Loretta McClellan

Academic Tutor

I grew up locally, in Mountain View, where I spent most afternoons with my grandpa, a trained scientist, at libraries and cafes talking about everything under the sun. He prompted me to question everything I thought I knew and never to speculate, but rather to set out and determine the facts at hand. I spent my summers soaking up the wonders of the Tech Museum, the Academy of Sciences, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and I helped my mom set up her classroom every year for the first day of school. The premium my family placed on knowledge and education truly cannot be overstated, prompting me to declare (around age 6) that I would be a teacher just like my mom—it seemed to be the most valuable and fulfilling career possible. For as long as I can remember, I went out of my way to help my classmates when I knew they were struggling to understand something I myself had already grasped, because knowledge was meant to be shared.

As I went through school, I developed a particular affinity for math; it was based on predictable patterns and rules, and I realized it could be leveraged to turn difficult tasks into easy ones. As I got older, I felt like I couldn’t leave math behind, even if I couldn’t explain why, and I wanted others to see its beauty and power the way that I did. I took it upon myself to find a way to make it more accessible to all types of students. Then, during my junior and senior years of high school, I was asked to work as a volunteer peer tutor. I was able to hone my skills while seeing the incredible impact of tutoring on students’ educational outcomes. I learned how to use leading questions and prompts to “show not tell” the mathematical results and procedures we covered rather than exclusively modeling the process.

After high school, I made my way to the University of Oregon and graduated with a degree in pure mathematics. While I was at the UO, I was recruited to work as a teaching assistant for lower-division math courses. I spent the second half of my undergraduate degree holding office hours and leading discussion sections in addition to my coursework. Of all the experiences I had during my college years, working as a TA was one of the most valuable in terms of my growth as a person, my individual goals, and perfecting my skills as an educator. During these years, I learned how much a personal connection matters in the process of learning and how much faster and smoother that is to facilitate in a 1-on-1 setting. I was able to watch students clarify confusions, answer their own questions, and build up their confidence, sometimes over the course of a single office hour, when they were given the space to parce their thoughts. 

After graduating, I spent a summer teaching an accelerated summer school geometry course, which ultimately led me to realize that I preferred tutoring in a 1-on-1 model, before turning to tutoring.

These days, I spend my time filling my loved-one’s ears with real-world examples of famous math problems, keeping an eye on politics, trying to tune into jeopardy every night, and working to develop old hobbies that I got too “busy” for, starting with knitting, creating a small vegetable garden, and learning about the local flora on our many bay area hiking trails.

Subjects Tutored:

Academic Algebra 1
Academic Algebra 2
Academic Calculus
Academic Geometry
Academic IAC
Academic Pre-Calculus
Academic Trigonometry
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC


Happy Parents and Students

 The most helpful part was when we reviewed my essays. I really think that my essay writing skills have improved.   Read what others are saying

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