As a kid, for my first few years of school I attended a bilingual Montessori program called Intercultura. There, I discovered the joy of organic learning. I eventually went on to study in more traditional schooling environments, including majoring in Economics at Washington University in St. Louis. However, I never forgot Intercultura and the freedom it allowed me to pursue my budding academic interests. I have tried to bring that same principle of student self-construction into my role as a tutor; whether I've been preparing collegians for the LSAT, or helping kindergarteners learn to read. I enjoy working with each student to find the best way for him/her to attack the subject material. I am able to tutor on a variety of subjects, but I'm especially passionate about test prep! I'm currently traveling around Europe and South America, before I start law school at the University of Texas this fall.
Undergraduate Degree: Washington University in St Louis - Bachelors, Economics
Graduate Degree: The University of Texas at Austin - Current Grad Student, Law
ACT Composite: 34
ACT English: 33
ACT Math: 34
ACT Reading: 34
ACT Science: 35
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1520
SAT Math: 760
SAT Verbal: 790
Running marathons, brewing beer, and re-reading Lord of the Rings (not all at the same time)
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Writing
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
What is your teaching philosophy?
I'm a big believer in meeting the student where they're at. I want to find the style of learning that works best for each student and find a way to break down the material in that particular style. I don't want to lecture material; I want the student to discover the material themselves. It's my job to help them do that!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Talk! Get to know each other, chat about the relationships each of us has with the subject at hand, and set a game plan for how we're going to attack the subject.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By boosting his/her confidence, and by helping to present the material in a way that is fun and natural to that particular student.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation is something I think about with all my students. I think there's short-term and long-term motivation. Short-term, it's important to keep each lesson fun with little goals and games. Long-term, I make sure to have an on-going discussion with the student about how this particular subject is important to their own life goals.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would put the concept in terms of something they already do well, and break it down piece by piece so that it doesn't seem as daunting.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension is a lifelong skill! It's something that's difficult to teach over a few short sessions. My advice to students that struggle with this is to read all the time outside of our lessons. Find books that interest you (I'm always happy to recommend some) and don't stop!
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I've found friendship, empathy, and organization to be the most successful strategies. Get to know the student, understand where they're coming from, and work together to create a plan to attack the subject at hand.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would frame the subject in terms of their long-term goals, as well as try to tailor the subject to their interests.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I like to have the student play teacher in order to really show me they understand the material. This includes teaching me the concept at hand or having them design a relevant problem for me.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Praise and practice! Consistently compliment what they've done correctly, and continue to work on what they haven't.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By getting to know them. Once I know a student, I can tell where they're struggling, or they'll go ahead and tell me outright.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt everything about my tutoring to the student's needs. If they need a task-master, I'll stay on them. If they need motivation help, I'll find ways to do that. If they need encouragement, I'll be their cheerleader.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
It depends on the subject, but a whiteboard and a marker are the building blocks of tutoring.