Marina del Rey,
15 Years Tutoring
Tutor and Author
As a Biochemistry Major at Harvard, I found it surprising that so many students told me they didn't inherit the "math gene" or that they didn't have a "natural ear for languages.” When asked how they had reached these conclusions about their genetics, they would usually point to a series of bad test grades. This is not how scientists identify genes. Comparing notes with fellow Harvard grad--and fellow tutor-- Katie O'Brien, we were struck by how the widespread reliance on these self-diagnoses was profoundly interfering with their learning. The genes our students believed in may have been imaginary, but the effects on their motivation were very real. While our students chalked up imperfect grades to defective genes, other explanations were readily apparent to Katie and me, and to students and parents. Study time was actually spent browsing the internet. Textbooks were so little used that they sometimes stayed wrapped in plastic. The irony was that students often excelled in learning in other areas. It might have been some academic subject, a sport like tennis or golf, or even video games. The same basic approach and attitude required to excel in one area was what was required to excel in all areas.
Out of these experiences, Katie and I wrote The Straight-A Conspiracy. Since then, we've been fortunate enough to consult for test prep companies like The Princeton Review, community colleges like Los Angeles Valley College and even Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. We also had the opportunity to appear on The Today Show to share the findings of The Students in America Survey we did with The Princeton Review. However, one of the most satisfying experiences is still working with individual students one-on-one and seeing their self-doubts fall away and a new confidence emerge that sees them taking charge of every aspect of their academic lives to take charge of their educations.
Here at Noodle Pros, I bring together fifteen years of tutoring experience and researching the latest science to help prepare students to compete in the increasingly competitive world in which we live. That comes down to one core skill: metacognition or thinking about thinking. Ineffective students blindly buy into self-limiting beliefs. They use the same study habits they’ve used for years. Effective students question their self-limiting beliefs and are always challenging their own assumptions about the most effective ways to study. While the specific challenge at hand might be mastering a concept in Chemistry, preparing for a Standard Test or writing an application essay, nothing makes me more proud than to see my students do with ease what once made them afraid. My goal is to give my students not only great results but the newfound confidence to go get those results for themselves in the future.
AP Calculus AB,
AP Physics B,
Bachelor of Science,