I have a passion for helping people to understand things that can help them succeed in life. Education is so important, and normal classroom settings are usually not enough for students. I love working with people one-on-one and making concepts that seem difficult more clear. I also love to work with kids; I'm currently a private piano teacher and work with both kids and teens. While I have no professional tutoring experience, I have tutored both my peers and younger students throughout middle school and high school. I have a patient, calm, and friendly approach, and try to get the student to answer their own questions by helping them along the way. My deep understanding of the conceptual side of math, physics, and music allows for me to think of multiple ways to get my point across, in order to cater to each student individually.
I have a Bachelor of Arts in music from Harvard University, and I also took classes there in math and physics. I have a strong understanding of math and physics, at and below the AP level. I am more than proficient at SAT level math, and and have a strong understanding of the material on SAT subject tests for math and physics. I look forward to working with you or your child!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Harvard University - Bachelors, Music
piano, running, skateboarding, reading, gaming
High School Physics
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Most importantly, the student must understand the material conceptually so that he or she is able to reach solutions on his or her own in the future. Patience and encouragement are key components of my approach.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I ask the student which concepts he or she feels most and least comfortable with. I also have him or her answer a series of practice questions to get a better idea of his or her strengths and weaknesses. Then, we go about working on one of those concepts, and I explain it in a clearer way that caters to the student. Then, we can try more questions that relate to that concept.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
What is most important is understanding concepts and strategies. I won't rest until I am sure the student truly understands the material.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I am incredibly calm, patient, encouraging, and friendly, and I am very aware when students begin to get frustrated. I cater to each student's abilities and temperaments. I explain that learning is a gradual process and that as long as they are trying the right way, they are doing well.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I think of alternative ways to explain concepts, and I take things slowly when necessary. If a student still has difficulty, I explain that learning can take time, and it is something that we will continue to work on. Sometimes it is good to take a break from a concept and come back to it later in the session.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
As this was something I struggled with as a child, I can relate. It is important to think of a reading passage in terms of its components, such as setting, characters, conflict, etc. There are helpful strategies such as underlining important information, or taking notes as you read.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I like to have the student explain his or her thinking process out loud to me, so I can see how he or she goes about solving problems. I get to know the student on a personal level so I can explain concepts in terms that can relate to his or her own life. I also evaluate them through practice problems to see where their strengths and weaknesses lie.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Creating examples that better relate to the student's personal life helps (i.e. football physics problems if the student plays football). I keep the mood light so the student does not feel frustrated. I have multiple strategies for keeping them engaged, but it really depends on the student.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To be sure that a student understands the material, I give them multiple practice problems that all relate to the same concept but differ in their approach. That way, I can be sure they didn't simply memorize a formula for answering one type of question.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I speak to them humbly and never act like anything is "easy," but rather that it can be simple once they understand it. I am patient, calm, and understanding of each student's strengths and weaknesses. I am very encouraging, but I know when to back off for a brief time when a student begins to get frustrated. I never ever give up on teaching a concept, but I know when to give the student a break.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Besides asking the student what he or she finds more or less difficult, the best way to evaluate the student's needs is by seeing how he or she handles practice problems.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
It is most important to listen to the student, and I encourage them to be vocal and to never be shy about saying they don't understand something. I also have them explain their thinking process out loud, so I can see how they go about solving problems. I get to know the student on a personal level so I can relate strategies to their interests.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Pen/pencil, paper, calculator. Beyond that, it depends on what I am tutoring. If it is test prep, we would use a book that has multiple practice tests. If it is homework assistance, we would use their assignments. If it is general concepts, I have textbooks from high school with practice problems we can use.