I’m currently researching oncology at Columbia University Medical Center during my gap year between graduating Brooklyn College in Chemistry and hopefully matriculating to medical school. I have a passion for people as well as the sciences – something medicine [and teaching/tutoring] will allow me to pursue simultaneously.
With a background in Chemistry and high score on the MCAT, I am well versed in mathematics, biology, biochemistry, physics, and chemistry enough to relay that information intelligently and creatively. I've been tutoring these subjects for about 2 years and have broad experience with students ranging from high school to post-graduate. My favorite subjects to tutor are mathematics, physics, and chemistry because of their formulaic structure.
My teaching philosophy is structured in that I believe if you put in the time, you'll succeed! Tutoring as I see it augments a good study plan.
Something interesting about me is that I headed a creative writing magazine in college and that a play I wrote is to be performed (and produced) this February in NYC!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: CUNY Brooklyn College - Bachelors, Chemistry
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior: 129
Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems: 130
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems: 130
Athletics (Cycling, Running, Swimming), Theater, Writing, and going on crazy Roller Coasters.
10th Grade Math
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Math
9th Grade Math
MCAT Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
MCAT Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
High School English
High School Physics
High School Writing
MCAT Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My strategy for success with academia is to allocate a realistic number of hours required to excel in a subject. Sometimes a daunting subject can be conquered with just a little bit more time; however, a subject's difficulty can often dissuade a student from pursuing such efforts. Put in the time, and you'll succeed!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
At a first session, I like to see what a student is strong with (and what they're weak with), so I can personalize my sessions. I usually do an overview of a given subject and spend time on what a student has the most anxiety about.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I see independent learning as reliant on a strong foundation of a subject. For example, it would be difficult to solve a complex physics question on refraction without a strong foundation in algebra. For this, I would aim to get "to the bottom of things" in a subject which sometimes means going back and reviewing early material.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation is applied interest and energy. Sometimes a student's energy might be down because what's happening in their life is beyond the classroom. Sometimes a student's interest is down because the material is unappealing. I would work with a student struggling in motivating him or herself with both these areas, helping them prioritize and showing how material is applicable.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would give a student struggling with a concept or skill small opportunities to succeed as success is built stepwise.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension may be one of the most difficult subjects to learn because practically everyone reads. To excel in this subject, one needs to think analytically and "out of their head." I would help a student struggling with reading comp using this mentality.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
My strategy when beginning to work with a student is to gain an understanding of where they stand with their subject and what's expected of them. I then try to see how the given student learns and then personalize lessons for him or her.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I believe if a subject's applicability is understood, it becomes extremely exciting. (For example, to learn about atomic structure and relating that to how rocket fuel works!)
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
My technique for student success is to learn material in context of problem solving. If a student can solve a problem on their own, in my books, they know their stuff!
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Confidence comes from experience. To build confidence, I would work with a student going over concepts, technique, and problem solving.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I like to evaluate a student's needs based on their shortcomings. What is a student having most trouble with? Let's work on that first.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I personalize my lessons to meet the needs of students by assessing their shortcomings and listening to them. If someone says, "Hey, I'm having trouble with this part," it's probably true, and I'll spend more time helping them with that area!
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
My favorite materials for tutoring sessions are textbooks, teacher's handouts/PowerPoints (if applicable), sample problems, and sample exams (if applicable).