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Studying for all of this at once can be annoying. However, it can be fun if you let it. That doesn't mean it won't be work to master the topics BUT it means that it doesn't have to be painful.

I spent my college career studying many topics. In undergrad, I minored in Computer Science and majored in Cinema Studies. Essentially, I love math and science but am also a very artistic person (and I really love film). To drive that home, my MFA is in Film Production. Both degrees were obtained from NYU. I received a 1550 on my SAT when it was out of 1600.

My education career has been in the arts. I taught Editing at New York Film Academy and was the Chair of Post Production there as well. Throughout all of this, I have always kept my math and science skills sharp, mostly because I just love the subjects.

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Shawn’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: New York University - Bachelors, Cinema Studies

Graduate Degree: New York University - Masters, Film Production


Film production, puzzles, video games

Tutoring Subjects



Creative Writing


English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

Fiction Writing



High School Writing

Mac Basic Computer Skills


Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Office

Middle School Math


Performing Arts


Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Technology and Coding


Q & A

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Bonding. I find that the most important step is to create a foundation of trust, and go from there.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Two things. 1) Ask questions about the material or skill that probe deeper than just a sample question. 2) Supply sample questions that they must answer on their own.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

I like to begin with the student's materials, whether it's a textbook they use in class or homework for that day. Once we've worked through that, I like to use worksheets and scrap paper. I like it to feel like a project, not a class.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that the bond between teacher and student is most important when it comes to teaching. If a student cannot trust or enjoy time with a teacher, then they are cannot focus on the subject that is being communicated.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I will split the time between getting to know the student and the subject itself. Obviously, we need to work on a tutoring subject, but I want to know who my student is and what they are like. I find that getting to know each other will make future sessions more enjoyable.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

First of all, it's important to make sure that the student wants to be an independent learner. From there, it's all about giving them the resources (online and text) and tools (e.g. methods and time management) to get them headed in the right direction.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Relieving pressure and managing time. Failure can be demotivating, but so can exhaustion. It's important to remind them that this isn't life or death; it's education, and education takes time. With that in mind, it's also important to take breaks and talk about something else every once in awhile, or just grab some water.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Speed and repetition. It's important to teach at a speed that the student can handle. That will ensure that you can guide the student to the right answer. Once they have gotten a correct answer with you, it's important to repeat the skill or concept so they can get the right answer without you.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Complex paragraphs can be hard to handle, so breaking it down into pieces is essential. Break the paragraph into sentences, and break the sentences into words. Treat the reading like a tower that must be built. Let the student find the parts they understand, and build up to the full tower, brick by brick.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Vocabulary is important. Words like "should" and "never" can feel judgmental or discouraging. Instead, I find probing questions to be helpful, such as "what if you try...". When they see that they can handle it, it's just a matter of letting them steer the boat.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

It depends on the subject, but there are a couple key ways: asking questions about the student's methods and supplying sample problems. The first part is about me being as engaged as they are; I am learning about how they learn, so I need to ask questions. The second is about actively seeing how they work and what subjects they do and don't understand.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

This revolves entirely around me being engaged with the student. If I pay attention to tone of voice, body language, and work results, I'll know how to respond in kind. Teaching is a relationship and, like any relationship, you must listen.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Begin slowly and work up to engagement. I mustn't expect the student to suddenly want to dive into a difficult subject. Instead, I must create a path that they want to walk down. This involves starting easy and offering proper encouragement. Most of the time, a student can learn the subject; they just might not want to. If you show them that they can handle it, at the very least they will be engaged, if not excited.

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