I originate from the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area and have recently moved to New York with my fiancée. While I miss the steady, temperate climate of the Bay Area (seriously, it’s either kinda warm or kinda cool year ‘round), I am looking forward to the adventure of living on the East Coast and experiencing legitimate seasons for the first time!
Prior my move, I tutored AP US, AP European, and AP World History, AP Government, and taught SAT and ACT prep classes for a Bay Area based College Prep Academy. I also wrote several historical and literary articles for a startup educational software developer, and worked alongside my best friend on a successful political campaign for a local city councilman. In a nutshell, I am abundantly passionate about anything history related and/or political in nature.
I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History from San Jose State University in 2010 and capped it off with a Master’s Degree in Military History from Norwich University in 2013. In my downtime, I used to constantly tinker on my Ford Mustang. Unfortunately, the ‘stang could not make the trip back east, and is currently being store with my family in California. To occupy my free time, I binge watch hot rodding shows on the Velocity channel, read fantasy novels, play video games, or simply jam out to some epic Power Metal.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: San Jose State University - Bachelors, History
Graduate Degree: Norwich University - Masters, Military History
Politics, history, muscle cars, football, video games,
AP US Government
AP US History
College Level American History
College World History
High School Economics
High School English
High School Geography
High School Level American History
High School World History
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that every student has the ability to succeed if they work hard enough. Of course, much of any student's success is determined by his or her learning methods, which are not all the same. I do not believe in the standardized "cookie cutter" approach to teaching that is implemented in public and many private schools; instead, I try to analyze what each student excels at naturally and then cater my lessons to their strengths. Many of the subjects that I teach are widely regarded as "boring" or "dry" which, to be honest, is not an unfair opinion. The onus falls upon me, the teacher, to take these boring subjects and make them as interesting as possible to keep my students engaged. This is a skill I know I will never master, but I endeavor every day to improve.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My first session with a student is typically a low-key, low-impact "meet 'n greet." I take the opportunity to get to know my students on a personal level to try to foster a productive mentor/mentee relationship. Every student has his or her own unique story, and I find it to be detrimental to learning if teachers do not recognize and accept their students' dynamic individuality. During the first session, I also try to isolate what difficulty each student is facing regarding the subject at hand so I may shape my material to best fit that student's learning technique.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Practice, practice, practice.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Positive reinforcement is key! Students need to feel they are doing well in order for them to actually do well.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I approach the concept at a different angle, or use a different teaching method until I find something that works.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I can help break down readings into easier to understand chunks, but unfortunately, repetition is the most important aspect of reading comprehension.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Trust and honesty pay dividends.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
The onus falls on me to make the subject interesting or entertaining.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I ask open-ended questions a lot, and if the student prefers, I can put together quizzes.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Success builds confidence.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I read body language and other non-verbal cues, but most of the time, I rely on my students to be open and honest.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By any means necessary.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I tell stories, make personal anecdotes, and tell jokes that are relevant to the subject. PowerPoint and YouTube are also powerful tools.