Our Tutors

Jennifer Dannenfelser

Jennifer Dannenfelser

Founder

 

For over ten years, I taught elementary aged children in Montessori classrooms. I knew that each and every one of my students was learning, but it was clear that not all of them could show their knowledge or gain knowledge through the written word. I didn’t know the best way to help them and was determined to find a way.

These children were bright, eager learners. They clearly wanted to do what was asked, but were found frustrated and confused by their own difficulties. It was taking a toll on them. I needed to find a way to remove the barrier.

For some of these children, struggles extended beyond the printed word.Using the Montessori hands-on materials, I had developed a deep understanding of how children develop numeracy and learn math concepts. Still, some could not perform basic calculations. There is no one scientifically proven method for remediating math learning challenges, so I self-educated and researched best practices.

Then I started Mindguide Learning, LLC. I bought my own Montessori materials and use them alongside techniques I’ve learned for dyscalculia. I received training in Orton-Gillingham and learned a systematic, cumulative, auditory and kinesthetic way to help struggling readers. I remodeled my one-car garage. I offered my services as a private tutor to children in and out of Montessori schools all over Portland.

Bryan Black

Bryan Black

Language Tutor

 

In 2019, I left a twenty year career in project management and began studying the Orton-Gillingham Approach to teaching reading. This change appealed to my educational background (BA English) and also my wish make a direct and positive impact on the lives of young people. 

In May, I completed the Orton-Gillingham Associate program at The Blosser Center for Dyslexia Resources in Portland. The training involved 70 lecture hours of coursework, close observation of lessons with a Fellow of the academy, and hundreds of practicum hours. I will be applying for certification with the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators in August of 2020.

Until then, I will continue working with my students online and my mentors at the Blosser Center.

 

Brittany Zurschmit

Brittany Zurschmit

Math Tutor

 

After completing a BA in Psychology, I originally worked with puppies at a guide dog center. A fascination with behavior and development drove me to return to school and in 2015 I graduated with an MAT in Elementary Education. Since then, I have gained experience working with children ages three through fourteen in a variety of environments, including public schools, private schools, and outdoor education programs.

My first step is always to build relationships with students so that I can understand their specific skills as learners. Once these skills are identified, I guide students through engaging, multi-sensory math work to build meaningful connections with math concepts. I tailor my instruction to best fit each student’s pace, learning styles, and development–each student has a unique learning path and it is my job to support them on the way.