Throughout my academic career, I always found ways to make hours of studying enjoyable by coming up with silly mnemonics, jokes, and puns about the material I would have to otherwise dryly trudge through. Whether it was my preparation for AP exam week, pre-med course midterms, MCAT, medical school finals, or my USMLE Step exams, I always found that the best way to manage stress, avoid burnout, and memorize material effectively was to make it fun rather than a chore. By combining my hobby of performing improvisational comedy with my passion for teaching, I've developed an engaging style of tutoring over my 3 years of experience as a college and med school TA. After graduation from St. George's University School of Medicine, I'll be pursuing an MBA in healthcare management and applying for residency in psychiatry, a field I'm deeply passionate about.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Stony Brook University - Bachelors, Biology & Political Science double major
Graduate Degree: St. George's University School of Medicine - Current Grad Student, Medicine (MD)
MCAT Physical Sciences: 11
MCAT Verbal Reasoning: 10
MCAT Biological Sciences: 10
Improvisational comedy performance, Motivational speaking, Creative satirical writing
Anatomy & Physiology
MCAT Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
High School Biology
High School English
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Learning material should be fun and engaging- so I always do my best to incorporate entertainment with my teaching. And I'm a strong believer that proper stress and anxiety management is just as critical to academic success as standard studying techniques.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know you! The most effective teaching sessions are those where there's a natural connection and comfort level between tutor and student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
To me, a good tutor should be like Mr. Miyagi- a guide that helps a student discover and develop his or her own innate talent and ability, rather than just lecture at them and forcefully supplant their own learning style. I like equipping students with an array of guidelines, techniques, and tricks to help them enhance and build upon their own studying styles.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
It's often tough to maintain focus and motivation when staring down overwhelming amounts of tough material and feeling stress mounting. This is where learning effective stress-relief techniques are essential for combating anxiety and preventing mental burnout. My psych background equips me to incorporate psychological support methods for students to benefit from so they can maintain motivation regardless of the challenges they face.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is a lot like learning how to swim- odd analogy, sure, but follow me on this. The initial flailing can feel overwhelming and frustrating at first, but with proper guidance on fundamental techniques and plenty of supervised reading practice, what was once a struggle turns into an ever-strengthening ability. Reading comprehension is one of the most fundamental elements of learning, and simply being told a method isn't effective enough unless it’s reinforced through copious practice.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
There's three potent yet simple strategies that I like employing: 1) being receptive and adaptable to a student's changing concerns as our tutoring sessions progress, 2) offering genuine support and respect by treating students as my future colleagues, and 3) tailoring my teaching style to complement their strengths and maximize their engagement.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Speaking from my own experience with a lot of subjects I myself didn't find much pleasure in, the best way to engage with learning is to make it entertaining and enjoyable! Find fun and creative ways to relate material to a student's personal interests and voila!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Practice questions are always key for testing yourself to see if you've grasped the material, especially when you not only reinforce why the right answer is correct, but also review why the wrong answers are incorrect. The best way to ensure mastery of a subject is to enable students to become their own tutor and confidently teach it back to you.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Practice questions can often be a double-edged sword, boosting confidence when a student answers correctly, but also potentially demoralizing a student if they're wrong. This is where having a supportive and encouraging tutor is crucial! Even when a student answers incorrectly, so long as they understand their thought process and grasp where they may have erred, they'll surprisingly find that its their corrected mistakes that they remember best.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Communication is key- not just during the initial meeting, but throughout the entire tutoring experience across each of the sessions. Students’ needs can change, and a good tutor should be cognizant, responsive, and flexible to ensure confidence and comfort.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Find out where in particular in a student's thought process they're getting tangled up, and either guiding them slowly and more carefully through a concept, or approaching a concept from a completely different perspective.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
This is where being an improvisational performer is perfect- my stagecraft is all about thinking on your feet and adapting to dramatically changing settings, characters, and environments. A student’s needs are much the same- if he or she need more time to digest and process material, or perhaps want to push forward with material he or she is already confident in, I as a tutor will be flexible enough to tailor my teaching to match the student’s pace and style.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I'm a very visual learner, and I prefer using diagrams, illustrations, cartoons, and graphs to teach material. On top of that, I utilize a lot of practice questions to reinforce and solidify a student's confidence and mastery of material.