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I am a current graduate student at Columbia University working towards a Master of Science in Public Health and received my undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

After graduating from Reed, I earned my Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) and spent two years teaching English to adult and young learners in Colombia. I also taught a required course on American Studies to university students at the Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogota, Colombia. I have experience tutoring one on one as well as teaching courses of up to 40 students.

As a tutor, I prioritize understanding individual student's learning styles. While I offer structure and approaches that have helped me and others I know along the way, I understand that there are multiple ways to take in the same information. I believe that everyone is capable of learning just about anything given the right support and tools.

I am originally from St. Paul, MN and enjoy playing Rugby, reading (for fun), and debating big issues.

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Torra’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Reed College - Bachelors, Anthropology

Graduate Degree: Columbia University in the City of New York - Current Grad Student, Public Health


Reading fiction, public health,

Tutoring Subjects


AP United States History

AP US History

AP World History

College English

College Level American History

Conversational Spanish


English Grammar and Syntax


Essay Editing

High School English

High School Level American History




Social Sciences

Social Studies


Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Spanish 3

Spanish 4

Test Prep



Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I love learning, and enjoy supporting others through the process. Learning isn’t about being naturally good or bad at a particular subject but about strengthening your mind through hard work and perseverance. The brain is a muscle, and you can strengthen it! Someone might not be good at a particular subject in this moment, but everyone has the potential to be good at a subject as long as they are willing to put in the effort. My teaching philosophy is to support people through their personal learning process, to offer structured approaches to tricky problems, and to share my own experience and knowledge.

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

The first session will depend entirely on the needs of the student. I would try to understand what they hope to get out of the session(s) and outline an approach that meets their needs. This process may involve asking questions about what they are struggling with or are interested in learning. I may also have them walk me through a problem or hold a content based discussion (depending on the subject matter).

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Helping a student become an independent learner involves providing them with realistic and authentic projects and problems that mimic real life experiences, finding different ways that the subject matter relates to the student's interests, and by encouraging students to use their own knowledge first before providing structured feedback.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would offer words of encouragement and help students to visualize their end goal. Sometimes keeping the bigger picture in mind (what a student wants to learn the material for, where learning the material will get the student) can help with motivation. Additionally, framing subject matter in ways that are more appealing to different students is also helpful.

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