I'm an actor, writer and musician living in New York City. I grew up in Minneapolis, MN (by way of Palo Alto, California). I graduated from Northwestern University in 2014, with a B.A. in Theatre, and a minor in American History.
I love working with students of all ages, and helping young people on their own personal paths to success. I'm a huge baseball fan (my team is the San Francisco Giants), and am passionate about my craft of working professionally in theatre and film.
In working with students, I'm all about working hard on the goals we set together, while having a good time. I like to take the pressure of the student's shoulders, instead focusing on equipping students with the best tools in their academic work, and their test prep. Academics should be fun and engaging, not intimidating, and together we'll make it that way.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Northwestern University - Bachelors, Theatre
ACT Composite: 32
ACT English: 35
ACT Math: 30
ACT Reading: 32
ACT Science: 30
SAT Writing: 720
theatre, film/tv, music, reading (usually fiction), writing (plays, screenplays and essays), baseball, playing piano, singing/a cappella
1st Grade Math
2nd Grade Math
3rd Grade Math
4th Grade Math
5th Grade Math
6th Grade Math
Elementary School Math
High School English
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in tailoring lesson plans and exercises to a student's personal ability--or where a class at large identifies its academic needs. Teaching is all about helping students on their own personal paths to success; there is no general road map.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a one-on-one first session, I would start by asking the student to evaluate her/his individual strengths and weaknesses, urging the student to be as plainspoken as possible about both things. From there we would evaluate what we wanted to focus on in our studying; every student has strengths and weaknesses, and studying is most helpful when you know what you're really aiming at.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By helping them feel that they have the appropriate tools at hand. Test taking, especially the SAT and ACT, are about evaluating a student's ability to take a test--not about evaluating their knowledge or brainpower. Once armed with the right kind of tools, a student can succeed on their own, using their particular brand of knowledge.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By reminding them that progress in academia--indeed, in learning any kind of skill--takes time. Nothing happens without concerted effort, but nothing is truly impossible.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Take the pressure off the student by going back to basics, which is always helpful. Reviewing the fundamentals and building from there helps students see that even the most complicated-sounding question is always answerable.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
By building a habit of going slowly while reading. Maybe even stopping after each sentence to talk--out loud--through what that sentence was trying to say, or how it was relevant to a given question. Building up the skill of analytical reading is hard, but happens through dedicated work.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Starting from a place of evaluating the student's individual skill set. Each person has strengths and weaknesses, and it's important for me to know where the student has confidence, and where he/she lacks confidence, and then go from there.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By making it personal or applicable for them. Reading passage after passage about 18th century British royalty can be a total bummer. So I would supplement that reading with my own passages, or other options, about topics I know the student would be jazzed about--sports, or movies, or politics, or whatever!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
By constantly assessing a student's comprehension or ability to use tools we've been working on. That means asking a lot of questions, and spending time doing just a couple review questions, to hopefully cement a student's understanding or mastery of a concept.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By tying it to their own individual strengths. Even if a student feels they are bad at writing, or at reading comprehension, across the board--they're not. Spending time on the early part of building a relationship between a tutor and student is key, because that gives me an idea of where the student is coming from, and to honor that starting point.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By asking them directly, sometimes in the context of a test problem or a prompt. We would look at the problem together, and I would start by looking at the student's instincts in how to assess the problem. Again, they'll always have something helpful to work from, and from there we can tackle the areas in which they need more solid footing.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I believe in having lots of good, fun and exciting assessments to tackle. So that might mean one long passage that I know will be fun for the student to work on, or one essay prompt to write that I know the student will be jazzed about. And that content will dictate how we're going about working on it--we might need a big whiteboard where we can outline an essay, we might need an iPad, we might need good old-fashioned pencil and paper. Basically, it's totally variable.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
By starting from a point of their strengths. Academic needs are just the flip side of academic strengths--and there are ALWAYS two sides to that coin. I believe in not having one set curriculum that I want to dispatch with for every student. Having certain problems or prompts at hand is, of course, necessary, but a specific road map for all students is not helpful. The road map of assessments and skill building should be personalized to each student, based on their strengths and weaknesses.