About Janet the Tutor

I’m a dedicated and purpose-driven tutor who loves helping kids develop confidence in learning and thinking, especially math, but also in reading, and writing. I came to this work from teaching and writing. I taught sixth grade for three years and worked as an environmental educator for the same length of time. I’m also a professional writer–I’ve been a technical writer and a grant writer–and I’ve helped college students and other young people improve their writing. My formal education? I have a degree in English from Stanford and an M.A. from U.C. Berkeley. I earned my teaching credential at Mills College.

I enjoy tutoring because I love to help students where they are. In the classroom, the teacher is focusing on the whole group, but sometimes students need individual attention. These students make the most progress when they get help with exactly what they need.

My philosophy of tutoring math: My focus is on mathematical reasoning. I believe that learning comes from within, and students must find their own way of understanding. Students might forget a procedure, but they are never going to forget a concept that they understand from the inside out. Nevertheless, not all students are the same. Some students work best when they learn a procedure first, and then use that facility to deepen understanding of a concept.

I also believe in helping students understand some of the findings of the latest brain science, namely that 1) intelligence is not fixed–learning creates new neural pathways in the brain, making us smarter;  2) embracing a “growth mindset” sets the stage for successful learning; and 3) specific strategies (for example, self-testing) are better for learning than others (re-reading).

I look forward to speaking with you about your child’s tutoring needs–or your own!

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