Testimonials

Jess Durrett has been such an important teacher and advocate for my son. She is no doubt very well educated and trained, and offers a depth of experience in working with children with challenges, but she also has an enormous empathetic capacity. She understands deeply the experiences of children from their perspectives.  My son soaks up her compassion, encouragement, and gentle humor and with her guidance is often able to try things that otherwise would feel too scary or overwhelming. Part of Jess’ gift as a teacher is her understanding that academics and emotional stability must go hand and hand. She also provides important guidance to parents by offering further insights into the child’s motivations, needs, and potential. Jess is able to see the strengths in her students and build on those strengths while giving sustained support in areas that are more difficult. Our family has been profoundly grateful for her presence and dedication.

– Parent of a 9 year old

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We have had the good fortune of Jess Durrett working with our son for over 3 years now. She was his classroom teacher.  If we could encapsulate her work with him in one word, it would be “masterful”.  Our son has struggled with speech and language and attention issues, which, at times, impacted his ability to focus on academic work, particularly mathematics.  Jess worked closely with our son to develop his computation skills, and employed creative ways to teach concepts that required our son to pull on more of his language. Jess incorporated drawings, symbols, manipulatives, and tactile devices that would allow our son to comprehend, and then artfully draw him back to solving designated math problems. She empowered our son to see the possibility of math problems being solved from multiple angles, which is something I have not witnessed done well at this level in my 20 years as a college professor and teacher educator in higher education.

Jess was also the one to courageously introduce technology into the instructional process, allowing our son to do certain math sequences on computer. Most teachers still shy away from learning how to integrate technology into learning, fearing parents would balk at introducing more “screen time” to our children.  But Jess always strikes the right balance, and has a vision for how technology can assist in differientiated instruction for the special needs population, and has applied her ideas in a progressive way.  Also her intuitive ability to incorporate a young person’s likes and dislikes into the learning process, create a bond and trust quickly, and gently push a young person to stretch their ability, naturally and with enjoyment, is impressive.

Given Jess’s work, our son deeply enjoys math, and learning in general. He is more attentive when doing homework, loves school, and has a deep affection for Jess, knowing she understands him, his learning style and needs, but most importantly respects him. Our son is adept at solving simple math problems in his head first, and then applying them to paper. He invites math challenges, outside of his classroom work.  Our son is also interested in reading, history, architecture and geography, other subjects that Jess helped guide during her time with him.

Needless to say, Jess gets high marks from our family, and we would encourage any parent interested in hiring a professional who blends innovative approaches to teaching and learning with traditional foundations of learning that have allowed young people to learn over decades, to work with Jess. She is among the best we have in this field, and has so many more years to contribute to make the lives of young people with learning challenges just that much easier.

– Parent of a 9 year old

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I am the Mom of a nine-year-old girl who has ADD and Anxiety. We started working with Jess about two years ago when school homework became unbearable to do at home. What should have taken 15 minutes would frequently take up to two hours. There were tears, frustration and raised voices; I would feel so stressed by the time my kids went to bed. It was having a very negative effect, not just with my daughter but with my other child as well because it took up all that time. I finally worked out that I don’t have the skills required to help her with her homework. Luckily for my family and me I was able to enlist the help of Jess Durrett. I cannot say enough great things about Jess; she’s become a really important person to my daughter who loves her dearly. Jess brings her wealth of knowledge, experience and specialized teaching techniques to her tutoring sessions. It’s not just about sitting down and making sure my daughter does her homework. Jess is a very creative thinker and uses my daughter’s personal interests to motivate her to do her work. If my daughter’s having a tough time with a social or emotional situation, Jess will make a wonderful social story that really helps her understand.  She works in movement breaks in the sessions because she knows that it’s hard for kids like my daughter to sit still for long periods of time and that it really helps her perform better if she takes a break now and then. Now my daughter sees Jess two to three times a week. She gets all her homework done; she’s happy, has a sense of achievement and also has time for after school activities. 

– Parent of a 9 year old

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