Eight years ago I started teaching SAT courses for Kaplan in New York City public schools and learned two things. First, I love teaching high schoolers. Second, a three hour class with 30 kids who have just finished a full day of school is not an ideal vehicle for teaching or learning the SAT. Whew! I now prefer a one-on-one approach, since I can make a stronger connection with each student and directly address his or her specific strengths and weaknesses. A good teacher obviously needs to have a thorough understanding of the subject he or she is teaching but just as important is the ability to inspire students to work hard and do their best. I think I excel in creating a supportive and caring environment that helps my students gain confidence in their abilities and encourages them to do the work necessary to get the scores they want.
In high school I was a strong standardized test taker (I went to a magnet school that only accepted the top 3% of applicants, with admissions based solely on a standardized test), but I wasn't getting perfect scores and didn't understand why. It wasn't until I started teaching these tests that I began to learn how they really work, what they reward, and how they are different from every other test I took in school. Since then I have spent years refining strategies and passing them on to students, and part of what I love about tutoring is giving students the simple knowledge that (with practice) will get them the scores they are capable of getting. It's exciting to see students' confidence grow as we demystify the test itself, and to see them solving problems they never thought they could. Of course it's also great to hear about the schools they are later accepted to!
New York University