've worked for huge corporations and small public accounting firms. For the last eight years I have worked with QuickBooks. In fact, I have worked with many general ledger programs, QuickBooks being the most basic and user friendly of them all. I am highly proficient in all the various components of QuickBooks and would be very comfortable teaching it to anyone.

Study Skills

I believe developing good study skills early on is essential for being successful, not only in school, but in your career of choice. School floods students with a ton of information and proper study skills help to organize that information into manageable pieces. I don't believe study skills are the same for everyone. For instance, when I was in school I was told that doing homework in bed was a study no-no. The reasoning was that the student would become too comfortable and fall asleep. I can see the point, but studying in bed worked for me. If I had to sit in a chair at a desk, I wouldn't last long. Comfortably propped up in bed with my books all around me, I could study for hours. There are essential requirements for good study skills, but I believe that there is a lot of room for personalizing them to the students own style.

My goal would be to look at the study habits of the student to see where the weaknesses are; come to understand the student's study style, and then work on ways to correct the study problems in ways that work for that student.

Tax Preparation

After receiving my bachelor's degree in accounting in 1991, I began working in the public accounting arena and quickly became focused on federal and state tax preparation. I worked as a tax specialist for PricewaterhouseCoopers for a number of years and have also worked with several small CPA firms over the years. I have remained active and current in tax changes and generally obtain seasonal tax positions with a local firm to keep up-to-date and proficient in personal and business tax preparation.

Chapman University


Chapman University

Paula is FANTASTIC. — Paula is a fantastic tutor! She was able to make great headway with my teenage daughter in Algebra 2, breaking down the issues and explaining in a way that my daughter could completely understand. Paula has only had three sessions with my daughter, but my daughter's confidence level has already increased. I wish we had been able to work with Paula much much earlier in the year! Paula is also v ...

— Maureen, Federal Way, WA on 5/31/13

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $35.00

Cancellation: 1 hour notice required

Travel policy

Paula will travel within 15 miles of Bonney Lake, WA 98391.

Background Check Status for Paula M.

Paula M. passed a background check on 10/22/11. The check was ordered by another user through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

After sending a message to Paula, you will be able to order a new background check for $7.99. As part of your tutor selection process, we encourage you to run updated background checks. Please also review the safety tips for hiring tutors.