Welcome to my tutoring page! As you can see, the graphics and text are pretty basic, no frills. But I'll assure you: the tutoring is not.
As my bio alludes, I've been tutoring (for money) since 2005. Informally, I've always been "the guy" friends and family called in to solve trickier academic problems. And since I never had a tutor growing up, I didn't know that tutoring was actually a career until I was long out of college.
Here's what makes my tutoring different from what else is out there:
- Breadth and Depth of Knowledge. One student summed it up when he said that I could give an hour lecture on anything anyone has ever heard about. Another parent said "you kinda have an encyclopedia going on in there." Why does this matter when learning introductory algebra? Because I have seen the subject matter presented so many times and in so many different ways to so many different students, I can help anyone, regardless of their personality, skill level, etc learn to talk/write in the language of the class being studied. Many times, academic subjects are taught in a "jargon"... I have enough experience to know how to unearth the plain language of what's being said.
- Integration of ALL Subjects and Phases of the Curriculum. Does your son have a gift for math? I can seamlessly integrate college-level multivariable calc into her high school AP class. Quite frequently, I introduce college-level ideas and skills clearly and seamlessly into the high school curriculum.
- Conversational Ability. In the beginning stages of tutoring, the lessons don't feel like classes or lectures, but conversations. I use this skill all the time to get students doing the math/reasoning/essay-outline indirectly. Sometimes a student is resistant or unmotivated to do the real work; othertimes, there's a real learning block--so much self-judgment, or a loud "inner critic"-- and the only way to "heal the damage" is to learn the subject indirectly: OUT of the academic context of performance, and IN the personal, heartfelt context of a conversation.
- Perception of Each Student's Innate Intelligence. From anywhere between a few minutes to an hour of working with students, I can see how they think (and how they don't think). I tailor every lesson to match the student's rhythm--and I'm quick to point out the ways in which that student has "secret abilities" to succeed.
- Focus on Cognition, Mindset, and Absorption. For years, I made a career almost solely out of tutoring SAT and ACT (or GRE and GMAT, or ISEE and HSPT). Nearly every tutor/course out there teaches the same tricks for multiple choice tests--and I haven't invented any new tricks either. But here's what I have seen: students do not acquire new test-taking skills unless they practice in a disciplined, focused, and playful manner. I train students how to be "cognitive decathletes"--although this is not for all students, those who take up the challenge with me will learn how to read a paragraph or make a difficult calculation in seconds.
- Emphasis on Body Language - how a student relates nonverbally with teachers oftentimes is the deciding factor between an "A" in class participation and a "B". I help students become aware of the nonverbal cues they give to teachers. Additionally, many teachers will "explain to the nod"--explain until a student says "yes I understand". Really? Usually the student is the LAST to know what "understand" even means. Not only do I train students to demonstrate what they know in front of me, I also show them how any nodding or nonverbal "yes" language actually makes it harder for the teacher to see what you know and don't know (and many teachers cannot do this).
When I work with a new student, I want to know a few things.
- What are you needing the most in school?
- What are you receiving the least from school?
*At the risk of sounding less-than-professional, several times parents have approached me after sessions: "Um... did you actually tutor? All I heard was a lot of conversation." Sometimes it's hard for me to explain that I was getting the student "conversational"--able to talk to a teacher in the subject. After a few 95% scores on quizzes, this "conversational" ability starts to make more sense. Check my blog, too, because I'll be posting more and more about the "art of conversational learning."