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I am a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University with a BA in Theatre Arts, specializing in Performance and Playwriting. I have a long history of both professional and informal tutoring, including a year working as an ACT classroom instructor with Kaplan Test Prep, six months tutoring both the ACT and academic subjects with StudyPoint, and three years tutoring college-level writing. As my major suggests, I am enthusiastic about all the performing arts, including both on- and offstage areas. I also have extensive experience teaching (and practicing!) creative endeavors from poetry and fiction writing to music composition and performance. Just don't ask me to draw any hands! Despite my professional focus on liberal arts, I also have a keen amateur interest in science, primarily in physics (A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking was my introduction) but also in chemistry, biology, psychology, and sociology.

My teaching style is based upon the premise that knowing how to think is much more useful than knowing what to think. My sessions are characterized by frequent questions and discussion of basic concepts, making sure that each student understands not just the "what" but the "why" of each topic so that each new concept builds on the last. I strives to foster independence and a love of learning in all of my students, beginning with myself; it's always easier to remember concepts that were fun to learn!

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Smith’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Illinois Wesleyan University - Bachelors, Theatre Arts

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 33

ACT English: 34

ACT Reading: 33

ACT Science: 33


Reading, Writing, Video Games, Theatre Arts (Performing and Tech), Film

Tutoring Subjects

ACT Prep

ACT English

ACT Math

ACT Reading

ACT Science

ACT Writing


Algebra 2

American Literature

AP Music Theory


College Algebra

College Biology

College English

College Essays

College Level American Literature

Comparative Literature

Creative Writing


English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

Fiction Writing


High School Biology

High School English

High School Level American Literature

Homework Support



Middle School Math

Music Theory




Public Speaking



Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Test Prep


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in teaching the student, not the material; finding ways to get concepts across that each student can grasp and build on as easily and as naturally as possible.

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

In first sessions I usually discuss diagnostics (if any), goals, and learning styles, with special attention paid to any particular difficulties, and more importantly why those subjects might be more difficult.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

No one would do something independently that they didn't enjoy, so I strive to make learning not just easy but fun, looking for ways to tie concepts to a student's interests or life goals so they understand how knowledge can be entertaining and useful.

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