Angela A.
IB English, Spanish, TOK, and Visual Arts tutor, Holds a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Applied Linguistics) with 15+ Years Teaching Experience.
Master of Arts in Teaching - USC - English to Speakers of Other Languages (Applied Linguistics) – University of Southern California
Master of Arts, Media Arts and Design – Antioch University McGregor
Graphic Design and Packaging – Art Center College of Design
Bachelor of Arts, Spanish Language and Literature – University of California Los Angeles


I was born in Los Angeles, California, in the United States. I have traveled extensively and lived in Europe and Latin America. Languages and language learning has been a lifetime fascination for me. I graduated from UCLA with a Spanish Language and Literature degree and studied Portuguese, French, Italian, Mandarin, and Arabic. At the same time, art had always been my passion. Once I graduated, I took a 20-year detour from education and worked as a creative in the toy industry at Mattel, Inc. Teaching remained a strong interest, inspired by my father, a university professor. This prompted me to go to graduate school. I earned an MA in Media/Design and started teaching at the college level about 10 years ago in the Toy Design department at Otis College of Art and Design. From there, I was drawn to improving the experiences and outcomes of international students and returned to school to earn a MAT TESOL from the University of Southern California. This experience profoundly influenced my teaching focus and style toward a more global perspective. I also found that tutoring provides me with space to truly make a difference for students one on one or in small groups. Subjects I tutor are Spanish, all levels, especially IB, AP and SAT subject, English IB, AP, Composition and Rhetoric and Research/Academic writing, World and US History and Art/Digital Design.

Teaching Experience

10 years of classroom teaching experience at the college level
– Digital drawing and painting
– Portfolio development and Internship Prep
– Senior exhibition prep

5 years of classroom teaching experience at the college level
– Composition and Rhetoric
– History

10+ Years IB Tutoring Experience

Extended Essay (EE)
Language A: Literature HL, SL, Literature and Language HL, SL
Language B: HL, SL
Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
Visual Arts HL, SL

Visual arts
Integrated visual arts
Digital design
Combined design

Visual arts
Social studies

What is your teaching philosophy?

First, I believe in celebrating prior knowledge in a student, along with mutual respect. I employ methodologies such as the flipped classroom and student-selected, project-based learning. Critical thinking skills are vital, in my opinion, for effective learning and inquiry. In my experience, this approach leads to deeper learning and more engagement from the student in any subject.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In a typical first lesson, I like to establish a rapport with the student and know the student. I am sensitive to time constraints and then determine if there are areas the student struggles with and address them. After establishing areas to work on and goals, I plan a curriculum that will achieve those goals. A multimodal approach includes some video, visual PowerPoint, and interactive practice of the material with assignments to reinforce what has been covered to be the most effective method.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

This is truly important. I do this by having the student select some aspects of the learning experience and modeling good research and inquiry strategies that include critical evaluation of sources.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

While I feel that a predictable class time structure is important, including interactivity in learning and the responsibility of student-selected content would help the student stay motivated.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

There are many modalities to use. Timing is also key. I would not allow the struggle to linger too long to the point of frustration. It is important from the first meeting to ascertain the students’ learning style. I would also try alternately modeling the skill and using analogies. With mutual trust and respect from teacher and student, the journey is made together.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

When a student struggles with reading comprehension, I don’t have them read out loud too much. I may read out loud, so the student hears me, but the act of reading aloud is distinct from comprehension. I also ask comprehension questions early and often and employ other methods such as retelling. I have found these to be useful techniques for those struggling with reading comprehension.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Establishing rapport is important. The student needs to know that I care, which I do. I also very early involve the student in their own learning so that our time is not just a passive experience of watching me read off a PowerPoint. If the student knows that he/she will be expected to contribute early and often, but in a welcoming, low-stress environment, I believe the student can quickly see improvement.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling with?

To start with, we both need to meet halfway. The student needs to be willing to focus on areas that are challenging. Small successes will lead to larger ones, and in turn, this will help the student go from struggling to mastery. The confidence and feeling of accomplishment from this is one I have witnessed and one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I ask frequent questions that include a retelling of what was covered. Early intervention is best to make sure the student comprehends the text and concepts. Homework should strengthen comprehension of the material. The student needs to understand why he/she is studying the material and how it is relevant to them.

How do you build a student’s confidence in a subject?

I build confidence by having the student do the work in front of me. While at first, it might be challenging if they are not used to it, there is nothing like seeing themselves demonstrate competence. This leads to increased confidence, which also spills into other subjects.

How do you evaluate a student’s needs?

This depends on the subject, but comprehension, critical thinking, and analytical skills work across the curriculum. For example, for a language arts subject, after speaking with the student, a short first-day writing assignment gives me the insight needed to assess these skills and grammar and mechanics.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student’s needs?

First, I do not shy away from areas the student needs to work on. But I do try to build around strengths. My approach as a tutor has always been to customize the learning experience while checking those goals, milestones, and objectives are being met.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

There are several websites I like to use for Spanish and English fluency. I also like to use visual PowerPoints that I share with the student and custom worksheets on the topic being addressed. If the student is comfortable using Google Docs or Slides, I like to work interactively with the student as I feel this technique closely mirrors a face-to-face experience.

Teaching Skills

Subject Skill Level
Combined Design
Digital Design
Extended Essay ​(EE)
Integrated Visual Arts
Language A: Literature And Language HL
Language A: Literature And Language SL
Language A: Literature HL
Language A: Literature SL
Language B HL
Language B SL
Product Design
Social Studies
Theory of Knowledge​ (TOK)
Visual Arts
The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you - B.B. King

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