I’m a 2015 graduate of Cornell University with a BS in Business and a minor in Natural Resources. I recently worked as a fraud customer experience analyst at Capital One. However, I have always maintained tutoring as a part of my life since my first tutoring job in high school.
I have experience in a very wide range of subjects and, as a kid at heart, have made lasting friendships with my students. Most importantly, I have results. I realized my passion for tutoring when my first student achieved a 98 on his test immediately after our first session, a big jump from his then D average.
Outside of work, I love to draw silly comics, run outside and appreciate the architecture of DC, read mystery thrillers, try new restaurants, write reviews, and slowly complete my coloring book.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Cornell University - Bachelors, Applied Economics & Management
SAT Composite: 2220
SAT Math: 790
SAT Verbal: 720
SAT Writing: 710
SAT Subject Test in Chemistry: 790
Adult coloring books, Running outdoors, TV, Wine Tasting, Swimming, Comics, Suspenseful Books
High School Accounting
High School Biology
High School Business
High School Economics
High School English
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Results and relationships come first. Tutoring is about adapting to the middleman role between the student and his/her studies. In order to achieve results, a good teacher has to understand students' unique obstacles in both life and school, make learning fun, constantly develop innovative strategies to cater to students, and never give up.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
The beginning of every first session is diagnostic. I share 5-minute life stories with my student and will start with the most relevant material. I always ask students to begin solving problems on their own before I teach them to gauge their current skill and evaluate how they approach problems. Then, I walk through the problems with them and close the topic with mnemonic devices. At the end of every session, I randomly fire questions from all covered topics with a focus on ones they have the most difficulty with.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I wean them off slowly. I offer remote guidance over text and email if necessary, and I outline self-study tips and a studying framework for how to most effectively remember material during my tutoring sessions. I recap these at the end of each session.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
1) Exploring their creative sides is KEY! Teach with diagrams, lists, mnemonic devices, crazy analogies, etc. Sometimes being able to tell a story with your schoolwork it makes it a lot easier to think about. 2) It's important to stay engaging, funny, and understanding of my students' personal struggles to develop relationships with student and family (if applicable). You want to be the smart friend that's coming over, not a pedantic instructor.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student can't understand a concept, it just has to broken down further. They can be buried under so many layers of not understanding they don't even know what question to ask. Always give your best, simplest explanation first. If they don't understand your explanation, break it down into the parts they didn't get and carefully explain those. This also helps me gauge the students' background knowledge and ability to understand the context of the skill/concept.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Don't start out reading fast. The foundation of reading comprehension is to understand why what you're reading was written and gauge the general tone. Mark words you don't know. Building a better vocabulary and appreciation for different writing styles takes a long time, but it's foundational for reading comprehension. I would also recommend reading ANY well-written book for 30 min-1 hour a day to help you get used to reading. This doesn't have to be Crime and Punishment or anything. Reading is a skill, like any other skill, that can become a weakness if not used for a while. The last step is learning to read fast. Standardized tests won't let you take your time and annotate and re-read each sentence twice. Once you're confident in your ability to understand, it's about learning how to quickly pull out the main ideas from a sentence and make short notes so that you remember what you read.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Be confident in introducing yourself and having a genuine curiosity about your new students. I find every student is relatable in a different way, and understand going into your first session that some may struggle more than others. Perform a diagnostic. Ask them to solve all the problems themselves first without helping them. Actively engage the student and probe them with questions instead if they don't even know where to begin to help them get started. If the problem is beyond diving right in, show them step-by-step how to do the problem and then ask them to do it again. I don't like to end sessions unless the student actually understands the concepts explained, so this also helps me personally gauge the scope of how much I can teach per hour.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Visuals and analogies. It sounds overly simple, but it's effective. Cater your analogies into games/experiences/TV, etc. that is relevant to your student. Building that association between schoolwork and fun will eventually help the student think that studying is fun.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I typically do not end a session without making sure the student is understanding the scope of the material. For problem-based subjects, I make sure the student can do each problem by breaking down the problem into as many components and explanations as needed, but I always save a few problems for the end. At the end of each session, I ask the student to quickly complete a problem of each kind to make sure that they have retained the material taught. For soft subjects, FLASHCARDS. Put anything useful for memorization on the other side of those flashcards, and repeat until it's been solidified.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Honestly, there is only one way: Results. Once a student can solve problems and see that success is possible, they will build confidence, but that confidence isn't permanent until they see a marked improvement in their performance.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Ask them directly. Usually you know you need to ask the student something if they've been silent for too long. What don't you understand? Are you feeling brain-dead? Do you want to start over? Do we need to switch gears for a second?
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Observe students as they work. You can gauge if the student is stuck/uncomfortable/tired/anything-but-gung-ho just by observing them. By constantly asking them what they don't understand and asking them if they understand key principles, I'm able to maintain transparency with their progress in order to track how close they are to where they need to be and set goals.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Any materials provided by the student, but if necessary, I can also write additional problems in minutes after I've familiarized myself with their materials.