Tae has helped me with my chemistry course so much this semester. As soon as I got help from Tae I became so much more confident learning difficult topics in chemistry. Working with him was super effective and a huge help towards understanding chemistry and overall becoming a better student. I couldn’t have done it without him! I will definitely be working with him in the future. 10/10
Tae’s really great at explaining and making sure the you understand the material, I definitely recommend! I went from remembering close to nothing of chemistry to doing very well on my chemistry regents, and I couldn’t have done it without him. Definitely an exemplary tutor.
Tae was amazing! I could not have gotten through Organic chemistry without him! I got a 17 on my first exam before starting with Tae. I ended the semester with an A in the class! I could not have done that without him! He is a great teacher, patient and knows how to explain it in a way no one else could. He saved my nursing school career. I highly recommend him to everyone. He is a lifesaver!
Amazing tutor who I would recommend to anyone. Went through 4 biochem tutors who didn't know their stuff before I found Tae. He goes out of his way to make himself available and can tailor his tutoring to my pace. Working with him landed me a 98 on my second biochem midterm. Will definitely be working with him in the future and for MCAT prep.
First, I always tell my new students that the time spent with me should be the least stressful part of their week. Students often do not learn efficiently, or even learn anything at all, under times of stress.
Second, I must be very well prepared and act professional starting from our very first interaction in order to establish the trust and rapport that is essential for the student to take away anything meaningful from our sessions.
Third, I have to do my best to portray myself to the student as an ally, colleague, and fellow peer instead of someone above him/her as in a patriarchal structure. Only this will allow us to develop rapport and a mutually beneficial tutor-tutee relationship.
Finally, I must always be aware of my students’ emotional state. This will allow me to adapt my teaching approach and methods specifically to each individual student, thereby allowing both the student and myself to get the most out of our time spent together.
While I was in high school, I was a Valedictorian, IB Diploma Recipient, and AP Scholar. I then graduated from Yale University with a BS in Biomedical Engineering. I spent 3yrs working on primate research in an effort to help develop an AIDS vaccine through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I then entered medical school at OHSU after scoring in the 98th percentile on the MCATs. Upon graduating with an MD, I started a general surgery residency in Brooklyn, NY. After having completed 2.5yrs, I decided to take some time off.
My entire life has revolved around academics. To fulfill my childhood aspirations of becoming a Surgeon, I had to explore many of the Sciences (i.e. organic and inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, biology and physics at various difficulty levels, fluid mechanics, pharmacology, human anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, Academic and Clinical Medicine, intensive critical care, etc.) to their depths. Naturally, I was also led to explore, and become proficient in, various subjects in Mathematics, including those that I successfully completed at Yale to fulfill the requirements for my Biomedical Engineering Major. I sincerely believe that it is THIS comprehensive education and experience that allows me to be one of the most qualified candidate on Thumbtack to teach the basic/core sciences, human/biological sciences, and mathematics to my students.
Additionally, I know through my own trials and tribulations what it takes to go through the Admissions Process at various academic/career levels, with each successive tier becoming even more stressful and demanding, which ultimately comes with the price of greater sacrifice and disappointment. I felt the anxiety, depression, uncertainty, frustration, and sense of failure. But, I also had the privilege of experiencing the overwhelming joy, happiness, and sense of accomplishment that naturally comes with overcoming a task that initially felt insurmountable. I am confident that the lessons I learned. and the failures I experienced, while traversing from high school to college, from college to entering the workforce, from the workforce to entering medical school, then finally from medical school to applying for General Surgery Residency allows me to successfully function as a College Admissions Consultant.
Mostly through the intangible, yet invaluable, knowledge that I can provide, I can help these students to progress towards further academic success without having to reproduce the wheel.
Tae Ha, MD
As long as I can remember, I was tutoring someone on something. Whether I was helping out fellow classmates in elementary and middle school on their math and science homework, or tutoring my nieces and their friends while I was in high school, or tutoring math and science to middle school students in underserved areas around New Yaven while I was attending Yale, or upon graduating from Yale opting to teach the MCATs for Kaplan, or tutoring high school students on human physiology while I was in medical school, and finally helping nurses and other ancillary healthcare staff on the principles of trauma and critical care while I was managing the entire ICU in 24hr shifts, teaching and mentoring others is a part of my identify. I cannot remember a period of time when I was not taking on the role of teacher, tutor, and/or mentor.
More recently, I have been mostly tutoring high school and college students on-and-off for the past 10yrs. Furthermore, I also took on the role of College Admissions Consultant thereby helping more than 100 students complete their college or medical school applications, formulate a reasonable list of desired schools, polish up their personal statements, and help them with their interviewing skills.
I have worked with children as young as 5yrs old to adults who have re-entered academia to start a second career, after having had long and fruitful initial careers. Lately, however, the majority of my students have been high school, college, and graduate students.
For High School Students:
-I have tutored extensively in Introductory, Honors, IB SL and HL, and AP level Chemistry and Biology. This includes preparing these students for their corresponding annual standardized exams.
-I have also tutored extensively in Mathematics from Pre-Algebra to Algebra 2, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Precalculus.
-I have helped students prepare for the SATI Math/Reading, SATII Math HL/Chemistry/Biology Subject Exams.
-I have worked with over 100+ high school students as a College Admissions Consultant to help them successfully navigate through the daunting, and often frustrating, admissions process.
For College Students:
-I have tutored extensively in Human Anatomy and Physiology, Pathophysiology, Chemistry, and Biology.
-I have copious experience assisting students prepare for their MCATs, then guiding them through the Medical School Admissions process that includes, but not limited to, completing their applications, polishing their personal statements, and preparing them for their crucial interviews.
To answer this question to the best of my abilities, I will have to use the direct words of one of my students, Sakthi A. I really do not have a better answer than what she wrote in describing our work together.
Sakthi wrote on 12/23/2019:
“I liked how encouraging and patient Tae always was. Writing college essays and going through the college application process can be a stressful time, but Tae helped me through it and believed in me. From helping me edit my essays to helping me get ready for college interviews, Tae helped me feel prepared with or without him. When talking about my essays or my answers to interview questions, Tae would always ask for my opinion and what I felt comfortable with. Since I want to go into medicine, he was also a perfect fit for me because he could answer any questions I had. Right now I am very close to the end of my application process and from now on it is going to be a lot of waiting. But I have been accepted to almost half of the 22 schools I applied to, have moved on to the second stage of a competitive full ride scholarship program, and have been waitlisted from a competitive BSMD program after attending an interview. Without Tae’s help and encouraging nature, the above may not be true, and I would not have learned so much and grown as a writer and person.”
Sakthi has such a bright future ahead of her! And despite what she wrote, I am sure her trajectory towards success and becoming a physician would not have been altered one bit even if she never had been paired up with me on Varsity Tutors. I am confident that she influenced me more than I could have ever influenced her. This is because just as I was becoming jaded to a world full of uncertainty and unexpected failures, Sakthi opened my eyes, once again, to what it felt like when I was nearing the end of my high school years: that feeling of overwhelming accomplishment, that notion that anything is possible, and the confidence that nothing is insurmountable.
Thank you, Sakthi.
I would say the most important advice should be that the tutor needs to be somebody who is trustworthy, honest, and obviously competent in the subjects they teach. A tutor/tutee relationship is very unique in that the student needs to automatically assume, after either having met just once or only a few times, that his/her tutor truly knows their content material. This is the only way that the student will take away anything meaningful from their session(s).
Additionally, the tutor needs to possess a high level of emotional intelligence so that he/she will be able to adjust his/her teaching approach and/or content for the day based solely on the student’s body language, tone of voice, etc.
Finally, the tutor needs to understand that students often do not efficiently learn, or even learn anything at all, under times of stress. I always tell my new students that the time spent with me should be the least stressful part of their week.
Is what I am trying to accomplish “do-able”?
This is so important because having unrealistic expectations and goals from the beginning will set up both the student and his/her tutor for disappointment and failure.
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