I have over a decade of tutoring experience and have studied not just the content, but how the brain processes information and obtains peak performance. After all, as I often say, mastery is not just understanding the content, but understanding yourself as well. This experience makes me a particularly potent instructor as I have a deep understanding of the types of mistakes that students generally make and can often anticipate student's issues before they become obvious or grow to become a serious issue. Once I have accepted a student, I have a personal investment in that student and will go to great lengths to assure that they will succeed in the endeavour that we have committed to achieving.
Some people aren't good at tests. Well, I'm REALLY GOOD at taking tests! I'm a natural test taker. Being a stereotypical Asian American since my youth I have been put into a crucible of exam preparation. I always do well on standardized exams. Since I have done so many of these types of exams I have learned many tactics and strategies to achieve high scores. I am particularly good at tutoring students for standardized exams such as the SHSAT, ISEE, SSAT, SAT, ASVAB, GRE, and so forth. I've also provided consultation for students applying for schools and have helped students with their college essays and interview prepration as well.
I started taking college level math classes when I was in middle school. .When I got to college I decided to major in English because even though I had won writing awards in high school, I realized after a jarring experience in one of my college English classes, that I really didn't know how to write. (This is not surprising because on average English teachers in high school rarely spend even 5 minutes reviewing a student's writng.) Since graduating I have worn many hats. I have worked as a DJ going on tour in both the US and Canada. My music was sold in both the U.S. and Japan and I even have a track that was published with my group Soul Majestic by the American Bible Society! Since retiring from the music industry, I've also owned a game store and taught fitness and self defense. I have received a commendation from New York State Assemblywoman Ellen Young for my work teaching youth in Flushing, NY and have more recently volunteered at the Bowery Mission tutoring formerly homeless men.
As one of Varsity Tutor's top tutors I am happy to be working with you and look forward to our first appointment!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University at Buffalo - Bachelors, English
MCAT Biological Sciences: 11
MCAT Physical Sciences: 11
MCAT Verbal Reasoning: 10
Instruction, sustainability, self defense, music, fitness
COMPASS Mathematics Prep
Elementary School Reading
ERB CPAA Prep
ERB CTP Prep
ERB WrAP Prep
GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
High School English
ISEE-Lower Level Mathematics Achievement
Middle School English
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My approach is to first understand my client’s goals. From there I work to establish a solid framework based on good fundamentals. I seek to duplicate test conditions as much as possible, and prepare my clients for the typical tricks and traps used by test makers. I teach test taking strategies simultaneously while teaching content, for a test is given within a certain time frame, and being able to finish questions quickly and accurately is essential for achieving a good score.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would collect any graded information for review, and get contact information of all stakeholders including parents, teachers and so forth. I would identify the date of the next exam, and develop a game plan to assure a high level of performance on the next exam.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Teach the student study skills and give them the tools to self-assess and gauge their progress.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Find out what or who inspires them. Also I make the subject material relevant to everyday life, or explain how the subject material is relevant for future use.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I review the fundamentals to assure that the student has a solid grip on the tools that they would need to succeed. Often, to achieve mastery, it is not just enough to read the material. Often performing repeated sample problems will help the student achieve mastery.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I use a variety of strategies such as reading the question first, or underlining key words to bring attention to certain phrases. I also have students try to identify qualities about the writer to help them answer questions.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The best thing that a student can have is motivation. I try to identify why the student wants to succeed and then assess what resources the student has to get the job done.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I make learning relevant to students. My knowledge of the physical sciences gives me the ability to apply learning in a practical way.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Testing is the key. Students are tripped up in test questions when several concepts are combined. This mix of concepts often creates confusion on the part of the student.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I have the student execute problems and explain the material in a conceptual fashion.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I evaluate through testing and reviewing already graded material. I interview the student, parent, and other teachers.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I believe that all students are capable of achieving. Solid fundamentals are the key to performance.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I like to use review books as well as textbooks if time permits.