I graduated from Swarthmore College in May with degrees in History and Spanish. I have since returned home to New York City and work primarily as an actor, although I am planning to enroll in the Latin American Studies program at the University of Oxford in September. During my junior year of college, I studied abroad in Granada, Spain where I lived with a host family and taught English at a local middle school. This experience of preparing for a class lesson and standing by the chalkboard in front of my students changed my understanding of both language and teaching. While one certainly needs a solid foundation of grammar and vocabulary basics, of equal importance are day-to-day examples and case studies that ground theory in fact. I believe this lesson applies to every academic discipline and I use it when instructing students in European History or English Literature or the PSAT Critical Reading section. In order to achieve a firm grasp over any particular subject matter, one must understand both the raw data - dates, names, sentence structures, vocabulary - as well as the times in life when theoretical knowledge must be made into practical experience. When teaching, I make an effort to pair the fundamentals with interesting and insightful examples that demonstrate why those fundamentals are important. In my spare time I like to read and write and play golf, soccer, and squash.
Undergraduate Degree: Swarthmore College - Bachelors, History
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1520
SAT Verbal: 770
SAT Writing: 790
SAT Subject Test in U.S. History: 780
Golf, squash, reading, writing
AP US History
College Level American History
High School English
High School Level American History
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe students need to understand both the fundamentals of a particular subject, as well as the everyday instances in which those fundamentals are applied.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would make sure the student has a firm grasp over the basics before proceeding to more advanced topics. Often, case studies make fairly rote topics more intriguing and easier to understand.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would encourage all students to read books. Even if the subject matter is as simple as sports, reading expands the vocabulary and encourages the student to spend time alone, which is the best way to become an independent learner.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I know how easy it is to get distracted, especially when studying subjects that one finds boring. It is important to take small breaks and talk with someone about other topics that are interesting. Likewise, there is always an aspect of any particular subject matter that will be intriguing to the student; it is important to determine what that aspect is.