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Tutor Annie


Annie Ellis-West,
M.Ed., for Tutor Doctor

  • How would you describe your tutoring/teaching style?

    My teaching style is child centered and based on cognitive development. This means I look to the child to guide how we approach learning and I teach to the child’s learning style using multi-sensory tools. For example: with a new student I might play a game like “Simon Says” to break the ice, then we might write about ourselves with colored markers. We would write our names, our favorite food, books, sports, etc. then swap what we have written and read aloud each other’s statements. Then we would talk about school and the child’s experiences in school, what she likes most and what she struggles with, to give me an idea of where to begin and how to best tailor our sessions so they are the most useful for her.

  • What do you love most about tutoring/teaching?

    I really enjoy working one-to-one with children because I get to know them better and can really focus on their needs and where their interests lie. I love to learn how children’s minds work and what they are thinking and perceiving about the world around them. What I love most about teaching in general is creating life-long learners in the next generations.

  • What is your best tutoring/teaching related achievement?

    When I taught in a classroom I always began the year with a social curriculum. We worked through our classroom culture together, designing our guiding principles/rules, agreeing how we would work together and getting to know each other. One day, later in the year, we were all coming in from recess and the teachers were called into the office for some emergency-type reason, which meant the children went to the classrooms un-chaperoned. When I returned to the classroom, the children were all sitting on the rug listening to one of their classmates read aloud. It showed me that they embraced our classroom culture and knew how to operate within it, they knew what came next in our day and took the initiative to start without me.

  • What 3 words would the children use to describe you and your tutoring/teaching style?

    Respectful Fun Patient

  • Why do you enjoy tutoring/teaching the age group that you do?

    I find the primary age group to be curious and interested in learning. Once they get past grade 6 they become a bit more obstinate and if they have struggled with learning they begin to be jaded and less willing to try new ways of approaching content. Also, from a cognitive perspective the primary ages are the critical years to build good habits and have good role models.

  • What are your go to props or resources when tutoring/teaching?

    Reading aloud one of my favorite children’s books, paper and markers, movement either yoga or a game in which they move their bodies, puppets, honesty, compassion – other resources would be my colleagues in certain circumstances, the child’s teacher/parents or professional texts, depending on the answers I needed.

  • How do you bring creativity into your tutoring/teaching?

    Please provide an example: I love to bring creativity into my teaching. For example for a child learning to read: I would have the child tell me a story from his life, I write while he speaks. Then we make a simple book into which he or I depending on writing skills, will copy the story. I will ask him to create two pictures to illustrate his book. Then we will use his book to help him learn to read. He will read his own story. Another example is using cooking to teach fractions, I am a great cook and feel that real life examples are so helpful with learning certain math concepts. I might use money as a way to learn to add and subtract. Money is an easily relatable, real-world vehicle for becoming agile with mental math.

  • What is a fun fact the children might like to know about you!

    I’m American! I’m an only child. I LOVE to read books and make books. I really struggled with math in school, but now I enjoy it. I do not understand cricket.