Hi! My name is Wyatt Miller. I'm a San Francisco Bay Area native that will be returning to Loyola University Chicago for my senior year of undergraduate studies in the fall. At Loyola University Chicago, I'm a History Major/English Minor with a specialization in cultural historical analysis. Before I attended Loyola University Chicago I attended both American University in Washington D.C. and Diablo Valley College in Concord, California. I have an enormous passion for the academic subjects that I study, and I want to share that passion with everyone I meet.
This translates into my tutoring work; I don't just want to see students succeed, I want to help them gain an appreciation for the underlying subject at hand. I wasn't always a strong student; it took a lot of work and maturation to get where I am today. I find this a strength in connecting and empathizing with students-- I know what it's like to struggle with schoolwork. My desire to help others overcome and master academic obstacles informs my approach to tutoring. With patience, hard work, and a good sense of humor, I hope to work together to strengthen studies in History, English Language and Literature, ACT Test Prep, and the various stages of brainstorming, structuring, writing, editing, and revising essays and personal statements at all levels.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Loyola University-Chicago - Current Undergrad, History
ACT Composite: 31
ACT English: 33
ACT Reading: 35
Music, comedy, film, pop culture, sports (Go Warriors!), literature, history, and food. Really, mostly food.
College Level American History
High School English
High School Geography
High School Level American History
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Passion for the subjects, creative and cooperative problem solving, a good sense of humor and a strong sense of empathy.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Introduce myself, share my experience in the area, and really get to know the student-- their struggles, their preferences, and define the shared goal that we are going to work towards. Also, I'll make a lot of lousy jokes.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By building, learning, and refining simple tricks and systems, the student can participate in defining what works best for them, and the tools that they'll be most likely to use in independent study and academic work.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Energy is infectious! The excitement that I have in helping others to learn and succeed helps create a fun, relaxed, and encouraging atmosphere.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
The presentation of difficult material in a new way is one of the best tools that a tutor has. Repackaging subjects with humor, pop culture, and the specific interests that the student has are all strategies that help a student see stale topics in a new light.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
The development of strategies and simple tricks to help a student gain better reading comprehension skills is crucial. Encouraging students to practice reading regularly, whether the newspaper in the morning or websites relating to their interests and hobbies, is a big habit that can help build confidence and competence.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I think getting to know the student is the most important step. Understanding how they learn and how to best incentivize and encourage that learning is critical to building a strong working relationship that is tailored to the student.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Understanding where the student is coming from, and where the student's strengths, habits, and interests lie is a huge first step to working through disinterest. By combining the energy with which I approach academics with creative solutions that present information in a variety of different ways, I'm confident that we can work through the student's struggles.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
There are definitely tools and methods that help a student feel like they've mastered an area, like quizzes, practice questions, and memorization. Those are important, but real confidence also comes from understanding the underlying themes, purposes, and concepts that drive the subject at hand. Through conversation and guided learning, a student gains not only the knowledge of when certain things happen or which literary devices are which, but also an understanding of why these things are important.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
The relaxed, open atmosphere that I encourage will help students feel comfortable describing difficulties. By seeing what materials the student brings to the table in the first few sessions (and what work we generate for practice), I can better refine my approach to give students the tools and confidence to succeed.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Creative problem solving is an integral piece of being a tutor. Not every approach is right for each student. By establishing and learning a student's preferences, I can better tailor my strategies to their needs. For each student, however, the overall approach is similar: empathizing and understanding where the student comes from, how the student likes to learn, and what the student's interests are.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
At Varsity Tutors we have access to tons of practice problems and online resources. Outside of those materials and the materials that the students bring to the table, I like to find internet articles, books, and other accessible resources that relate to a student's interests and hobbies. Building writing and reading assignments around sports teams, fun television shows and pop culture provide a fun and engaging way to get students to relate the work that we do to their lives and the world around them.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Quizzes, practice problems, and additional writing and reading assignments are all important to demonstrate competency and comprehension. More important than assigning those, however, is the work of going back and examining, in a collaborative fashion, what was easy and what was hard. Explaining where problems came up and figuring out how to navigate through them is where lasting understanding takes place.