I am a private English and Arts tutor, holistic healer, and academic life coach specializing in reading comprehension, writing strategies, standardized tests, and organization and study skills for children and adults. I have over twenty-one years of experience, teaching at Florida International University, University of Miami Study Skills and Test Preparation Program, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Institute for Reading Development, English as a Second Language abroad, in environments that include private and public schools, non-profit social service organizations, hospitals, and homeless shelters.
I have been a self-employed educational consultant since 2002, developing several unique programs including creative and academic writing, arts and healing, test taking strategies, and executive functioning. My diversity of experiences teaching across three continents with various populations has made me extremely culturally sensitive. All of this enables me to connect deeply and quickly with students at their levels of ability and awareness. Over the course of my teaching career, I have worked over 24,000 contact hours with over 6,000 clients. Through all of these experiences I have come to understand the value of a holistic approach to education.
My business practice developed steadily over the years by word of mouth with students especially of the ‘orchid’ type: highly sensitive, creative, gifted, often with learning differences or challenges. This ‘orchid’ type of student generally requires just the right kind of support and guidance, and so I have developed a special approach that goes beyond “the tricks to the test” or “giving students the skills for the 21 first century.”
My approach uses the crisis moment of the course (the entrance exam, or the college application essay) as a pivotal moment in a student’s life to teach them coping mechanisms, skills, and confidence that will last a life time. Having the gift of working with the tender kids and the diversity of working with so many different kinds of adult students enables me to quickly understand and motivate any student.
As a life-long lover of learning, I have an eclectic educational background. I hold a MA and have completed numerous courses in educational strategy, reading and ESL instruction, mainstream and positive psychology, coaching, hypnosis, and art therapy. I am also currently completing my coursework for an MS in Counseling. Because of this non-traditional education, I have a uniquely creative and humanistic approach that is based on human potential development. My approach is individualized, positive, and energetic.
I believe that everyone can succeed and am dedicated wholly to helping students with programs that are tailored completely to their particular skills and needs. I have a true passion for my work that is often deeply transformative.
Please feel free to contact me to discuss how I can be of help to you.
Since 2010 I've been coaching and tutoring, primarily test preparation and subject coaching, as well as helping students write college application essays. I'm especially fond of my learning disabled, gifted, and LD-gifted students, working particularly on Executive Function and general study skills.
With a Masters in Education, specializing in Instructional Design, from the University of Illinois, for ten years I was a certified classroom teacher in Illinois and Florida, mostly at the middle and high school levels, in public and private schools, pre-kindergarten through high school.
The majority of my work nowadays is one-on-one test prep (ACT/SAT, GRE, PSAT, SSAT, PLAN, Aspire, AP, school-specific entrance tests) as well as subject help, primarily in math, grammar and writing, as well as all subjects up to eighth grade and many in high school (math, English, science and others).
My state teaching certifications include high school math, English, history, German, computer lab, ESL (and a couple others I've forgotten). My other university degrees are Bachelor of Science in Botany, Bachelor of Arts in German Language, and a minor undergraduate degree in Latin and Greek.
As much as I thoroughly enjoyed my life as a classroom school teacher, I'm aware of the perennial increase in students’ mandatory workloads and the concomitant stress that usually ensues; so I strive to take the stress out of modern day schooling for my students.
More importantly, I strive to foster in students a self-awareness and ability to understand themselves – how they think, learn, and act – so that they might perform to their highest abilities, emotionally, intellectually, and however else they might strive.
As a math tutor, I specialize in helping gifted students maximize their math SAT and ACT scores so that they can gain admission to top universities. With a Masters degree in chemical engineering from New York University, I enjoyed my life as a chemical engineer, but my true passion has been using my engineering problem-solving abilities in my teaching and tutoring. My 30-plus years of teaching experience runs the full gamut of math courses, from remedial to calculus, middle school to university. Currently, the majority of my work is one-on-one math test preparation, including ACT, SAT, SSAT, PSAT, GRE, GMAT, SAT II Math, in addition to math subject help in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus and other math courses.
In addition to my ability to explain complicated math concepts in an easily understandable manner, I inspire confidence and motivation in my students so that they can succeed beyond their expectations.
A little more about me: In 1982, I was the founder and president of Test Preparation Specialists Inc., an educational consulting firm that developed test preparation materials and programs for the University of Miami. In addition, I was hired by the university as Director of test preparation for the school of continuing education. My responsibilities included hiring, training and supervising math teachers. Other responsibilities included writing math manuals for SAT, GRE and GMAT courses.
In my opinion, an excellent math tutor should have a love for teaching, a passion for math, and a desire to help students succeed. I have an abundance of all three! Thank you for reading.
Abby Reifman Fisch
I became interested and involved in the Special Needs community growing up in Los Angeles, CA. With a cousin who has Down syndrome, I quickly became familiar with individuals who have diverse needs and styles, and passionate about working within the community. Interning in a preschool classroom for students with autism was my first experience working within the education setting. I graduated from University of California, Davis, with a Bachelor of Sciences in Human Development and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History. Next, I went on to receive a Preliminary Education Specialist Teaching Credential from California State University, Northridge, along with a CLAD certificate (English Language authorization) and Clear Education Specialist Teaching Credential (Mild/Moderate) from California State University, Fullerton. For five years, I worked as the Resource Specialist at Lanai Road in Encino, California, a Los Angeles Unified School District school, supporting students with the developmental delay, learning disability, hard-of-hearing, other health impairments and autism.
Currently, I work in the Miami area as a Special Education Advocate and Consultant. I am passionate in my support of students, engaging them in their education. My strengths in communication and collaboration style allow for families, educators and students to express plans, goals and observations, keeping the focus on student need during Student Success Team, IEP, 504 and informal meetings. My experience as a Resource Specialist enables me to offer suggestions and plans which I have implemented. In 2011 and 2014, I was voted Teacher of the Year by my colleagues at my school site, where I demonstrated an ability to collaborate successfully with the general education teachers.
I have 15 years of teaching experience specializing in ESOL, Spanish, reading and writing strategies, and standardized tests for both children and adults. After receiving my Bachelors Degree in TESOL from Havana’s College of Teachers -ISPLE-, I continued my formal education in teaching at Queen’s University in Canada where I completed additional qualifications in the Elementary, Junior and Senior divisions. During my teaching career, I worked for the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board in Ontario, Canada and Miami Dade Country Public Schools in Florida. Working in both Canada and the US has allowed me to teach students by using differentiated instruction strategies.
As an educator, I tailor my lessons to meet the needs of my students so that they can maximize their time and focus on their areas of interest and on their personal and academic development. I create a safe and inclusive learning environment by valuing individual experiences and bringing in diverse resources to supplement classroom materials. I plan interactive lessons that encourage open communication and develop critical thinking skills.
As a life-long learner myself, I believe that we never cease to learn and that it is never too late to improve our skills.