My specialist subjects are English and History and I also teach Maths, Art History, Biology, Business Studies, Geography, and Politics.
Having tutored since the age of 15 (my first students were eighth graders when I was in high school!), I have extensive experience teaching young people, whether in the American or UK systems. I have lived on three continents for roughly a third of my life in each (Asia, USA, and Europe), I can bring a unique perspective to my students. I am equally at home teaching the history of the Jazz Age in America as I am demonstrating the solution to an Algebra problem or talking about language in Shakespeare. I firmly believe that to bring out a young person’s potential, a tutor must be a nurturing, dynamic, and patient mentor who encourages the student to blossom. A sense of humor and unflappability is key. I have encountered so many different kinds of students that nothing fazes me; every experience I have in teaching is to be treasured, as I learn from my students as much as they learn from me.
I am passionate about teaching. Encouraging excellence in my students rests on a few key principles: (1) instilling in them a “can-do” attitude; (2) praising their progress and letting them know it is okay to make mistakes; and (3) setting them a series of manageable tasks to boost their confidence.
When teaching students I encourage them to ask questions – loads of them. Inquisitive students are a delight to teach because this means that the student is thinking and processing the information. I am very much looking forward to utilizing my skills and experience to create a nurturing and stimulating environment in which the student can learn and grow to his or her full potential.
KEBLE COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD Master of Studies (M.St) in Creative Writing - 2013-15
A M Heath Prize for Fiction, proxime accessit (runner-up), for novel, AMERICAN HEROINE - prize sponsored by literary agency
GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW CENTER, WASHINGTON, DC, USA Master of Laws (LLM) in International Legal Studies and WTO Certificate recipient - 2011-12
Georgetown Law Scholarship recipient and Fellow, Institute of International Economic Law
KING’S COLLEGE LONDON, UK Master of Laws (LLM) (UK and European Law) with Merit King’s College London Scholarship / Bursary recipient - 2008-09
COLLEGE OF LAW OF ENGLAND AND WALES, LONDON, UK Legal Practice Course (LPC), Commendation (Solicitors’ qualifying course) Qualified solicitor of England and Wales, September 2011 - present Took the full-time LPC at the College of Law concurrently with full-time LLM at King’s College London in 2008-9
BPP LAW SCHOOL, LONDON, UK Graduate Diploma in Law with Commendation
BPP Director of GDL Programmes Scholarship (top GDL scholarship out of 1,400 students) - 2007-8
ST EDMUND HALL, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, UK DPhil in Modern History (studies interrupted by mother’s illness) Commended by the Principal and Fellows of St Edmund Hall for winning the most scholarships and fellowships in 2004-5. Invited to dine at High Table in recognition of my academic achievements
KING’S COLLEGE LONDON, UK MA in Early Modern History with Merit Winner, Peters, Fraser and Dunlop/BBC History Magazine Young Historians’ Competition
BROWN UNIVERSITY, PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND, USA 1994 - 1998
BA in English and American Literature, magna cum laude
Awarded the Royce Fellowship twice for academic excellence Awarded the Undergraduate Teaching and Research Fellowship
Awarded the Donald E. Nodine Fellowship for summer research in art history in England
LOYOLA SCHOOL 1990 - 1994 High School Diploma, Graduated Valedictorian (No. 1 Ranking in Class)
Attended Harvard Summer School – Calculus II and Creative Writing
2009 – 2010: King’s College London, Fellow, School of Law - taught law students in advocacy and mooting skills, both in group settings and one-to-one tuition. Coach of the winning King’s College team of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, where they won first place out of 253 universities from 62 countries.
2004 - present: Tutoring. I have extensive experience tutoring English and Maths at 7+, 11+ and 13+ as well as GCSE, A-level, and IB English and Maths (Standard and Higher Level in both subjects). I have taught many students preparing for entrance exams for 7+/8+/11+/13+ and have done tuition in English, Maths and Reasoning. I also have 11 years’ tutoring experience at GCSE, A-level, Pre-U and IB in English, Maths, Business, History, Politics, Biology, and Art History. I have also tutored at degree level - Business, Law, and English Literature. I have experience tutoring students with dyslexia and so am sensitive to their needs.
In addition, I tutor for the SAT, ACT, PSAT, ISEE, SSAT, GMAT and GRE (American entrance exams). I am particularly sensitive to the needs of non-native English speakers. I can advise specifically on US universities and prepare students for the college application process.
Below are some case studies of the students I have tutored. Note that this is just a small sample – since I’ve now tutored hundreds of students, and each case is different.
Fajr, 5 – tutored a 5 year-old girl at the International Community School (ICS) in Maths and English. Fajr was a quick learner and an avid reader, but she needed extra help to boost her grades. I taught her for two academic years (so until she was 7 years old) and she has consistently improved in her reading and writing.
Mark, 8 – tutored an eight year-old boy, also at ICS, in English, Science, and Maths. Before I started tuition with him, the boy was not motivated to work and so I put together a program of study that incorporated reading books he was interested in, apart from his schoolwork, in order for him to love learning again. After some weeks of tuition with me, his teacher at school noticed that his work ethic had improved and he was participating much more in class.
Polina, 12 College and Kings Canterbury in January.
Anna, 12 s Calne, among others. She has to take the UKIset for many of the schools.
Mary, 12 – Swiss school entrance exams. Mary was a bright student who needed a boost in her English writing and Maths skills for the exam. I helped her revise algebra and geometry as well as reading comprehension and story writing techniques nearly every day for several months. She took the exams and gained entrance to a number of schools, including Le Rosey.
Sofya, 10 - Academic Assessment for 11+ across English, Verbal, and Non-Verbal reasoning for UKiset. Sofya was an academically able student but needed help in English/Verbal and particularly the Non-Verbal reasoning part, since she didnt understand how to fit the shapes and identify complex patterns. By breaking these down into their component parts, I helped her understand how everything fit together and also how to answer these types of questions.
Maria, 10: residential tuition in Monaco over the summer months to improve her English. Maria was enrolled in a Russian school in which English was only spoken for one period each day. As a result her language skills were relatively weak, and it was crucial that she improve rapidly because she was sitting exams to various UK schools in September and January. Through lessons filled with educational play and other techniques for her to constantly use English, she improved considerably and received offers to a handful of schools in the UK.
Sasha, 13 – tutored a girl in the ISEE and SSAT, in all sections. This was a residential job lasting the whole summer in Tuscany, and was quite intense, with tuition between 4-5 hours per day. I also had tutored her in April, during her Easter Break. Sasha was academically gifted and was aiming for the top US boarding schools, including Phillips Andover, Exeter, Deerfield, Milton Academy and others. She eventually got into Deerfield and Milton Academy, two of her top choices.
Savannah, 12 – tutored a girl in ISEE and SSAT. She needed to brush up on exam technique and her Maths knowledge was also lacking, particularly since, having been educated in the British system and needed help in understanding Maths concepts tested on American exams. I helped her to transition between the two and she is now in an American school.
Henry, 13 – tutored a boy in the SSAT. Henry’s family was moving back to New York, so he was applying to several schools there and on the East Coast. Through a combination of face-to-face and Skype sessions, I took him through the different sections – and specifically how to answer the tricky Reasoning questions, since those were the parts he didn’t feel too confident about. Henry is now back in New York and got into a school there.
William, 17: tuition in SAT English and Maths (American university entrance exams). William was very good in Maths but his English (reading comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar) skills were weak. I broke down the modules for him and we had to start nearly from scratch on many of the grammar rules, but he was a fast learner and gained confidence once he started getting more of the questions right. He was accepted into Stanford and two Ivy League universities, including Cornell, his first choice.
Adaora, 17 - IB English Literature, Higher Level (HL). I tutored Adaora over the whole summer, with 3 to 4 hour sessions on most days. We revised a big chunk of the IB curriculum, as Adaora needed to improve her grades significantly for her 2nd year of IB, and her teacher said that she had to do summer revision to achieve this. We went over the core texts she studied, such as To Kill a Mockingbird, which was for an essay she was doing for her Internal Assessment. She went on to score top marks in her IB exams. She got into NYU, which she dreamed of attending, and is very happy there.
Sam, 17 - IB Theory of Knowledge (TOK). Sam was doing well in his other IB subjects but struggled to make sense of the TOK requirements in his essay. TOK fundamentally tests "how do we know that" and explores various methods of enquiry over different disciplines, so it is understandable that many students find this abstract way of thinking quite challenging, as he did. I worked with him on his essay and explored the knowledge questions, breaking down the concepts so that he understood them in manageable chunks.
Sasha, 17 - IB Geography and IB TOK. I taught Sasha, a native Russian speaker, in these 2 modules. Because English was not his first language, writing the TOK essay was particularly challenging. I looked at his argument plan and the drafts of his essay and commented, then he implemented the changes and eventually got a B grade - a major accomplishment, considering that initially he was struggling considerably and his writing was at C/D level.
Michael, 17: IB English, Biology, Geography, and Maths. Michael needed intensive tuition over the summer in order to pass his first-year IB retakes. He got 4s in all subjects before contacting me and so we had to make the most of our limited time (July/August) together. After just a few sessions, however, I noticed a marked improvement as we went through the syllabus of all three subjects in detail and focused on perfecting his exam technique. In the end he received 6s in his retakes and is on track to doing very well in his 2nd IB year.
Dmitry, 18: tuition for a boy doing IB Business Studies. He needed guidance for his extended essay since although it had everything factually correct, he did not know how to put it all together to create a coherent and strong argument. I guided him through the techniques of structuring a good essay, and he was able to write a well-thought out thesis that supported his findings.
Ari, 18 – AS and A-level Politics. Ari was doing his A-level (US Politics) and retaking AS (UK politics) (EdExcel), which made for a very demanding year. Over six months we worked on both modules, integrating our studies with discussion of current events and trends. He grew in confidence, particularly for his essay technique, and wound up going to a top US university.
Timur, 19 – AS-level Politics (EdExcel) and GCSE Maths. Timur was enthusiastic about UK politics and avidly followed the elections. The key challenge was getting him to express his knowledge in the exam questions. He also had timing issues, taking nearly twice as long to write his answers. Apart from making sure his knowledge is secure, I am tutoring him time management skills both for revision and for the exam itself. As for the Maths, Timur needed to retake the exam. He also had timing issues because he sometimes froze up when answering the questions. We practised many question sets, first untimed, then gradually timing them until he could do the problems within the required time limit.
Mateo, 17. Tutored a boy in IB Maths. He wanted tuition over the Easter holidays in advance of the end of his first year of IB, when he would take mock exams. Mateo had a mix of face-to-face and Skype sessions, and we went through topics such as Algebra and Functions, Trigonometry, Calculus (differentiation and integration - many of the topics covered in the C3 / C4 modules at A-level), plus Probability and Statistics.
Clementine, 17: I tutored a girl who was smart but initially lacking in confidence in her abilities in English and History A-levels. During my time with her we concentrated on consolidating the facts she already knew and translating them into well-thought out answers. She also had mild dyslexia, which meant she had to have extra time in the exams. Particularly in History, the ability to synthesize key events and analyse historical trends is crucial, and I taught her some of these techniques. As a result she got As in both subjects and is now at her first choice university, Bristol.
Dmitry, 16: tuition for a boy in GCSE Business Studies. Dmitry was enthusiastic about Business but did not know how to apply his considerable knowledge to the exam questions. I tutored him for six months, focusing on essay-writing and exam technique until he took his GCSEs, in which he achieved an A in Business, the only one in his class to do so. He got into Bradfield, his chosen school.
Olivia, 16: GCSE Geography. Olivia wanted to boost her grades as she wasn’t sure she could pull off an A. This was not to do with a lack of ability but rather because, as it turned out, she just hadn’t learned the key terminology. Geography relies on these glossary terms and interpretation of data that can get very specific, so we focused on that. She ended up getting a A*.
Max, 16 – tuition for a boy in GCSE Geography and GCSE Science. Max was a native Russian speaker who was very shy in communicating in English and as a result was not achieving his full potential. It took a while to draw him out and encourage him, and I engaged him in the material by using visual aids and internet resources in addition to traditional textbooks.
Alexander, 19: residential tuition in the south of France for a boy doing A-level English and History and Pre-U Business Studies. Alexander needed to make sure he worked hard over the Easter break, as he hadn’t covered all of the required topics by then. Through intensive tuition approaching 8 hours per day for two weeks, we worked through the syllabi of all three subjects, from studying J. M. Coetzee and Chaucer to Disraeli and Gladstone and writing a business plan. He got all As and got into his chosen university, Edinburgh.
GCSE English - Working with Kofo during her Christmas holidays to help her with her course, essay writing, structure and analysing texts.
A Level English - Working with Hannah to help her with her A level coursework focusing on texts including Madame Bovery, Betrayal and poems by Christina Rossetti.
Hobbies and Interests
I have a wide range of interests that I would enjoy sharing with my students. Most recently I was a lawyer in an international law firm, and before that a historian.
My passions include theatre and music, particularly musical theatre and jazz and classic Hollywood film. I am also a novelist, writing a novel set in the 1950s/60s, which brings together my interests in history and literature. I was Writer-in-Residence at the Wertheim Study, New York Public Library, Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and an alumna of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Vermont, the oldest and most prestigious writers’ conference in America. I have been shortlisted for the Asham Award (short story prize) and longlisted for the Historical Novel Society Conference Short Story Prize. I keep fit through sports and dance. I enjoy ballet and theatre dance and have taken classes at the Broadway Dance Center in New York and the Dance Attic Studio in London.