Past BHS teachers run Classroom Matters

Former Berkeley teachers Lisa Miller and Tatiana Guerreiro Ramos together run Classroom Matters, a tutoring and mentoring program for K-12 graders in the Bay Area.


Former Berkeley teachers Lisa Miller and Tatiana Guerreiro Ramos together run Classroom Matters, a tutoring and mentoring program for K-12 graders in the Bay Area. They offer online, in-home or at their center tutoring with more than 40 mentors who are ready to coach students individually or in a group. Classroom Matters has already served 15,500 students.

Classroom Matters started in the living room of another former Berkeley High School teacher, Molly Gerstein Gales. Miller and Gerstein Gales founded the company in 2000, because of their “desire to work with students and their families and meet their individual learning needs,” according to Miller.

In 2008, Gerstein Gales left the company and Miller ran it alone until Guerreiro Ramos joined the company in 2010. 

“I knew that a lot of kids benefited from one on one support … and I wanted to be able to help more students who weren’t doing well in their schools,” Guerriero Ramos said. For the past 12 years, the two have worked together, building a company that has assisted tons of young students. 

Being a woman business owner has not proved easy.

“I’m a Latina woman, so it’s sometimes challenging to be taken seriously,” Guerriero Ramos said. Guerriero Ramos is a single mom raising three children. Lisa Miller added, “I think one of the biggest challenges is that we are in an industry where people don’t value it in the sense that they want the services to be really good, but they also don’t want to spend a lot of money.” 

Many BHS students take advantage of this resource. One senior in AC talks about how she has used Classroom Matters for help with AP Calculus, AP Biology, Spanish, and literature. She recommended it to any BHS student who wants help with their classes. 

“I like it because it allows you to work with a tutor who knows what your abilities are, and all of the tutors have been very knowledgeable on every subject.” She also said that, “I have ADHD, so my AP Bio tutor understood that (because) she also has ADHD and she kind of came up with solutions that are more focused towards my ability to learn.” 

Classroom Matters has tutors available online as well. The anonymous senior from AC said, “It is nice that you have the option of going in person or online and I do mine all online just because then I can do it from home, but it is a nice option to be able to go in.”

Classroom Matters isn’t purely academic support. They offer many types of support like Individual Education Plan (IEP) and 504 plan advocacy, test prep, ADHD education and enrichment programs. Since both the co-owners are parents and former teachers they are experts on how to help kids.

Miller talks about how, “Students need more mentoring and emotional support. And that’s a very strong, major aspect of what we provide.” Guerreiro Ramos also tells us how she understands kids’ struggles.

 “Because I have ADHD, I can understand students who struggle with executive function (a set of skills that help you organize, plan, self control and self monitor, time manage and stay focused) and ADHD.” 

With courses to fulfill many people’s needs, Classroom Matters isn’t a company that just helps with academic tutoring, it’s a company where students can get supported in many ways and helped with their many different learning needs.