A photo of John, a tutor from Princeton University

John

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I am thrilled to be working with Varsity Tutors to prepare students who are excited to achieve their academic goals. As a recent college graduate, I understand what its like to struggle with difficult concepts in a variety of disciplines. Learning can be hard, but the most challenging times often become the most rewarding. Overcoming obstacles builds confidence, inspires growth, and opens doors to further inquiry or exploration. This is why students leave my tutoring sessions feeling confident, inspired, and curious for more.

My tutoring philosophy is preparation for independent success. I work with students to find trouble spots, see patterns, understand concepts, and ultimately become adept at critical thinking, problem solving, and test taking. The tutor is only as good as the student can be after the session ends, which is why my sessions focus equally on preparation and results. I am excited to help students become independent problem solvers and lifelong learners.

John’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Princeton University - Bachelors, Economics

Hobbies

Reading, Running, Swimming, Writing, Backpacking, Dance, Theater

Tutoring Subjects

ACT Math

ACT Reading

ACT Writing

College Application Essays

College English

College Essays

Comparative Literature

Conversational Spanish

Elementary School

Elementary School Math

Elementary School Reading

Elementary School Science

Elementary School Writing

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School English

Homework Support

IB Extended Essay

IB Theory of Knowledge

Languages

Literature

Math

Other

PSAT Critical Reading

PSAT Writing Skills

Reading

SAT Prep

SAT Math

SAT Mathematics

SAT Reading

SAT Writing and Language

Science

SHSAT Prep

Social Sciences

Spanish

Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

TACHS Prep

Test Prep

Writing


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that any student can gain an understanding of difficult academic subjects if they are guided through the smaller concepts that make up the ultimate lesson. I also believe that guiding them through these concepts will help my students become independent problem solvers who are able to think critically and find solutions to complex questions.

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

In a typical first session, the student and I will get to know each other, and then we'll delve into the material. We will figure out what's working and what's not. Then, we'll create a list of trouble spots and agree to work to overcome them over the course of the session or sessions ahead.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

My tutoring philosophy is "preparation for independent success." This is why I work with students to see patterns, understand concepts, and ultimately become adept critical thinkers, problem solvers, and test takers.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivation is key to academic success, and motivation comes by overcoming obstacles and seeing results along the way. This is why it's a priority of mine to make discernible progress every session. That way, students will leave each session feeling confident, inspired, and curious for more.

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

Work with the student until he or she is able to explain it to me. Teaching is one of the best ways to learn. So after we work through and repeat solving a few iterations of it, I would have the student confidently explain the skill or concept to me. That is the best way to prove mastery!

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Informally talking about the passage, story, or novel is the best way to improve reading comprehension. I like to start by simply chatting and taking notes while we converse. This alleviates the pressures of formal writing or test taking, but prepares students to do so in the future.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

I like to know where students are confident and where they have trouble. So much of learning is connecting skills and ideas from one problem to the next. By knowing where students are confident and where they have trouble, I can guide their understanding of one idea into other areas where they have trouble.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

It all starts with small victories. Even the most difficult and unwieldy academic concepts were originally conquered inch by inch. That is why each little success on the way to mastery should be commended and celebrated!

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Some techniques include reverse tutoring (i.e., the student teaches the material to me), repetition (i.e., we repeat problems or skills until success is the norm), and informal discussion (i.e., we chat casually about the idea to build general confidence around the subject).

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Because confidence is so crucial when it comes to test taking, it's a top priority for me to have my students leave each session feeling as if they have accomplished something or made progress in their understanding of a topic. This might come in the form of reviewing at the end of the session all the things achieved during it, regardless of whether there are still things left to be learned.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Open dialogue is very important in any student/teacher relationship. I strive to keep the lines of communication open between the student and me so we can figure out the needs together. If the student is unable to dictate his or her needs, then I look at the student's performance on practice tests, sample essays, or problem sets to determine his or her needs myself.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

Each student learns differently. Just like any interpersonal relationship, you must adapt to the needs and goals of the individual. As the session or sessions progress, I like to work together to develop the best learning strategy in order to achieve the desired results.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I am a very interactive tutor. I don't like to just sit back and watch the student take a practice test during our session. I have pen and paper out and ready to go. Annotating text, working with graphs, and showing examples on the computer are all useful ways to holistically improve a student's understanding of the material.