My Story

I started working as a private tutor for children with learning differences almost ten years ago. Since then, I’ve spoken to hundreds of parents who are concerned their child isn’t getting the support they need in school. They see their kid falling behind or failing out, and it breaks their heart.

But many children with learning differences don’t qualify for full-time learning support. Many don’t need a special education program. But busy teachers aren’t able to provide the additional support the kid needs in the classroom, and parents can’t do it at home, either because they’re not sure about the material or because their teenager doesn’t want advice from mom and dad.

That’s where I come in. For ten years, I’ve been providing support, mentorship, and guidance for those kids who fall through the cracks. My mission is to provide world-class support for anyone who has been left out or left behind of a traditional classroom. I’m trained as a specialized tutor for children with learning differences, but what I do works because it’s built on a relationship of trust and support. I know that tutoring is about first showing a student that they can do something and that it’s worth their time to do it. That’s how I’m able to get the results I’ve been getting for the past decade: no student has ever failed a course I tutored them in.

Where My Story Started

I’ve been doing this a long time. I mostly work with families now, but when I started I volunteered as a mentor in a juvenile detention center in central Virginia. I’d go in once a week and spend the day there working with kids who had been locked up for months, sometimes for years, and were working towards their GED. This was a group of ten or so kids of totally different ages, in different places in their education, with behavioral problems and learning disorders and disabilities. It was my job to guide them towards getting that diploma.

At first, I had a lot of trouble with it. I would show up and try to review math concepts or make them read books, and that never worked. They just weren’t interested. It’s because of who they were and where they were: they thought that the work wasn’t worth doing or that they weren’t capable of doing it. I had to step back and rework my entire approach: my job wasn’t to teach them math, but to teach them that math was worth learning and that they could learn it.

The Real Work of a Learning Differences Tutor

That transformed my entire approach to education. Sure, I can teach the content, but that’s only part of my job. My job is to teach students that they can learn something and that they should learn something. I learned how to do this in probably the hardest place to do it: in juvie, where the kids are literally there against their will. So I had to get good at that kind of inspiration, and I’ve carried that expertise and that lesson with me into the rest of my career.

So if your child believes, because of their learning differences or their personal history or for whatever other reason, that they can’t learn something or that it’s not worth learning, I can help. I’ve seen it before, and I have built confidence and mastery in students with learning differences just like that.

Portrait signature of learning differences tutor Jonah Fishel
Timeline of training a learning differences tutor

Want to Learn More About Me?

Understanding Your Child's Math Difficulties

Download this free guide today to start understanding your child’s math difficulties and working to address them at home. If you sign up, you’ll also receive my weekly advice column where I answer questions from parents about how to support their child’s learning. That’s practical advice for how to help your kid learn, direct to your inbox every week.

* indicates required

Download my complimentary eBook and learn to support your child’s learning in this free 20-page guide for parents!