A graduate of Bucknell University, I have studied both English and Business Management as an undergraduate and worked on Wall Street before discovering a love of teaching.
I call upon both my humanities and math sides in tutoring for all sections of the SAT and ACT. My SAT and ACT students have been admitted to colleges including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Hamilton.
I also have abundant experience working with younger students for private school entrance exams and my ISEE, HSPT and SSAT students have been accepted into the independent schools of their choice. I am highly effective at making the process of learning as enjoyable and fun as possible.
As the oldest of four boys, I relate easily to students, and my tutoring sessions can feel like studying with a friend, albeit a friend who is helping them improve their scores. By making the material relatable and communicating it in simple terms, I get many students to understand seemingly difficult-to-grasp subject matter.
I take great joy in seeing the moment a concept clicks in a student's head and seeing that student subsequently master a topic that never seemed possible to conquer.
Bucknell University - Bachelors, English; Business
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that by making the lessons fun and engaging, as well as educational, I can get the best out of my students. When a student is relaxed and feels comfortable, I believe that is when he or she can do their best work.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know his or her interests as well as favorite class. Do they play sports; involved in the arts? Favorite films or TV shows, or any hobbies?
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By having them do a talk back to me after we do a problem, and by then having the student do a similar type problem and explain it to me on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By making sure they know why we are doing a particular problem or why it is necessary to learn a certain topic, even if they feel there may be no use for it, as it works a certain part of the brain. I try to keep things in the big picture of how learning really does help one in life, even if a certain test or subject may not seem like it will at the moment.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I try a few different ways to communicate the concept, whether through a visual or video aide, or just really trying to explain or make analogies catered to their interests and hobbies.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I will have them read to me, and then after a sentence or so, I will have them tell me in their own words what they think the sentence means. If they do not know, I will go word by word and step by step translating the passage into doable and more layman type terms and vocabulary.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Just by getting to know them and getting them comfortable, I feel they then open up and will feel less self-conscious to admit they may not know or understand a concept. By getting to know about their interests or hobbies, it really gets me to know how their mind works as well as lets my students know I am interested in their lives and in them as individuals.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would say that from this point on, it is only going to get easier, and that any topic is learnable, and it's just all about finding a way in; and once there is a crack in the surface, it gets easier and easier and then becomes fun. I try to make it into a game or mystery we will solve together.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I always have them explain back to me the material we just covered as if I am now the student. And to double check, I will make up a similar type problem on the spot and have them do it step by step and explain their thinking to me the entire way through.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By repetition, and by starting with smaller and basic problems and slowly building up.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I will first ask the student what his or her favorite subject is, and that usually gives me a clue as to where there may be a need to come in and help. It always helps to have previous tests/quizzes or report cards.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Each student has his or her own specific needs, and I immediately can see what type of learning or processing pattern they have and then go from there. For some students, there needs to be lots of repetition for them to retain information, but I do believe by putting pen or pencil to paper, it gets the brain to hold on to information and process it better.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I always bring a calculator and pencils as well as scratch paper. Additionally, I like to bring a laptop or iPad, as I feel that video and visual aids are very helpful. I also like to use dry erase boards from time to time as well.