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Sam

I love working creatively under constraints because it forces me to intuit and adapt to other people's logical systems and rather than just reveling in my own interior world and established styles, which I do in my creative writing. Thus, tutoring has always been tremendous fun for me. I have been doing it since high school and can teach any high school or early college subject. Recently I completed 140 hours of work for TutorQuest in VA during the Summer of 2015 covering everything from Calculus to Kafka. I also am teaching Introduction to Creative Writing to CU-Boulder undergraduates during the school year. I am the sole instructor for my classes. Tutoring is basically storytelling, i.e. finding an intuitive narrative for counter-intuitive subjects, so I believe writers make the best tutors. I love the challenge of making the product rule cool or funny. My undergraduate training in biophysics taught me math and lab-work and pushed me toward interdisciplinary studies; right now I am trying to mix science fiction, lyric poetry, and experimental theater. This interest makes me strive to find underlying principles uniting various fields. I honestly believe Calculus and Kafka are much closer to each other than most people think.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Johns Hopkins University - Bachelors, Biophysics

Graduate Degree:

 University of Colorado Boulder - Current Grad Student, Creative Writing

SAT Composite: 2340

SAT Math: 750

SAT Verbal: 790

SAT Writing: 800

GRE Verbal: 170

SAT Mathematics Level 2: 800

SAT Subject Test in Physics: 780

SAT Subject Test in U.S. History: 800

SAT Subject Test in World History: 800

GRE Analytical Writing: 6

Creative Writing, Ink art, nature photography

What is your teaching philosophy?

Teaching is story-telling. Be dynamic.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

Ask them their goals, and then jump into practice problems.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can teach them to move between verbal and abstract presentations of the same concepts.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would emphasize their progress, no matter how small.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I would ask them why, and then try to draw a picture.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I start small, at the single-sentence level.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Letting them talk most of the time, and staying focused on immediate objectives.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I would find a really cool application.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I would give them a new problem to solve independently for every one we went over together.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

I emphasize how simple the subject is if you strip away all the jargon.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I ask them to solve a problem or complete an exercise, and watch/listen to what they do well or poorly.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I let them give the terms.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I use my old college textbooks and whatever the student brings.