A lifelong learner, I spent most of my education being the student other students came to when they struggled. I have therefore had ample opportunities to learn what it takes for students to succeed. This has led me to instruct students in everything from Elementary school math to graduate school research projects. My specialties are Writing, History, Test Preparation and Social Sciences. I strongly believe that the key to educational success is for students to take ownership of the material and to accomplish teachers to make learning personal. I strive to understand each students' unique strengths and struggles and tailor my presentation to their needs.
I earned my B.A. from Colorado College in International Political Economy. I have a Masters of Public Policy from Pepperdine University and I am currently applying to PhD programs in International Development and Foreign Policy.
Outside of academics, I am an avid gamer, both tabletop and video games. I frequently travel, both for pleasure and for gaming competitions. I am also an avid hiker and mountain biker. When not working or gaming, you can find me wandering mountain trails.
As I stated above I believe that forging a personal connection between the student and the material is the key to education. The teacher's job to identify and facilitate that connection and encourage the student's curiosity. People learn best when they want to learn. Information should be manageable and engaging and assignments should fuel a desire to learn more. To do this I will ask my students a lot of questions and listen carefully to all they have to say. My job is to show them the path to the answer and encourage them to walk it themselves.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Colorado College - Bachelors, International Political Economy
Graduate Degree: Pepperdine University - Masters, Master of Public Policy
SAT Verbal: 760
GRE Verbal: 167
History, Hiking, Historical Sites, Video Games, Broncos fan.
AP US History
College Level American History
High School Business
High School Economics
High School English
High School Level American History
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every student has different interests, needs, and abilities. As a teacher it is my job to identify these and tailor my presentation and style to engage my students and make them want to learn.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My first session will always be about the student: What are their interests? Where are their struggles? What have they tried before and how did it work? Once I understand what brought students to me, I will ask them to show me how they work and how they respond to questions. From there I will discuss how the student and I can address their struggles and move forward.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The key is to make the student want to learn more. To do this, a teacher must encourage curiosity. This is achieved by giving the student enough information to instruct them, but leaving enough to the student to make them investigate for themselves.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
In my experience most unmotivated students lack confidence in their abilities. To overcome this, a tutor should show the student that they already do know the material, they just don't believe that they do.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Ask them to explain to me what they understand. Once I understand that, I can present the remaining material so it builds from what they already know.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading is a skill, and to improve any skill requires practice. The best practice occurs when the student wants to practice. Challenging the student with interesting material that they want to read gives them the drive to practice reading to overcome the struggle.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
At the beginning it is critical to establish a connection with the student and learn where they're coming from, what their difficulties and strengths are and what they have tried in the past. Once I know what the student already knows and what hasn't worked I can tailor the material to those needs.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Make it personal to them. If I can find something that the student feels a strong connection to in the material then the student will engage themselves.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Have them explain it to me. Their answer is more enlightening than any other metric.