How to Define a Successful Tutor-Student Relationship

The 4 Es Lead to an A+ for Westside Tutoring & Testing Services Students

What are the 4 Es in Every Successful Tutor-Student Relationship

The 4 Es Lead to an A+ for Westside Tutoring & Testing Services Students

Over the past two or three weeks I’ve been asked the same sort of questions during the initial consultation and assessment with prospective students and their parents. Interestingly, the questions and concerns seem to be centered around the same notions…and they are totally understandable!

Basically, they all come down to these two questions:

“What do you do?” and “How do you do it?”

Or, in even plainer English…and using a bit of today’s jargon:

“What is your secret sauce?”

Without giving away too much, I believe this video will answer these questions. Additionally, I hope this video will help other prospective students and their parents know what to look for when hiring the right tutor!

The Right Tutor

The Right Tutor, The 4 Es, and Westside Tutoring & Testing Services

Who is the right tutor?

The 4 Es!

  • Experience – Is the prospective tutor a full-time professional or a part-timer?
  • Empathy – Does the prospective tutor relate well to your son or daughter?
  • Expertise – Is the prospective tutor a specialist with an established track record working with students with your child’s needs?
  • Excellence – Does the prospective tutor get results…can they point to specific examples?

If the prospective tutor can answer the questions related to The 4 Es to your complete satisfaction, then you are well on your way to establishing a solid relationship and achieving an excellent result.

If not…keep looking!

Professor John P. J. “Jack” Zajaros, Sr. or “Professor Z”
Westside Tutoring & Testing Services
Serving NE and North Central Ohio for More than 3 Decades
216-712-7004 (office)
440-821-7018 (mobile)


Video: How to Hire the Best Tutor for Students Diagnosed with ADHD

ADHD Students, Hugh MacLeod, and Steve Jobs - Gapingvoid Art

Hiring the Best Tutor and a Steve Jobs Tribute

ADHD Students, Hugh MacLeod, and Steve Jobs - Gapingvoid Art

Written by Hugh MacLeod of Gapingvoid Art

A thought-provoking tribute written by a wonderfully warm and incredibly talented and provocative young artist!

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know why I’ve shared Hugh MacLeod’s brilliant tribute to Steve Jobs.

If you haven’t and don’t, please read on and take the time to watch the video posted below…and thank you for taking the time to visit Westside Tutoring and Testing Services’ blog!

Hiring a Professional Tutor for Students Diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

I’ve written and spoken at length about how important it is to hire a qualified tutor for your son or daughter, particularly if they have been diagnosed with ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or any other of the myriad learning disabilities currently recognized by medical science. If you are one of our many subscribers, here or on YouTube, then you may have noticed how very passionate I am about hiring a professional and qualified tutor. Hiring a qualified tutor is absolutely crucial for your child’s short and long term success.

Additionally, if you follow me here or elsewhere online then you know that I never use the phrase learning disabilityIn fact, I believe this is the very first time!

It’s a hard and fast rule with me: I use the term learning challenge(s), as opposed to learning disability. In particular, I do so when writing or speaking about how best to understand and deal with the myriad challenges parents and students face as they attempt to deal with ADHD—or any of the other learning challenges—and there is a reason!

In August’s newsletter, I will state my reasons for making the distinction between the label Learning Disability and the term Learning Challenge…and why it is so important we, as parents and educators, do so. The distinction? I gave you a hint in the preceding sentence!

For now, I will add this:

The difference, while seemingly insignificant, is profound and speaks to how we diagnose, perceive, address, treat (medically and socially), and educate children, and now adults, with ADHD. Sadly, many of the learning challenges we face, day in and day out, are little understood and inadequately addressed…at any level!

How can we understand and treat ADHD when many educators and doctors, the very individuals our children depend on for help, refuse to believe it’s real?

Is ADHD Real? This is Your Brain on ADHD - Any Questions

This is a Brain on ADHD: Any Questions?

If the individuals charged with understanding and addressing ADHD, in and out of the classroom, refuse to believe it’s a real condition (watch for an upcoming video and article sequence on this point), where do children and parents turn for help?

It’s no wonder so many children, with or without a formal ADHD diagnosis, are falling through the cracks!

No Child Left Behind?

Between the failure of our education system to adequately address ADHD-affected students and the barely-concealed skepticism, bordering on cynicism, many educators and physicians express, it’s a wonder our children get out of the gates at all.

Again, I will go in depth regarding all of the above and more in the August 15th newsletter.

Please stop back often and subscribe to our newsletter (see the subscription box, top-right sidepanel). New editions of the Westside Tutoring and Testing Services Newsletter are emailed on the 15th of the month.

Additionally, please subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow on Twitter, and “Like” our new Facebook page for more information on how best to recognize and address ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, etc.

Please take a few minutes to watch the following video (link or on this page – below):

How to Hire the Best Tutor for ADHD Diagnosed Students

After you’ve watched the video below, please take a moment to leave a comment. I’d really like to know what you think!

Additionally, if you’d be so kind as to leave a comment on YouTube, it would be much appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to visit and for either being, or becoming, a subscriber!

Professor Z

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services
216-712-7004 (office)

The Eye of the Storm Syndrome: Why Short Term Tutoring Rarely Works

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services and The Eye of the Storm Syndrome

Professional Tutoring vs Quick-Fix Tutoring


The Eye of the Storm Syndrome

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services and The Eye of the Storm Syndrome

During the initial consultation and assessment, I warn new students and their parents about something I’ve come to know as The Eye of the Storm Syndrome.

The Eye of the Storm Syndrome is very common; and it is, in my opinion, the most difficult hurdle professional tutors have to overcome early in the tutor/student relationship.

Let’s get the Quick-Fix Tutoring out of the way first, though. Quick-Fix Tutoring is what we at Westside Tutoring and Testing Services call putting out fires. It should be fairly obvious what I mean by putting out fires…it’s simply dealing with whatever is next and, usually, what is causing the student the most trouble at the moment.

The Quick-Fix Tutor may be adequate in the short-run, hence the designation as a Quick-Fix Tutor, but they are generally not able to teach students the most important study skills of all:

  • How to study
  • How to read actively
  • How to manage time
  • How to research
  • How to outline chapters in order to prepare for an exam
  • How to think creatively
  • How to write creatively
  • How to teach himself or herself…not just during the current school year but long term – So he of she does not need either a professional tutor or one specializing in the quick-fix!

Just ask yourself any one of these very simple questions:

  • How many courses has your son or daughter had over the course of their entire educational experience that has actually taught him or her how to study…effectively?
  • STEM aside, if our kids cannot read critically, study actively using a system that works for them, and express themselves effectively…how far will they get?
  • Have you heard of the effects of primacy and recency?
  • Is your child overwhelmed by the sheer amount of material thrown at them day-in-and-day-out?

The above-mentioned questions,  and skills, are just a few of the questions, skills, and  issues a professional tutor and a professional tutoring organization will address with your child...must address…if they’re doing their job(s) right. And in all fairness, the quick-fix tutor will not have the time, or the skill, to address these issues. And again, in all fairness, that is not what they’re being hired for!

So what is The Eye of the Storm? And what does it have to do with hiring a tutor?

To understand The Eye of the Storm, let me walk you through an example. The names, schools, and all the rest are fictitious.

Jake and The Eye of the Storm

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services and The Eye of the Storm Syndrome

Jake Wilson is going into his sophomore year at St. Angelo’s High School for Boys. He comes from a middle class family and has all the advantages. Everyone in Jake’s family understands the value of a good education and is committed to making sure all of the kids go to college. Not just college, but a great school, one that will open doors once Jake graduates. Unfortunately, Jake struggled through his freshman year with a 1. 6 GPA and, while there is no indication of ADD or ADHD, his parents are concerned and have decided not to wait until Jake has struggled through another year to do something about it.

Many parents are now doing what Jake’s mom and dad are doing, hiring a professional tutor for their son or daughter before they are drowning in bad grades, frustration, and even depression. Proactive is the only way to be when it comes to a child’s education, particularly in this competitive world! Good grades and test schools are often the difference between college admission and scholarship money or not being able to afford college at all.

What is Jake fails to be admitted to Miami University (the only real institution in this story), the best public university in Ohio and the one almost every kid from Ohio dreams of attending!

So, proactive is the only way to be and Jake starts out with a bang!

Jake seems committed and the professional tutoring he is getting in French, English and Grammar, Geometry, and World History are first rate…everything seems to be clicking. The proactive strategy seems to have paid off.

In fact, the proactive measures, including the hiring of a professional tutor, seems to have made Jake into a “new man!”

Jake has worked his way from secretly feeling like something of a failure, and being more than a little overwhelmed in his freshman year, to having a real sense of where he is going…all in just a few weeks!

All is good with the world, right?


You see, Jake sailed through the initial wall of the storm with the help of his professional tutor!

And Jake was not only receiving academic help during his first few weeks back in school, he was receiving plenty of positive reinforcement, as well.

In fact, Jake received equal parts tutoring and positive reinforcement during each session. Yes, Jake is on his way to becoming a “new man,” but the supports were just now being put in place…and there was still a lot be done.

Jake was in The Eye of the Storm:

  • His grades were up
  • His confidence was up
  • He was taking on more responsibility at home
  • He appeared to be taking on more responsibility at school
  • He was being to feel he could go it alone and he was anxious to be his own man

All was well with the world!

You see, in Jake’s mind, and in his parents’ minds as well, the storm had passed, at least that is what everyone seemed to think.

And Jake wanted to have more freedom!

And mom and dad wouldn’t mind having a bit more money in the checking account, that was a given!

So, it was agreed, Jake had made a complete turnaround and would no longer need the help of a professional tutor. If he did need a tutor, he could get the help of one of those quick-fix tutors who worked for five bucks an hour, or worse yet for free.

Remember: You get what you pay for!

Sure, there were a lot of those five buck an hour, quick-fix tutors around… and they wouldn’t require the sort of commitment, the sort of work, the professional tutor required!

So all’s Jake with Jake and he’s free to do his own thing!

Sadly, as the back wall of the storm approaches (i.e., more complex subject matter, papers, essays, midterms, finals, more), Jake bring himself to can’t say anything to his mom or dad…because he’d have to admit defeat!

And that is something most students will never do!

The 12 Step programs define insanity as the act of doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

If you asked me about The Eye of the Storm Syndrome and how it compares to The 12 Step definition of insanity, I’d say they’re a bit different. I believe there’s a great deal of wishful thinking, the teenage kind, Jake’s kind, combined with a sense of relief (i.e., finances, time, etc) the parental kind.

Ultimately, the trajectory of Jake’s sophomore year is based on faulty reasoning and not enough experience, which is understandable!

So what happens?

Jake ran into the back side of the storm when the eye collapsed in!

And, because Jake, had fallen behind again, there is even more work to do…and the result was not-so-good. Getting Jake back on the track he was on, a track to all As and Bs, cost much more time, effort, and money.

I have had a lot of Jake’s over the past 30 years!

I have worked with a lot of Jake’s parents too!

The saddest thing is that, even after all this time, parents still go down that road. Interestingly, I tell parents and students about The Eye of the Storm Syndrome during the consultation and assessment, hoping it will make a difference. Sadly, they still fall victim to the Sirens call. It’s a combination of things, and most I’ve mentioned above.

The saddest thing about Jake’s story?

Many, many times, the student and the parents, especially the parents, won’t admit they took a wrong turn, that they made a mistake. Consequently, they won’t return to the same tutor, whether it’s me or someone like me (in the same business). That does even more damage because, as in Jake’s case, the student literally begins back at square one!

And that can be devastating for Jake!

Let me know if you have a Jake, I’d lobe to work with him. I specialize in working with gifted students and students affected by ADD or ADHD. I also work with students with Asperger’s syndrome and other learning challenges. Don’t hesitate to call!

I also tutor students who are just working through a difficult period. We work with students regardless of the subject matter of level.

Finally, we work with students preparing for the PSAT, SAT, LSAT, ACT, GRE, GED, ASVAB, and others. If you don’t see it? Ask!

If you need help? Any subject, any level, please call!

NOTE: We do not pick up when with students but we check the voicemail often!

Professor John P. J. “Jack” Zajaros, Sr.
Westside Tutoring and Testing Services
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
216-712-7004 (office)
440-821-7018 (mobile – for quickest response)

PS, Please forgive any typos! The power and heat have been out for more than 4 days. We’ll proofread again in a day or so!

Hiring a Professional Tutor and the Fram Oil Campaign: “Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later”

Aristotle: One of the Greatest Thinkers of the Western World and Westside Tutoring

You can pay me now…

…or you can pay me later!

The same holds true for almost everything in life…but it is especially when it comes to teaching, tutoring, coaching, and even monitoring. Yes, there are a handful of people who are at the top of their game and give back, myself included. But it is also necessary to keep the lights on, feed our families, and keep a roof over their heads.

But I’m getting ahead of myself! Take a look at this blast from the past and then we’ll talk. Okay?

It’s interesting how many people think the ad campaign associated with the above-mentioned quote was a General Motors, Mr. Goodwrench campaign. Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter anymore because, like so many other unique selling phrases, it has grown out of the original context and has become part of our national culture.

“Pay me now or pay me later” has become one of those phrases everyone can relate to, a message that has outgrown its original intent.

Other phrases that speak to being cheap in the short run and having to pay a much greater price in the long run include:

“You get what you pay for!”

“Penny wise and pound foolish!”

This next one is one of my favorites:

“Jumping over $20 bills to pick up pennies!”

And here’s one that has all sorts of meanings and implications…but it also applies here:

“You reap what you sow!”

The purpose of the first part of this post is, or at least should be, transparent.

In fact, all you have to do is type in a few keywords and you’ll have a sense of the wide range in qualifications and fees for tutors in the Northeast and North Central Ohio areas; and, in particular, for tutors serving suburban Cleveland.

Ironically, I am usually not the first tutor most students see. However, in almost every instance, I am the last. Sadly, in to many instances I am the fourth or fifth tutor a struggling student has been subjected to before the full weight of “pay me now or pay me later” kicks in. If that makes the reader a bit uncomfortable, I apologize. Unfortunately, I see to many of the above-mentioned “tutors” advertising themselves as professionals when they are as far from it as one can possibly get and still keep a straight face.

Being sorta good at math and English in high school and/or college does not prepare a “tutor” to work with students who are failing one or more classes…with or without dealing with the added challenges associated with ADD, ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, or worse!

And it certainly doesn’t justify wasting a student’s time and their parent’s money while they find that out!

Aristotle: One of the Greatest Thinkers of the Western World and Westside Tutoring

Part II: Westside Tutoring and Testing Services Offers Professional ADD and ADHD Tutoring Services for Students throughout Suburban Cleveland and Northeast Ohio!

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services Specializes in Middle School and High School Students, Professional Tutor with More than 30 Years Experience

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services offers tutoring, mentoring, and coaching for students and student athletes from 5 to 65. Professor John P. J. “Jack” Zajaros, Sr. has been tutoring students for more than 3 decades.

This is a partial list of schools, school districts, and cities our students have come from. To list all of the students we have tutored over the years would be impossible:

Akron University
Ashland University
Avon Lake
Bay Village
BGSU Firelands
Broadview Heights
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland Heights
Cleveland State University
Columbia Station
Cuyahoga Community College
Fairview Park
Garfield Heights
John Carroll University
Kent State University
Lake Erie College
Lakeland Community College
Lorain County Community College
Magnificat High School
Maple Heights
Middleburg Heights
North Olmsted
North Ridgeville
North Royalton
Olmsted Falls
Parma Heights
Rocky River
Saint Augustine’s Academy
Saint Edward’s High School
Saint Ignatius High School
Saint Joseph’s Academy
Seven Hills
Shaker Heights
University Heights
University School
Ursuline College

And many, many more!

Professor John P. J. “Jack” Zajaros, Sr., “Professor Z” or “Jack” to most of his students, has tutored, mentored, and coached students from kindergarten through graduate and professional school in almost every subject you can think of.

Additionally, Professor Z has helped students study for and pass the following exams (again, a partial list):

  • GED
  • Nursing board exams and many of the classes leading up to graduation from nursing school and the exam
  • The PRAXIS series for individuals entering the teaching profession and seeking teacher certification
  • United States Armed Forces Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) for individuals attempting to enter the military and qualify for a better job or skill
  • Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT)
  • PSAT
  • SAT
  • ACT
  • GRE
  • LSAT
  • And so many more!

Professor Z has also helped students: 

  • Overcome test anxiety – for students at every level, from middle school to medical school
  • Develop study skills – necessary to improve performance
  • Time management – in order to use time more efficiently
  • To qualify for scholarships and for participation – for athletics at the high school and college/university level 
  • To meet eligibility requirements – GPA and SAT or ACT scores to qualify for NCAA eligibility

Some of the courses Professor Z has provided tutoring services for over the years include (K through professional school, as well as adult and post grad studies):

African-American Art
African-American Literature
Algebra I
Algebra II
American Literature
Anatomy and Physiology (as well as Gross Anatomy)
Anthropology (Cultural, Biological, Forensic, and Physical Anthropology)
AP Courses in almost every discipline
Art History
Biology (all levels and sub disciplines)
British Literature
Earth Science
Ecology and Human Ecology
Economics – Macroeconomics and Microeconomics
Elementary Math
Elementary Science
Embryology and Vertebrate Embryology
English and English Composition
Environmental Science
Genetics and Micro Evolutionary Genetics
Geography and Physical Geography
History (US History, European History, Russian History, Japanese History, Chinese History, Meso-American History, Roman History, Greek History, African Civilization and History, Egyptian History, World History, etc)
Honors Courses in almost every discipline
Literature – African-American Literature, American Literature, British Literature, etc.
Political Science and US Government and Politics

And again, much, much more!

Professor Zajaros has helped students with personal statements for competitive high school, undergraduate, graduate, and professional school admission…as well as helping with the application itself.

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services:

Is the logical outgrowth of a lifelong love for learning and teaching. Professor Zajaros’ son, John P. J. Zajaros, Jr. (April 21, 1976 – July 1, 2012), struggled throughout his life with the challenges presented as a result of ADHD. We know so much more about ADD, ADHD, and other learning challenges than we did 3 decades ago.

It has has been Professor Zajaros’ goal to reach and help as many students affected with ADD and ADHD as possible…to help as many children and adults as possible overcome this terrible learning disability and move on to a happy and productive life.

With the assistance of teachers, guidance counselors, and other support staff, Professor Zajaros has been able to reach hundreds of children over the years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

In addition to ADD, ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, and other learning challenges, Professor Z also works with Gifted students and so-called average students, there are no average students, who are struggling to bring their grades up in one or more courses and for any number of reasons.

If you, your son, or your daughter is in need of assistance, call Professor Zajaros today!

There is no time like the present and the longer you wait, the more time it will take. If you anticipate that you, your son, or your daughter is going to have problems with a specific subject or with a number of subjects, there is no time like the present to call for a consultation and assessment.

Call today for a free consultation and in depth assessment!

Professor John P. J. “Jack” Zajaros, Sr.
Westside Tutoring and Testing Services
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
216-712-7004 (office)
440-821-7018 (mobile)
Or email:

Westside Tutoring: Every Student Succeeds – Guaranteed!

Westside Tutoring succeeds

even after other tutors and tutoring firms

have failed!

 Westside Tutoring

Serves all of Northeastern and

North Central Ohio

Westside Tutoring specializes in working with students who have difficult learning and/or emotional hurdles to overcome! In other words, we help our students reach their full potential. Guaranteed!

Westside Tutoring students often rise to the top of their class, many times after other tutors and tutoring agencies, some of the biggest and most recognizable names in tutoring and test preparation, have fallen short…failing to deliver an acceptable outcome!

Westside Tutoring has helped hundreds of students succeed, often after they have already been through 3, 4, and even 5 tutors.

And we do it one student at a time!

We specialize in working with students who require a professional tutor with years of experience, a tutor willing, and able, to invest the time and energy necessary to secure, not just an acceptable outcome, a highly desirable one!

Westside Tutoring Areas of Specialization

  • Multiple tutors  without a satisfactory outcome
  • Attention Deficit Disorder ADD
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD
  • Asperger’s Syndrome and other expressions of Autism
  •  Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Dyslexia
  • Undiagnosed learning difficulties
  • Anger Management Issues
  • Anxiety Issues (to include test anxiety)
  • Students returning to school after a prolonged absence due to illness or other health or  behavioral issues
  • Homeschooled children with gaps in their education
  • Students who have been removed from school due to illness, general health, and/or behavioral issues and require a personal tutor
  • Students who are failing or have failed a class and require remedial work (tutoring) to catch up
  • Students who have been held back due to absence and/or performance issues

Check out our sister site

This is just one of many letters from satisfied clients. Additional references, and the associated documentation, available upon request.

Dear Jack,

In the middle of of the school year, my daughter lost her bearings in high school chemistry as the pace picked up and the assignments became more complex. My daughter couldn’t relate to the teacher’s learning style and presentation. The school’s student tutor for chemistry was a classmate of my daughter; my daughter was too embarrassed to work with him. My last encounter with chemistry was thirty years ago and hopelessly out of date. By the time we contacted you for tutoring, my daughter was failing her assignments and panicking.

You were wonderful the whole way. The day we called, you called us back. You met with my daughter the next day at our home. You assessed the situation, calmed everyone down, and put an immediate action plan in place. You renewed her confidence. You assessed her learning style and presented complex material in a way that made sense to her. Working together, my daughter had a very successful recovery and finished the class with an ‘A’ on her final.

Chemistry went from overwhelming to fascinating. We cannot thank you enough!

Evelyn W. (parent of Westlake HS student, Spring 2009)

Contact us today for a free, in-home consultation and assessment!

Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr., Professor Z, or “Jack”
Westside Tutoring and Test Preparation Services
Serving Northeast and North Central Ohio for 3 Decades!