I'm a Ph.D. candidate in the English Dept. at UC Berkeley back in NYC to finish my dissertation. Over the past few years, I've taught students at a wide range of levels including: College literature and composition classes at UC Berkeley, Middle school writing classes, High School Essay Writing and SAT Test Prep classes, SAT/PSAT tutoring, and High school tutoring (English and History).
I'm fluent in French and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris for a year during my previous life as a Historian. When I'm not tutoring or working on my dissertation, I do some freelance writing. It's a cliche to say that my writing informs my teaching while my teaching improves my writing, but it's also true: the constant effort to improve my own work helps me to understand what my students are going through, while my work as a teacher and tutor gives me a fresh perspective on my writing. I always stress that writing is rewriting. One of my happiest moments as a teacher was when one of my students won the UC Berkeley English Department's annual Essay Prize last spring with a paper I helped her to revise.
In terms of test prep, I aim for a balance between tricks (outsmarting the test) and skill development (boosting a student's reading comprehension, vocabulary, etc.). I used to be skeptical about test strategies; I got a perfect verbal score on my own SAT and consistently scored in the 99th percentile on the verbal section of every standardized test I ever took without resorting to any kind of special technique. However, as I've worked as a tutor, I've come to realize just how *many* of those tests I took for practice before I took the real thing. By the time I sat down to the real SAT, I'd been steeped in test-prep culture for years. Even if I didn't intentionally set out to attack the test with "tricks," those tricks were embedded in my subconscious. Now, when I work with students to prepare for tests, I try to make sure they have the same level of preparation and comfort that I had as well as the skills to succeed.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Sarah Lawrence College - Bachelor in Arts, Literature
Graduate Degree: University of California-Berkeley - PHD, English
SAT Verbal: 800
writing, cooking, getting reacquainted with NYC
College Level American History
College World History
High School English
High School Level American History
High School World History
Study Skills and Organization