"Shoot for the moon; even if you miss you'll land amongst the stars." ~Norman Vincent Peale
Prior to achieving my Ivy League bachelor's degree in psychology, I initially discovered tutoring over a decade ago in middle school, where I first felt the life-altering gravity of personal fulfillment experienced both firsthand and secondhand upon wholeheartedly helping my classmates clearly comprehend that which had once confused them within the multitudinous sectors of academia: math, science, language, reading, and writing.
Learning from engaged Nutley public school teachers, seasoned Don Bosco Preparatory High School faculty - my high school English teacher of three years was himself a Harvard Law School graduate - and elite Harvard professors, I've amassed an invaluable registrar of the most positive and passionate didactic paragons from whom to glean my very own multidimensional repertoire of teaching methods, including but not limited to: auditory, audiovisual, visual, verbal, kinesthetic, didactic, Socratic, heuristic, lecture, discussion, demonstration, buzz groups, brainstorming, role plays, etc. Quintessentially, if you have a pulse, I can nimbly adapt to teach you in the exact manner by which you most efficaciously learn!
My tutoring experience stems from over a decade of unpaid peer tutoring in academia, as well as from two years of paid tutoring/teaching experience with Hearth and Elite after graduating from the College in 2014. Though it may be easier to ask which subjects I do NOT tutor, I'm comfortable tutoring virtually all academic subjects and age ranges, including but not limited to: SAT (M/CR/W), ACT (M/E/R/S), AP (Chemistry, Calculus, Literature, Language, History, etc.), Writing (fiction and non-fiction), Math, Science, English, Spanish, Reading, Writing, Management (time, talent, money, music, etc.), et al. My favorite subject to tutor is writing, which is likely because of my lifelong propensity for creative storytelling.
As I matured into adolescence and adulthood, my proclivity for creative storytelling blossomed into a full-fledged passion for the entirety of the filmmaking process: from the screenwriter's "Aha" finger snap to the director's final triumphant "That's a wrap", and then from post-production editing to pre-release marketing and after-market merchandising. When it comes to film, there is a certain magic to both the medium and the production process that draws me in on a visceral level, pulling me closer to a broader enlightenment through the objective eye of a camera lens. In addition to film, I'm an avid football fan, having played competitively from age 6 to 18, a prolific gridiron career which culminated gloriously in the 2009-2010 Don Bosco Prep Ironmen winning the State Championship in Giants' stadium and being unanimously named National Champions by Sports Illustrated.
After "retiring" from football to take fuller advantage of my Harvard education, I learned to scuba dive through the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) in order to pursue my most prominent passion yet: sharks. Not only am I an active conservationist in favor of the sustainable consumption and green management of our resources on land, but also and perhaps even more deeply, I'm an avid ocean conservationist, which, in turn, stems from my lifelong love of sharks. To me, sharks are one of the most misunderstood creatures on the face of the planet due to modern media's unfortunate mischaracterization of the aquatic apex predators that are so essential to our oceanic ecosystems as "malicious man-eaters", "demons of the deep", and much worse. Without sharks, our oceans would undoubtedly be laden with mercury, crossing seafood off the human menu, maybe forever. In addition to supporting a proactive green movement and active conservation efforts in all forms on Earth, I'm also a perpetually optimistic proponent of the Mars colonization effort in the foreseeable future, as well as a willing participant, should I be called upon for such honorable service to my fellow species.
My teaching style can therefore best be described as an acutely-adaptable, highly-integrated, ultra-concentrated, data-driven, and exceptionally-effective Blended Hybrid between Expert (experiential style), Authority (lecture style), Demonstrator (coach style), Facilitator (activity style), and Delegator (group style), which may be the reason that so many of my mentees tend to overachieve their academic goals with me as their motivational mentor. Most importantly, my mentees tend to greatly enjoy working synergistically with me to meet and potentially even surpass their goals!
"Shoot for Mars; even if you miss you'll land amongst the stars." ~Me
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Harvard University - Bachelors, Psychology
Football, Filmmaking, Writing, Scuba Diving
AP Computer Science Principles
AP Music Theory
Arrangement and Composition
College Application Essays
College Level American Literature
COMPASS Mathematics Prep
COMPASS Reading Prep
COMPASS Writing Skills Prep
Computational Problem Solving
Elementary School Math
GED Reasoning Through Language Arts
GED Social Studies
High School English
High School World History
High School Writing
Introduction to Fiction
Introduction to Poetry
SAT Subject Test in Spanish with Listening
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Special & General Relativity
Study Skills and Organization
Technology and Computer Science
US Constitutional History
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every student has his or her own preferred method of learning. As a teacher, I recognize that I have as much to learn from my students as they have to learn from me. By learning about my students' respectively preferred method(s) of learning, I'm able to teach each student more effectively and ensure greater long-term student retention of subject material.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know the student and his or her preferred method(s) of learning, as well as gauge his or her academic strength(s) and weakness(es).
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By helping each student discover the methodology by which he or she learns best. Should a student already know which methodology works for him or her, I can help that student become an independent learner by teaching him or her to be critical of the sources from which he or she independently learns.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By reminding the student of his or her short- and long-term academic goals, as well as the progressive goals that the student and I would have already collaboratively established and agreed upon during our introductory session.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Try a different didactic approach. In other words, change the teaching style in order to change the learning results. There are multifarious teaching styles, and great teachers can employ most, if not all, of them. Which teaching style applies to which teaching scenario ultimately depends specifically on the context of the individual student on a case-by-case basis.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Have the struggling student(s) specifically practice reading a passage of his or her own choosing aloud to me as if the struggling student(s) were giving a venture capital fund-raising oral presentation directly to his or her role model. Next, I would have the struggling student(s) paraphrase the passage in his or her own words. The combination of rhetoric with reading actually tends to render the otherwise humdrum subject of reading comprehension bearable for student comprehension, and implicitly invites each struggling student to find his or her own voice as a human being.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Be CTF. In other words, be: 1. Communicative 2. Trusting 3. Forgiving/Understanding. If a student starts to slip, this overarching CTF strategy serves as a stop-gap to ensure that the student doesn't spiral too far before the lapse is noted and addressed, which ultimately leads to long-term success in meeting each student's individual academic goals.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Directly relate the subject in which the student may be struggling to a topic or extracurricular activity in which the student is excelling. The more one knows about a given student, the more efficaciously one may engage that student by relating directly to his or her personal and extracurricular interests.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I firmly believe that a student has truly learned something when he or she can teach it. Thus, to be sure that a student understands the material, I would first test him or her on the material in a measurable way and, upon passing said test satisfactorily, I would then have the student teach the material back to me in his or her own words.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Start small/simple and build a firm foundation from there. Often, 1:1 direct comparisons/contrasts work best, as human beings tend to learn best through contrast-based analysis via one or more of the five senses. Once the foundation is laid, implement a "build-break-build" mentality from thereon. The "break" in between builds is designed to serve as a challenging test of knowledge between subsequent "builds" of the student's educational foundation.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Ask the student directly. The overarching CTF strategy works both ways. If a teacher is able to earn a student's trust by demonstrating genuine compassion for his or her needs, then the student will be exponentially more open about his or her true needs (a.k.a. shortcomings). It can be tough to admit to one's own shortcoming(s), because such an admission of weakness demonstrates vulnerability, which, in turn, requires trust on both sides in order to come to light. Gaining a given student's trust is thus the didactic key to gaining a clear glimpse at that student's true academic needs, and ultimately addressing those needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I would adapt my tutoring to the individual student's needs by implementing the "build-break-build" (a.k.a. the "build-measure-learn") feedback loop early and often in both a transparent and measurable way, so as to hold each student personally accountable for his or her own performance while independently and simultaneously tracking the student's progress myself.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
No tutoring session is typical, just like no two tutoring sessions are the same. That's what I love about tutoring! Lexicon aside, during most tutoring sessions, I usually use books, the Internet, various visual aids, pictures, PowerPoint presentations, and, last but certainly not least, music.