With experience in tutoring both high-achieving high school students at Walter Payton College Prep and struggling students without access to other tutoring resources at multiple elementary schools, I know just what kind of an impact an individual tutoring experience can create. I've loved all of my tutoring experiences, and I haven't found anything more rewarding than seeing the students I tutor excel in their classes.
Having just finished a rigorous semester at Harvard University after spending four years at Walter Payton College Prep, I have experience with a wide variety of rigorous AP-level courses, including AP Physics C, AP Calculus, and AP English Language / Literature and Composition. I also know that hard work pays off, having earned the top score of 36 on my ACT and perfect scores of 5 on 10 Advanced Placement exams. In working with my students, I try to not only help them find success in their specific problem subjects, but in all areas of academics. I try to teach them problem solving and time management strategies that they will find useful throughout their academic careers. Most importantly, I make myself wholly available to my students, always ready to help them succeed.
As a four-year state competitor on my high school's Math Team and previously a Math Team member at my elementary school I have experience both in introductory math courses and in higher-level AP courses, including AP Calculus BC. As the Tutoring Coordinator for my high school's chapter of the National Honor Society, I've spent two years coordinating student tutors and tutoring students myself in subjects including Physics, Geometry, and Algebra 2 / Trigonometry.
I try to be as flexible as possible in terms of scheduling, and am happy to travel to tutor students at locations of their choosing. Alternatively, I've also found coffee shops and libraries to be great study spaces. I look forward to hearing from you and helping your student succeed!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Harvard University - Current Undergrad, Economics
ACT Composite: 36
ACT English: 36
ACT Math: 36
ACT Reading: 35
ACT Science: 36
SAT Composite: 2340
SAT Math: 800
SAT Verbal: 760
SAT Writing: 780
I love to swim and play water polo, and I'm very interested in entrepreneurship.
AP US History
Elementary School Math
High School Business
High School Economics
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Study Skills and Organization
Technology and Computer Science
Q & A
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I really believe not just in helping my students succeed in the subjects they're currently struggling with, but in teaching them problem-solving and independent learning strategies that can help them succeed in all areas of their academic career. Often, a problem-solving strategy that I teach my students when they are preparing for the ACT can be applied on their upcoming math tests, or a critical thinking strategy my students learn when they are struggling with their literature classes can be applied to other areas of the humanities, such as history or writing.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I always make sure that my students and I have both qualitative and quantitative metrics to let us know where we stand on a subject. To make sure that my students really understand the material, I always give them a pre- and post-test to quantitatively demonstrate improvement, and I solve problems together with them to make sure that they aren't just getting the right answer, but are also using the right strategy to get to it.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I always tailor my tutoring strategy to an individual student's preferences and needs, but I typically try to bring a mix of teaching and practice materials to my sessions. Most often, I'll bring a handout to complete with the student and walk through the subject matter; a set of practice problems for us to complete together; and a similar set of homework problems for the student to complete independently, with some challenge problems at the end. My past students have found having the walkthrough handout and practice problems really helpful when completing their homework!
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I find that students always perform better when they themselves are excited about their learning. To get students passionate about a particular subject, I often start my lessons with brainteasers or sets of "challenge questions." Working through these kinds of puzzle questions with my students puts them at ease and really improves the quality of our lessons.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I always make sure that my students have a lot of feedback to let them know how they are doing in a subject. Specifically, I've found that my students' confidence really improves when they see the difference between their pre- and post-tests in various lessons, providing empirical evidence of their improvement.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I always give my students an evaluative pre-test during one of our first meetings to really get to know their strengths and weaknesses. I ensure that my pre-tests have a few questions from every topic within the subject the student is interested in. Once I score the test, I can help my students reach their goals by targeting their weaknesses while reinforcing their strengths!
What is your teaching philosophy?
Although I adapt my teaching style to every student's needs and preferences, I'm generally a very big proponent of the "learn by doing" teaching philosophy. While I always start my lessons by walking a student through the material, I spend the bulk of the lesson working with the student through a problem set. I've found that actually doing problems rather than listening to me talk about them helps students build confidence and develop their own problem-solving strategies, and it helps reveal any weak areas we need to revisit in future lessons!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I find that getting to know my students during our first session and telling them a little bit about my non-academic hobbies and interests really sets the foundation for a successful tutoring relationship. I also discuss the student's needs and preferences, both with the student and the parents and give the student a brief pre-test to learn about their strengths and weaknesses in the subject area.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I think that establishing an appropriate relationship when first starting to work with a student is very important in setting the foundation for future success. I always try to be both friendly and professional with my students, setting clear goals and expectations for their work while making sure that our lessons are fun and exciting, and that the students see them as an opportunity rather than a chore.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
While I always try to include brainteasers or "challenge questions" in my lessons to make them fun and vary the lesson structure to avoid repetitiveness, I also have experience working with students who are particularly struggling to stay motivated. One strategy that I've found really helpful for such students is breaking down problem sets and homework assignments in digestible chunks. For example, rather than telling a student that they need to finish 15 problems before our next meeting, I show them that they can finish the assignment by just spending five minutes doing 2 problems every day.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I think that establishing good communication is the best way to ensure that I'm creating the best possible experience for my students. I check in with them at the end of every lesson to see if they would have liked to do anything differently, and I always encourage them to bring up their own ideas for learning exercises. In general, having specific data from a pre-test where a student is struggling really helps me tailor my lessons to the student's weakness areas.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I know that everyone learns differently, so I make sure to explain lesson material in a variety of different ways when students are struggling to understand a specific skill or concept. I've found that doing an example problem for the students, working with them through a couple of problems, and watching online videos about a topic have been great ways to explain tricky concepts to my students.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
In my experience, I've seen two strategies especially help students who are struggling with reading comprehension. Breaking a passage down and working through it paragraph-by-paragraph has helped some students think more clearly about the ideas and not be as intimidated by the text. Outlining passages and writing summaries has helped other students, particularly those inclined towards mathematics and the sciences, clearly establish the logic of the ideas.