My first experience teaching and tutoring was in May 2005 in Taipei City, Taiwan. It was a formative experience for me because I was teaching and tutoring students whose native language was not English. They truly helped me grow as an instructor because of the cultural and linguistic challenges that they brought to the fore.
My tutoring philosophy is simple. Teach a student how to think and study. In the academic sphere, this is akin to the old saying teach a man to fish… It is important to me to dialogue with the student about his or her goals and apprehensions with a given subject. Communication is crucial because it helps me the tutor and the student set milestones that are achievable with a certain time scope.
I love learning and sharing with others the things I learn. There’s no better reward for me as a tutor than to help a student see just how interesting history, languages, literature, poetry, art and politics can be as subjects. It is a great joy reading and learning about these subjects and I have never met a student that does not come to enjoy these subjects as well in due time.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Cornell University - Bachelors, Government & Spanish & French Literature
Graduate Degree: Columbia University in the City of New York - Masters, Islamic Studies & Counter-terrorism
Sailing, reading great literature and poetry, walking, hiking, eating awesome cheese, traveling the world.
College Level American History
College World History
High School English
High School Level American History
High School World History
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My best teacher taught me how to think. This way I could read and study any subject, and form my own questions and conclusions. Learning how to think will be the most effective way to arrive at the truth and learn to be an independent thinker. Truth will set you free.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I spend a little time getting to know the student first. Then I ask how can I help you? Once we get to the root of the problem, we can create an action plan together that will tackle the needs of the student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By teaching the student how to think.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By reminding the student of the bigger picture. Each student has his or her own dreams for the future. Connect the educational responsibilities of today to those dreams and ambitions of the future. It is important to figure out if the student is taking on more than he or she can handle academically as well. Also, verify if the student has enough downtime in his or her schedule so that the student can avoid burn out.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Probe the student in order to gauge what it is they do not understand. Try different methods of teaching. Bring in a variety of video tutorials or additional practice. Stay persistent, but allow the student time to digest the skill or concept that needs to be learned.