Before working with Varsity Tutors, I spent two years working full time with talented but under-resourced high school students gain access to prestigious colleges and universities. During that time I developed a tutoring style that is rooted in energetic working relationships and a thorough evaluation of student skills. I believe that tutoring is only effective when a student benefits from it long after our sessions are finished. For this reason, I stress that my students focus on and internalize the process and approaches that we review during our time together. My expertise lies primarily in teaching reading and writing. A writing instructor I seek to imbue my pupils with the ability to produce essays that are cogent, well structured, and display a distinct voice. When working with students on reading, my main objective is to make sure that they have a specific way to tackle dense passages with maximum retention. My methodology for test taking centers on context dependent process of elimination and the utilization of comprehension rather than memorization.
I graduated from Claremont McKenna College on a full-ride scholarship with a B.A. in Government and Legal Studies and have familiarity with the college admission process that I would be happy to share with clients. Some of the best moments of my teaching career thus far have been celebrating admissions to Stanford, Occidental, MIT, and Dartmouth with former pupils and guiding six juniors in high school to scores of 10 and above on the ACT writing section in 2014-2015. I find times like these to be extremely rewarding and expect to have more of them in the future.
In my spare time I like to read (working on David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest" currently), follow the Cubs, Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks, and learn about global politics.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Claremont McKenna College - Bachelors, Government and Legal Studies
Reading; Chicago Sports; Horseback Riding
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Work on understanding who the student is, what his/her goals are, and then outline the best way to get there.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
One way is to ignite genuine intrinsic motivation in a given subject matter by helping the student develop mastery over it. It is easy to want to do something when you feel that you are good at.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By helping them keep track of the progress that they've made and consistently reminding them of what they could still achieve.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Break it up into easily digestible chunks and review those concepts until the student demonstrates comprehension.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would introduce them to an active reading methodology that would reveal to them what developmental areas to target.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Developing a good working relationship and allowing them the opportunity to have some ownership over how we tackle concepts in a given session.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Ideally by helping them not struggle in it.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I have them teach me or someone else the concept.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By helping them understand that their proficiency in a subject will increase with their effort.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I don't believe in a catch-all approach. Each student deserves personalized assessment of their skills with respect to the goals that they seek to meet.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By evaluating their cognitive learning style and modifying our sessions thereafter.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Paper and pencil are my bread and butter. Depending on goals for a particular session, we might use multimedia platforms; a laptop is handy here.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Outcomes matter, but the process matters more.