Having grown up in NJ and gone to high school at The Collegiate School in NYC, I'm well acquainted with many of the schools in the area. I attended Skidmore College as an undergraduate, where I studied the intersections of philosophy, government, religion, and history. Skidmore was also where I began to gain formal experience working with young students, specifically by working as a Classroom Assistant. After graduating from Skidmore with honors, I began to work on my MA at The New School for Social Research, where I am focusing on Ancient, Modern, and Contemporary political, legal, and moral philosophy. While at graduate school I have begun to tutor a number of students, many of whom I have now been working with for over a year. My greatest assets as a tutor lie in my mastery of the english language, skills in logic and conceptual organization, and versatile ability to explain to students complex ideas with which they find themselves frustrated and struggling. My goal is to restore students to a thoroughly self-sufficient status in their academic endeavors, an aim which pursue by focusing on the identification of students' advantages and disadvantages, and attempting to develop a unique plan for each student as to how we might capitalize on their strengths so as to neutralize their difficulties. I can be flexible about hours, and would be happy to receive email inquiries from any interested parents or students.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Skidmore College - Bachelors, Philosophy
Graduate Degree: The New School for Social Research - Current Grad Student, Philosophy
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1540
SAT Math: 740
SAT Verbal: 710
SAT Writing: 800
GRE Verbal: 170
SAT Subject Test in Literature: 740
SAT Subject Test in Biology E/M: 740
Philosophy, Shakespeare, Biking, and Star Wars
ERB WrAP Prep
High School English
HSPT Language Skills Prep
HSPT Reading Prep
HSPT Verbal Prep
SAT Subject Tests Prep
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Student motivation is contingent upon a combination of self-confidence and the desire to become better. By fostering these qualities in a student, a tutor can uphold the student's motivation, even in strenuous or frustrating academic situations.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Students with reading comprehension difficulties will benefit by developing a method of notation that fits their style of thinking, one whereby they can work thoroughly but not at any great expense to their speed. Once these students are equipped with such a mode of notation, and once they learn to anticipate the information they will be asked to recall, these students will excel in reading comprehension evaluations.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Philosophy was originally defined as the love of wisdom. This in mind, the philosophy teacher's primary objective must always be to cultivate a passionate fascination with the world's mysteries, and an appreciation for the subtleties and technical complexities from which our experience with the world derives. A student invested with these qualities, regardless of the content of their particular beliefs, becomes a philosopher.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Students will become independent only once they have both the means and the motivation to complete their work without external support. This requires not only that the tutor help the student remain confident yet ambitious, but also that the tutor acquaint the student with all the resources and skills by which the student might operate independently and pursue his or her own interests in the absence of any supervision.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student is unable to understand a concept after having had it explained in the same way more than once, it is probable that the student is becoming entrenched in a particular interpretation of whatever it is the tutor is trying to explain-- an interpretation that is not working. As a result, rather than repeating the same explanation, the tutor must attempt a new approach so that the student will have to develop a new perspective on the issue, one whereby they might have a better opportunity to understand the difficult concept.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The identification of the concrete and general issues a student regularly experiences can take time. My initial approach is to engage in a particularly wide variety of exercises so as to reveal most thoroughly the range of difficulties with which the student is confronted, after which we can reasonable narrow a range of focal exercises so as to treat the specific areas of concern.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Rather than merely explaining a concept and asking if the student understands, I prefer to use a method of leading questions so that the student remains responsible for the majority of inferences by which we arrive at our conclusions, ensuring not only that students develop the skills to eventually work independently, but also that they develop confidence in their own abilities.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Until a student's scores genuinely improve, the primary way to uphold their self-confidence is by emphasizing the promise of improvement on the bases of individual instances where the student succeeds in situations where they formerly fell short.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Like with an apple one examines for ripeness, the tutor must consider the student from all academic angles before he or she can determine with any certainty the student's personal difficulties and unique strengths, as well as ways in which these might relate so as to best empower the student. This in mind, the most effective way to evaluate a student's needs is to work with him or her on a wide variety of activities early on-- even some that the student might identify as easy rather than problematic.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Once we have identified the problems at hand, students and I try to work on testing out different ways by which we might approach each particular issue, so as to ascertain if one way might be more accessible to the student than others, rather than repeatedly and futilely attempting some particular and predetermined approach.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The materials I have on hand at a tutoring session vary significantly, depending on the particular subject matter on which we are working. I always have with me my laptop, a day-planner, writing utensils, and lined/graph paper. Contingent upon the particular circumstance, I sometimes bring flashcards or a calculator, as well as, perhaps, scissors and tape (for a unique editing exercise I learned in college).
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
For the first session, as long as there is not some particular project on which I was asked to work with the student, I try to engage in as wide as possible of a variety of different activities, so as to best get a sense of the particular advantages and disadvantages of the student, as well as the ways in which we might capitalize on the student's strengths so as to neutralize his or her difficulties. Also, of course, I always pay close attention to the student's level of confidence in general and with respect to various activities.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Although it is hard to say in the abstract, the best way to get a student interested in a subject that they either find inherently boring or too difficult to be worth their effort is by manipulating the content with which we work within that subject so as to make it overlap, parallel, or formally resemble some other topic with which the student is already fascinated. In this way the student, being naturally attracted to his or her personal interests, will find ways to appreciate the new material that he or she did not, until recently, find compelling.