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David

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I am a junior at Hunter College pursuing a Bachelor's in both Chinese and Economics. I'm originally from Albany, New York, but before moving to New York City for college I spent a gap year in France living with a host family. I have a lot of interests, but my favorite things to do are traveling, reading, learning languages, listening to music and going to concerts, surfing, and going to the movies. My favorite band is OutKast, my favorite book is Flowers for Algernon, and my favorite movie is (I'm cheating) the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Surfing is my absolute favorite pastime though - it's both the most relaxing and the most exciting sport I've ever tried.
I have a lot of experience working with students in diverse subjects. In high school I volunteered every day after school to help underclassmen who were struggling in English and History and in preparing for the SAT. Since then, I've taught both English and French to language exchange partners - we sit down and I teach them my language for an hour, and then they teach me their language for an hour. My tutoring philosophy is that I'm not here to give you the answers; I'm here to provide encouragement, experience, and guidance. The specific strategies we use to help you reach your goals will depend on what subject we're looking at, but I will always adapt my style to best suit your needs.
I offer tutoring in French, Chinese, History, English, and test prep, including the SAT, ACT, AP, PSAT, SSAT, ISEE and HSPT.
For most students, the SAT and ACT are extremely important parts of your college application, which means there's a lot of pressure to perform. Too much pressure is never a good thing, though, so I will always go out of my way to keep students motivated and in high spirits. A typical SAT tutoring session will consist of three parts, one for each section of the test. The first problems we look at will be more general and designed to see where your strengths and weaknesses are. After that, we'll go over what strategies you can use to best increase your score. For example, if you're struggling with managing your time, we'll go over the best order in which to answer the questions, how to decide whether or not to skip a question, and what shortcuts you can take so you spend less time per question. If you're struggling with a particular kind of math problem, we'll go over the general theory being tested, how to decide which given information you need to use, and how to avoid falling for the tricks they like to put in the answers. Once we've gone over that, it's simply a matter of doing practice problems until you've got it. Every test will have different strategies, but you can expect this general approach for the ACT, SSAT, and any other standardized test.
English is the subject that I think most students struggle with because it's very open-ended. The most important thing for students is to learn how to read critically and form an argument. To that end, every tutoring session will involve us looking at passages, talking about the main idea, the techniques the author uses, how to figure out the author's tone and intent, and going over any words that are unfamiliar to you. On top of that, we'll review what you're studying in class; I'll happily help you with your homework, work on essays with you, and go over your assigned readings.
I have a deep passion for history and love to read about it, so teaching it is a lot of fun for me. History, like English, is about argumentation. You do have to learn the dates and events and important names, but it's far more important to learn to place those events and people in context and look for the reason why things happen. An average history tutoring session will consist of three parts: we'll first have a general discussion of the topic you're learning about, then I'll give you a quick quiz and we'll go over anything you need help on, and then we'll look at supplemental materials like videos and songs, and make our own materials like timelines or flow charts before wrapping up with a quick summary. Again, I'm happy to help with homework, essays, or assigned readings.
Languages are my absolute favorite subject both to learn and to teach - I think it's a lot of fun to learn how to speak and read all over again. The most important thing when learning a language is to not be afraid to make mistakes - the more mistakes you make, the quicker you learn how a native speaker thinks. There are four areas of competency in any language: speaking, listening, reading, and writing, and two building blocks: grammar and vocabulary. Every session will involve us practicing these. We'll go over what you're studying in class, reviewing the vocabulary and grammar and then practicing until you're comfortable. After that, we'll look at and discuss a short passage and a recording. We'll end each session with a quiz to make sure you're comfortable with the material and then have an open-ended discussion in the target language. For supplemental material, I'll send you music, movies, and fun videos to look at outside of class.
Above all, I try to make sure that every session is fun, engaging, and interesting. I'm confident that I can teach you the strategies that have worked for me and thousands of other students in learning these topics and passing these exams with flying colors. At the same time, every student is different, and I'm more than happy to adapt to your needs to help you reach your goals. I look forward to working with you!

David’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: CUNY Hunter College - Bachelor of Science, Economics

Undergraduate Degree: CUNY Hunter College - Bachelor in Arts, Chinese Studies

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 33

ACT English: 35

ACT Reading: 34

ACT Science: 36

SAT Composite: 2280

SAT Math: 700

SAT Verbal: 800

SAT Writing: 780

AP French: 4

AP English Language: 5

AP US History: 5

AP European History: 5

AP World History: 5

Hobbies

Reading, Travel, Surfing, Languages, Movies, Going out with friends


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

The teacher's job is not to provide you with the answers - it's to provide you with experience and encouragement, to help you figure out how you learn best, and to help you apply the examples we look at to whatever problems you may come across. It's also to make sure you aren't too frustrated - learning should be interesting and fun!

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

The first meeting is the most important. That's where we'll get to know each other, where I'll ask you what your goals are, and where we'll plot out a course of action to get you to those goals. Once we've established all that, we'll dive right in with a few problems!

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

A teacher can only help you so much - your success will depend on how much work you're willing to put in. I always try to engage students with fun videos, music, or articles related to what we're talking about, but it's up to you to follow through!

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Everyone gets overcome by life and work from time to time. That's not a problem! I want to work with you at your pace. I always come into a session excited and happy to be there, and most students pick up on that and respond in kind. I also try to mix it up - as a student myself, nothing drains motivation faster than a boring, monotonous class. And I always ask students what works for them. If you're having problems or not feeling motivated, tell me! I'll do whatever I can to make it easier for you to learn.

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

There's nothing you can't learn with enough practice! If a certain approach isn't working, there's almost always another way of looking at a problem. I'll work with you as long as you need to figure out what you're struggling with and why.