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I am a graduate of Liberty University in Virginia and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Currently I am completing a screenwriting course through Act One in Hollywood. I have always enjoyed math, but I chose to study English because I'm a sucker for good storytelling. I began tutoring during high school when an underclassman's parents asked me to help their son review the material for his algebra class. In college and graduate school, my friends would ask me to proofread their papers or clarify some of the topics from our classes. After my studies, I returned to my old high school as a substitute teacher where I spent a semester teaching algebra and geometry classes and directing the school play. Among my peers, I tend to be the go-to guy for any questions about math or grammar. When I'm not tutoring or working at a day job, I like to attend live theater, write, hike, or participate in anything else that is both active and creative.

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Derek’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Liberty University - Bachelor in Arts, English

Graduate Degree: University of Edinburgh - Masters, English Literature: Creative Writing

Test Scores

ACT English: 36

ACT Math: 36

SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1540

SAT Math: 800

SAT Verbal: 740


Writing, Theatre, Philosophy, Military

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that sometimes the best learning happens by accident, when games and mnemonic devices make things stick in the mind. At other times, it takes work to learn, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun. Even standardized tests can be viewed more like puzzles and logic games. Sometimes the trick doesn't come with memorizing lists of information, but from seeing how things work and finding the simple solution.

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

For test prep, I'll typically go over the basics of the test and some general strategies. Then we'll look at a number of practice questions to give me an idea of where the student is in each category. I'll also ask the student about his/her goals, strengths, and challenges.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I believe most of a student's learning depends on individual follow-through between sessions. I encourage my students to set goals, take practice tests, and use flashcards or apps. I also try to iterate to students the skills I see in them so that they can feel confident and know how to play to their strengths.

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