I started my career as a learning differences tutor in college, where I volunteered at a juvenile detention center. My students there were mostly working towards their GEDs or graduating from their home high school. The obstacle we faced together wasn’t the material, but their beliefs about themselves and what they were capable of learning. If I could convince them that they could learn something, and that it was worth their time to learn it, they could learn anything.
In fact, in all my time as a tutor for students with learning differences, I’ve never met someone who couldn’t learn what we met to learn. I bring that approach and mindset I learned early in my career to every program.
My qualifications include:
- Nine years of one-on-one tutoring experience.
- Currently studying for a Master’s of Education from Villanova University (expected graduation date 2022).
- B.A. in Storytelling from the College of William and Mary, where I also minored in Computer Science and Religious Studies.
- Nearly five years at Inspirica, a New York based private tutoring firm that has provided exceptional tutoring to select clientele for nearly 40 years–first as a full-time test prep tutor, then as the Education Technology Manager.
Before I was a learning differences tutor, I:
- Scored in the 99th percentile on the GRE, using the same study methods I now teach my students.
- Attended William & Mary as one of four 1693 Murray Scholars in my class of about 1,800 (a full-ride academic scholarship).
- Scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT, though I didn’t yet know why my method worked.
- Attended the Loudoun County Academy of Science, a competitive STEM magnet school in Northern Virginia.
My Philosophy of Education
Though my career often requires me to be a businessman, a researcher, and an IT specialist, I consider myself an educator first and foremost. I take this responsibility very seriously, and I strive to be the very best educator I can be. This does not always mean pursuing the highest test scores or the best grades in the class. In fact, I find that, for most of my students, high test scores and good grades are merely a side effect of our work together.
I believe that education is the single greatest force for change in the world, and that the purpose of education is to empower people to change their lives for the better. As an educator, my role is to guide my students in building their own future. As a one-on-one tutor, my role is to do that through meaningful collaboration and transformative dialogue, not a one-way transfer of information. I also believe that self-reflection and self-awareness can and should be taught, and the liberatory potential of education lies in learning to understand yourself and change yourself.
My philosophy of education is rooted in the American educational tradition of Pragmatism, but is heavily influenced by the work of Paolo Freire. My methods vary based on the subject being taught, but I prefer an inquiry-based approach to most academic subjects. For test prep topics, I prefer to teach strategies for timing/pacing and strategic guessing before teaching content. In all areas, I take a data-driven approach to my methods, and assess regularly to adjust my approach for each student.
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