I've always liked tests. I sensed early on that to do well, you couldn't just know the material, you had to know the test itself. I enjoyed discovering the unwritten the rules of tests and using them to my advantage. It's this same skill that I hope to pass on to my students.
My penchant for test taking helped me to academically excel. I was valedictorian of my high school and scored a 1590 on the SAT. I graduated with honors from UC Santa Barbara, where I majored in acting and directing. Before becoming a tutor, I worked in NYC as a writer and copy editor.
My creative background informs my approach to tutoring. It allows me to make lessons fun. It helps me to actively listen and pinpoint not only what they don’t understand, but why they don’t understand it. It gives me the ability to think on my feet, to attack a problem from a different angle or explain a concept in a new way. After all, tutoring is not just about knowing the material—that’s the easy part. It’s about relating information to the individual student, adapting to their unique learning style.
My method consists of breaking the test down and categorizing questions by type. For each type of question, there’s a tried and true approach for how to tackle it. I also teach test taking techniques and shortcuts, what I’ll often refer to students as their “bag of tricks.” These “tricks” will save time and allow them to get even the questions they don’t know how to solve.
My approach isn't one-size-fits-all. A strategy that works for one student might not work for another. My job is to find the process that works best for each student and adapt my lessons to meet their individual needs. This may mean I source additional materials to help them understand a topic or try out a new technique until I find what works for them. While I bring years of experience and expertise to each session, I know I have to stay flexible to find a plan that is tailored to each student.
WHAT MAKES ME DIFFERENT
No matter the subject, I take a holistic approach to tutoring. Beyond each test taker is a human being with a busy schedule, nerves, and unique challenges. This means I’m not solely focused on teaching content; I'm also helping students develop skills like organization, time management, critical thinking, and confidence. I talk openly with students and parents not only about scores and skill mastery but all the other components that make progress possible. If study habits, motivation or self-belief are lacking, I suggest ways we can make improvements. My hope is that the skills my students learn extend well beyond a single test.
Perhaps my greatest asset as a tutor is that I am passionate about what I do. While results are ultimately the goal, my personal aim is to instill in my students a belief in themselves and a life-long love of learning. I love seeing a student light up with the realization that something that seemed beyond them is finally within their grasp. I believe there is tremendous potential in each of my students. My mission is to give them the confidence and skills they need to feel that nothing is out of reach.