I am recent graduate of Bard College and the Bard College Conservatory of Music, where I graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance. I have several years of experience tutoring a variety of subjects, including Politics/Government, US History, ESL, and Beginning Mandarin Chinese. In terms of my experience tutoring Mandarin, I am particulalry experienced in helping students work on fundamental pronunciation and speaking skills. As a classical musician, I have had the opportunity to perform in fifteen countries. I am currently working as a political professional in New York City, and have experience working on a variety of political campaigns and in the government offices of U.S. Senator Tom Harkin and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. I am very enthusiastic about spending as much time as I can tutoring students in the variety of subjects I am qualified to teach.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Bard College - Bachelors, Political Science and Government
following the news, international politics, American politics, classical music, jazz, oboe
College Level American History
High School English
High School Geography
High School Level American History
Mandarin Chinese 1
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that my role as a tutor is to help students gain the necessary skills to become active participants in their own learning. Some of the best professors and tutors I was lucky enough to work with demonstrated that knowledge gained through active participation and learning is knowledge that is not easily forgotten.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I always begin by finding out what the student's goals are in learning or studying the subject. Then we can briefly discuss and mutually agree on a way to make our tutoring sessions efficient and productive.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I believe my primary responsibility as a tutor is to teach my students the necessary skills they will need to become independent problem solvers. Once the student feels they can fully utilize the proper tools, they become independent leaders.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I believe that in order to motivate students, the teacher needs to be passionate about the subject they are teaching, constantly searching for ways to make the learning process more fun, and showing their students practical ways in which the subject applies to their daily lives.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would break down the problem/question into several components and address each component individually in order to properly identify what the student understands well and what they need to work on.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Think together out loud.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Connecting the teaching material to real-life situations and scenarios.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I believe in starting with the question, not the answer. It's no secret that memorizing information is boring, but discovering the solution to a puzzle can be invigorating. Furthermore, I believe that any subject can be interesting once you get inside of it. Once that is accomplished, I find that an easy way to help my students feel personally connected to the material is to explore ways in which they can apply the material to their own lives.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I constantly ask my students questions in ways that are engaging. I believe that questions asked to students must be open ended, which allows them to provide a detailed response. I tend to avoid "yes or no" questions, as it doesn't tell me if the student can elaborate on the topic they just learned.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Give the student genuine praise. If you provide empty praise, I find that the student does not feel as motivated to push themselves even further.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I believe all of the following must be assessed: the student's academic achievement, interests outside of the subject, general preferences, social skills, and learning styles.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Having the patience and ability to adapt to students' individual needs. I understand that no two students are the same, so I believe that it is my job to be able to change my teaching style with each student.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
The textbooks/material the student is currently on. I prefer if the student tells me this information approximately 12 hours in prior to the tutoring session. I also have found educational Youtube videos extremely helpful to students who are better visual learners.