A photo of Ryan, a tutor from Sciences Po Paris

Ryan

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My work as a tutor started in music. In high school I tutored drums for a local band and soon discovered a love of teaching. In a relatively short period of time, I was able to bring several students from a beginning to an advanced level of drumming. I have since pursued education in international affairs and the social sciences. I completed my undergraduate degree in social science at Sciences Po Paris, France's premier institute for politics and international relations. My studies in France focused on presentation skills, effective writing, and gaining knowledge in a variety of disciplines including math, history, law, and politics. I concentrated on economics and sociology, focusing my studies further on Europe and the transatlantic partnership. I am now a first-year master's candidate at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, where I continue my studies with a focus on migration, refugees, and Turkey.

Among my greatest strengths are my language skills. Since high school I have learned to speak five languages apart from English: French, German, Spanish, Arabic, and Turkish. Learning these languages has also helped me in English. I have a strong knowledge of grammar, and have an array of tried-and-true methods for breaking down reading exercises in order to be able to read complex documents in other languages. Grammar is one of the easiest ways to break down complex passages in standardized testing, and is an invaluable skill for any profession.

The best learning comes from finding your passion and relating that passion to subjects you may not necessarily like at first. I find that students who are interested in the content of material are able to pick up high level skills very quickly, and are motivated to think about learning in their free time. For that reason, I target my tutoring to each individual student, trying to give examples the student can relate to, and assigning challenging work the student will be interested in. A student who loves history will not learn to read from a passage about molecular biology. Practicing on history-focused passages can impart the necessary skills to the student, who can then apply those skills to any passage, even one about molecular biology.

Ryan’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Sciences Po Paris - Bachelors, International Affairs and Transatlantic Relations

Graduate Degree: Georgetown University - Current Grad Student, European Studies

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 31

ACT English: 31

ACT Reading: 34

ACT Science: 30

GRE Verbal: 162

AP Calculus AB: 5

AP English Literature: 5

AP English Language: 5

AP European History: 4

AP Macroeconomics: 4

AP U.S. Government & Politics: 4

GRE Analytical Writing: 5

Hobbies

Politics, Language, and Culture are my major interests. I like to read, listen to music, visit museums, and watch movies in my free time.

Tutoring Subjects

ACT English

ACT Reading

AP European History

AP U.S. Government & Politics

AP US Government

AP US History

Business

College Business

College Economics

Conversational French

Economics

European History

French

French 1

French 2

French 3

French 4

Graduate Test Prep

GRE Analytical Writing

GRE Verbal

High School Business

High School Economics

Languages

Macroeconomics

Other

Social studies

Summer

Test Prep

US History


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I like to teach by connecting academics to personal interests. The best way to learn reading skills is by reading something you are interested in. From there you can apply those skills to any text no matter how difficult or boring. This applies to any subject, from reading to language, to math and history.

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

In a first session with a student, I like to get to know the student a bit. Assessing what the student wants out of the tutoring experience is essential so I can be sure to tailor my approach to the student's goals.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Independent learning is all about finding what you love and having the skills to learn things you don't like. I try to teach the student the basic skills to tackle problems more easily. A student who feels prepared to tackle any problem may just discover a curiosity about the world that wasn't there before.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivation is often about moving forward. Keeping a student motivated can be about knowing when to change from one type of problem to the next so the student can think about something different. Where possible, I try to link lessons to current events and the student's interests so they like what they are doing.

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

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, the best thing to do is approach the topic from a different angle. This can take the form of choosing a different reading passage in which to apply the skill or working with the student to change how (s)he approaches the skill. If the student thinks about the concept in terms of grammar it may be time to focus on structure; if a student thinks about the concept in terms of numbers it may be time to try drawing a picture to better visualize the problem.

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

Reading comprehension can be tricky, but there are a few tricks to help. One of these tricks is targeting information; this trick allows the student to ignore what may be a very daunting passage and focus exclusively on what the question wants to know. This also helps fight one of the biggest problems with reading comprehension: being overwhelmed by the whole passage or being worried about how long it takes to read the passage.

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

Starting to work with a student is all about forming a relationship and gaining a better understanding of how the student thinks. I like to ask the students to describe problems to me in their own words so I can get an idea of how they think. I also like to ask what their goals are so they can be reminded of the bigger goal when they are discouraged by small obstacles.

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

Helping a student get engaged is all about connecting the subject they struggle with to a subject they are interested in. Every subject has an impact on other subjects and the student always has an interest. Trying to overlap interest with difficult subjects helps create motivation and excitement.

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

Being sure a student understands material is about repetition and progressive difficulty. If a student seems to be getting the basics, I like to throw in harder questions that target the specific material. I will also take a break from the material for a session or two and come back to it to see if the student has really internalized the material and can reproduce their understanding after some time.

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

Building a student's confidence is about choosing the right questions and helping them find the right answer, not just giving it to them. It is important that a beginning student have easy questions with a few challenges to keep them motivated and moving forward. Too many difficult questions at the wrong time can just demotivate and demoralize students.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Evaluating a student's needs is about talking to the student. Starting a conversation with the student about how they learn and what they like gives me an idea of the approach I need to take to help them. From there, it is about continual adjustment as the student improves and their needs change.

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

I adapt my tutoring to the student's needs by choosing material that targets their needs. If the student struggles on grammar but could use help on reading comprehension too, I will choose exercises that target grammar exclusively, passages that focus on reading comprehension skills, and passages that do both. I tailor the exercises I provide to each unique student.

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

During a tutoring session, I will typically use practice books (for SAT, ACT, or GRE prep and for foreign language) so the student has a place to look for information between sessions. I will also normally assign the student tailored exercises dealing with current events or the student's interests to keep the learning process exciting, relevant, and motivating to the student.