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I'm a recent college graduate living in West Philadelphia. I graduated from Oberlin College in May of 2015, where I majored in Environmental Studies and minored in Politics. I love to play music, dance, make art and play basketball with my friends. I'm passionate about youth education and mentoring and I think everyone deserves the opportunity for a quality education. I have been tutor with Varsity Tutors for over a year, and volunteered as a tutor with the National Honor Society and Let's Get Ready - an organization that offers free SAT-prep for underserved youth. I love to tutor in social studies, humanities, and life sciences, and have a lot of experience in tutoring for AP and SAT tests. My basic outlook on education is that 1. Everyone is intelligent and capable of learning 2. People have diverse interests and passions 3. Everyone learns in a unique way. If we spend our time following our passions and figuring out what learning style works best for us, than our education can be transformative. One of the primary problems of our education system is the lack of individualized learning time, and personal relationship building between teacher and student. I think we tend to use a one size fits all approach with education because our schools and teachers don't have the time or resources to respond to the needs of every student. I believe that 1-on-1 tutoring, mentoring and education is essential for developing learning practices that are effective for you. I'm excited to work with you!

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Jackson’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Oberlin College - Bachelors, Environmental Studies

Test Scores

SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1550

SAT Math: 720

SAT Verbal: 800

SAT Writing: 760


Writing, playing music, gardening, playing basketball + soccer

Tutoring Subjects

AP Comparative Government and Politics

AP Human Geography

AP United States History

AP US History

College Level American History


Environmental Science

High School Level American History


Homework Support


PSAT Critical Reading

PSAT Writing Skills

SAT Reading

SAT Subject Test in United States History

SAT Subject Tests Prep

SAT Writing and Language


Social Studies

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Test Prep

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that education should be liberating. Teachers should not insist on rote memorization and spend time force-feeding students the "right" answers. Instead, good teachers pose challenging problems and open-ended questions to provoke thought, discussion, and further questioning. Education should teach us to question the world, and question the authority of those you think they know all the answers.

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

I would try to get a sense of what subjects they are passionate about. I would also try to figure out what kind of learner they are, and under what conditions they learn best. Everyone's mind works differently, no one style of teaching will work for everyone.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

No one will want to learn independently about a subject they aren't passionate about. In order to become an independent learner, one must discover what their point of entry is, why they feel connected to learning more about a given subject.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivation is cultivated in both internal and external ways. Externally, the best thing I can do for you is to offer encouragement, praise, and direction. Internally, you need to find out what keeps the fires inside of you stoked.

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

First, I would try to relate a story about a time where I struggled with learning a skill or concept so the students know they are not alone. Second, I would go back a few steps to make sure the preceding concepts made sense. Lastly, I would try to explain the skill or concept through multiple media - visual, verbal, aural, textual, or narrative.

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

I think all reading is an act of translation. Not all writers (even those writing in 'standard' English) speak the same language of students in the 21st century. Reading comprehension is about 'making it plain,' or rephrasing something in terms that make sense to you.

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

It's important to work on a mixture of subjects, both those you already feel passionate about and those you don't have a passion for yet; those you find easy, and those you find challenging. Every student needs to feel a sense of accomplishment and a sense of something to strive for. I won't make my students bang their heads against a wall with material they don't like or don't understand. We'll work on a variety of subjects and projects throughout the time.

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

I will work hard to find the connection between that subject and something concrete in their own life. Too often, the learning we do in schools feels disconnected, abstract and unimportant in relation to everyday life. Sometimes it seems like a stretch, but everything is interrelated, and there is always a purpose for learning.

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

I want students to be doing most of the talking. I will pose a series of questions and will consistently ask students to demonstrate their understanding, rephrase their answers, and connect their learning to other areas of study.

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

Confidence (like motivation) is built through the connection between internal and external validation. I can do my best to support your learning and offer praise and encouragement, but you need to find that confidence within yourself in order to succeed.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I like to speak with a student for a good long while about their interests and passions, as well as the subjects/topics/classes that they struggle with. A student is the best judge of their own strengths and needs.

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