My Background & Philosophy
Over the past 20 years, I have enjoyed teaching a very diverse student population with a wide range of ages and abilities. But my career unofficially started when I was in elementary school. I was one of those annoying A+ students who didn't have to study to break the curve, but I didn't want any extra attention or special treatment. I felt like a square peg in a square hole- not better or smarter than my peers- so I began tutoring to make friends and help them experience that exciting "ah ha!" of understanding. I loved to explore ideas from different perspectives and to learn how to break them down for a breakthrough.
In eighth grade, I was recognized by the John Hopkin's Talent Search for high SAT scores. After graduating high school as a National Merit Semi-Finalist, I was awarded athletic and academic scholarships to the University of Miami where I studied biopsychology, math and chemistry. My favorite classes explored the mind-body connection, the psychology of motivation, the neurochemistry of learning, the effects of nutrition on behavior and the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. As a two-sport Division I Athlete (crew and basketball), I also understand how to apply a competitive mindset and kinesthetic skills to beat any opponent, including standardized, computer-adaptive, traditional or high-stakes tests.
After graduating from college, I worked as an intake specialist in the emergency room of a mental health facility and as a guidance counselor providing art and recreational therapy for resident adults and adolescents. I then became a professionally certified teacher and taught upper-level math, critical thinking skills, college readiness and career research in traditional and non-traditional school settings, wrote course curricula, consulted for test publishers and developed school-wide programs. Since I saw that their standardized test scores had the biggest impact on the lives of my students, I developed my expertise by taking these tests regularly, identifying critical factors, perfecting strategies, and keeping up with the latest changes. While I have earned many perfect scores on both the SAT and ACT and near perfect scores on the GRE and GMAT, I am more proud of my ability to really reach my students and get more excited about their accomplishments. I am dedicated to facilitating their self-awareness and confidence to open the doors to their dreams.
My Mission & Vision Is To Provide Personalized, Positive, Patient, Focused, Fun & Effective Tutoring
I believe that everyone can learn to succeed on his or her own terms to become a strong, independent, and confident learner capable of performing well in any school or job setting. Each of my clients is unique and can't be measured by arbitrary assessments or the same standards. I truly believe there isn't anyone I can't reach or teach. I love transforming test misery and mystery into mastery!
Real learning involves more than just information: it is transformation. As a career teacher, I have learned so much from my students, especially the importance of relationship in the process of authentic education. Rapport and relevance are critical to inspiration, motivation and dedication. Content is just part of the process: connection is the key. Since I personally tutor each client, I provide an uncommon level of professional service, individualized attention and quality of instruction. I don't just review format, proctor practice or assign worksheets. I am an acute observer of verbal and nonverbal cues and use nuanced feedback to hone in on specific and subtle strategies for each person on each subject for each type of question on each test.
I am very familiar with the "A-student but lousy test-taker" phenomenon. At the other end of the spectrum, I've seen a normally disengaged C or D student ace standardized tests. Why? Learning as measured by traditional tests versus standardized tests is fundamentally divergent and require distinct mental processes and corresponding areas of brain activity. Switching modes is a natural aptitude for some students and an acquired ability for others.