From Berkeley to Oakland and from Woodland Hills all through The Valley, I did a decade of car-commuting tutoring in my tiny Toyota in the Bay Area and Los Angeles before making the jump back east this winter, becoming a subway-powered tutor here in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Over the last decade, I've instructed students of all ages, from tots to graduates. I've prepared high-schoolers for such brain teasers as the SAT and ACT. I've also succeeded with these students in their English and mathematics courses, and the AP tests which accompany them. I can teach both sides of the fence, yes, both English writing and math, AP English, AP trigonometry, even AP statistics.
I've trained with and written curriculum for some smart outfits: Wheeler Test Prep., Crowning Point, Academic Training Services, InSIGHT Prep., and James Eno SAT Tutorials. I've learned tutoring in many styles, in one-on-one sessions and in classrooms, at home or in the office; and I've taught from pre-fabbed syllabi and even authored my own SAT-specific grammar guides.
TEST PREP: I've helped students reason (and often laugh) their way through tests and dramatically increase their scores. One mom wrote my boss praising my first session with her son, "he learned more in 90 minutes with her than he did during a whole semester class of SAT prep in Europe. He also likes working with her." In only three weeks of tutoring, I brought another student's SAT score up 120 points.
ACADEMIC COURSEWORK: I have transformed C students to A students. I helped one student, who had been struggling in math, maintain nothing but A grades through three years of algebra I, II, and geometry. Another mom wrote me to say, “Thanks to you, he felt confident about his math test. He pronounced on Wednesday that he ‘aced it.’” I’ve had similar results guiding students through their English courses, maintaining A grades and comprehensive understanding. I can be pretty strict about vocabulary and grammar, but very open to seeing an old text in a new light. I always encourage my students to go with their guts, rather than what they think they should say. After all, it's hard work to articulate real thoughts.
I'm a strong advocate of student-centered learning. I don't teach so much as I guide by asking questions. I strive to spark curiosity and instill the skills needed for a lifetime of independent learning. While critical thinking is the most valuable skill a person can have, I also try to elicit that pure thrill of epiphany that makes learning captivating. What better feeling than when ideas harmonize?
TEST PREP: If studying for a standardized test, such as the SAT, ACT, or an AP test, we’ll want to start training at least three months before the test date. I recommend a 2-hour session and 3 hours of homework per week. Throughout those months, we’ll cover the entire content of the test and the strategies specific to beating it.
Before we start, we’ll need a diagnostic score. If you don’t already have one, don’t worry! I have plenty of tests for you to get started. Different books have different strengths. For example, McGraw Hill tends to have questions that mimic the real test accurately, but Barron’s tends to have more challenging questions. So we’ll determine what brand of book(s) to use based on your diagnostic score.
The first session will be an introduction to the test, its format, and general strategies about penalty guessing or reordering questions. We’ll also cover a more specific section of the test in great detail. For the SAT, for example, I think it’s wise to begin with critical reading on that first day, since the reading section generally takes the most time to master.
The next few sessions will cover the rest of the test’s sections, exploring new strategies. This is also the time to weed out any weaknesses in the subject matter.
After all the major test subjects and strategies have been thoroughly reviewed, we will take a practice test every week. This is a great time to note progress made and to focus on eliminating remaining weak spots.
A few days before the test, we’ll have our last session. We’ll review problems, strategies, and relax. The day before the test, you’ll eat well and have a good night’s rest.
ACADEMIC COURSEWORK: If we’re following your school’s coursework, we’ll mostly use your textbook to work from, and your course will become the main part of our curriculum. During session, I will ask questions about the subject matter, and we’ll investigate anything you’re unsure about. Usually, this involves connecting the problems at hand to a greater concept of the course and further practice. Depending on the time available, I may assign or even create practice exercises specific to the issue at hand.
I’m a published writer with a degree in literature, but I spent my youth in rigorous academic programs which emphasized math, such as Walter Reed's IHP. Since I have continued to hone both my language and mathematical skills, I can easily relate the two. After all, what is a proportion if not an analogy and what is a proof if not an essay?
If you want to know more about me, I’m a bonafide Valley Girl from North Hollywood, but rarely make it to the mall. If you don’t spot me in the library reading the classics, or in the kitchen cooking absurd amounts of popcorn, I must be attending a concert of the Japanese hologram Hatsune Miku.
12:44 PM 18/May/15
Jillian Roberts was the perfect tutor for my high school age daughter. She is extremely competent, reliable, and full of energy. We're so sad that she moved to the East Coast- we would keep her employed long term!
13:14 PM 19/Apr/15
Jillian was an amazing tutor. She was open and friendly and gave very good advice. She helped my SAT score go from an 1830 to a 1970 within a few weeks. I needed the most help with math, and she reviewed the basics with me, in addition to helping me understand and tackle the harder problems.
17:34 PM 17/Apr/15
Jillian worked for my company, Crowning Point Tutoring, before moving from Los Angeles to New York--and I can't recommend her enough. Jillian is well-loved (and dearly missed) by her students, and has helped each one of them tremendously. She and I were in regular contact, regarding her students' progress, and I received numerous phone calls from families who were referred by other Crowning Point parents, based on their positive experiences with Jillian. She has been described by the families with whom she has worked, as a "bright light", "a gem", as "easy-going" and "approachable", and I couldn't agree more. She has an infectious laugh and a wonderful way of disarming her students and making the material come alive. Jillian is an experienced all-around tutor, who has helped her students in a variety of subjects--a true Renaissance woman. She and I collaborated intensively, to make sure the work she was doing in-session was translating to success in the classroom and on assessments, and she was always willing to go the extra mile for her students. Her professionalism is top-notch, and I never experienced any issues with her--only positive feedback from our clients. My experience of her, as well as that of the families with whom she has worked, is that Jillian is not only a wonderful tutor and smart as a whip, but a loving, kind, and compassionate presence. A truly gifted educator and mentor.
17:34 PM 17/Apr/15
Jillian tutored my daughter in every subject for a highly academic curriculum. She was always punctual and able to tutor in depth any subject. She is detailed and helped my daughter achieve success at this highly academic School. I highly recommend her for any subject. She also connected with my daughter on a personal level. She is difficult to replace and we miss her!!!!
01:03 AM 17/Apr/15
Jillian tutored my daughter for the SAT. We had several other tutors and they just didn't connect with my daughter. We waited until the last minute and luckily we heard about Jillian. She bonded with my daughter immediately and was a wonderful teacher and explained things in a way that my daughter understood. We didn't have much time and wasn't sure how things would turn out... Jillian helped her raise her score considerably. We couldn't be happier. My daughter will be attending Cal Poly this fall! Julian's the best!!
16:18 PM 16/Apr/15
Jillian worked for me as a tutor/Academic Trainer for nearly one year in Los Angeles. Jillian was successful working with students ranging from 6th-12th grade. Jillian's expertise lies in math, English and test prep. Jillian is communicative and friendly and instills students with confidence as well as knowledge. Additionally, Jillian successfully guided some of my students through the college application process. I highly recommend Jillian for subject tutoring at the middle/high school level, SAT/ACT tutoring or college application guidance.
16:18 PM 16/Apr/15
Jillian always brings great enthusiasm and knowledge to her tutorials, and her students consistently love her. She makes learning fun and gets great results!