Barrel Tutoring

Barrel Tutoring

5.0 (3)
3 hires on
1 employee
2 years in business

About this tutor

My Bachelor's Degree (for which I graduated in the top 10% of my class) in philosophy means that I'm always willing to answer the question "why?". In fact, I was so good at answering "why" questions that the University of Kansas' philosophy department awarded me their Warner Morse Prize for History of Philosophy with a cash prize (I was simply shocked that philosophers had money to spare). In college, I was a supplemental instructor for a political stats class (I have another degree in Political Science) that focused on group activities for learning. Additionally, I am a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves and I serve as a Civil Affairs Officer, though in the past I have also been an Engineering Officer. During my Engineering training, I served as my class's Academic Officer responsible for helping my struggling peers with their coursework (a role I took on despite not having a degree in Engineering). I have tutored for over 500 hours with 20 students (primarily for the SAT), and believe that knowledge is always worth pursuing. I have tutored math (up to calculus 1, including statistics, geometry, and algebra), grammar, critical reading, writing, and Spanish. 

When I first began tutoring students, I'll admit I had mixed feelings about it. However, this changed once I had a student look up at me from a reading passage and say "this could all be nonsense and I would have no way of knowing." At that moment I realized he was critically thinking and the impact I was having. I enjoy teaching students how to think rather than what to think, as that is a skill that lasts a lifetime. Although the thing I enjoy most is sparking a student's curiosity and seeing where it takes them. Answers to questions are rarely conclusive, and I love to motivate students to pursue these questions to their heart's content. 

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Arlington, VA 22201
Email verified
Phone verified

3 Reviews


  • Konica Mulani

    I had a great experience taking writing classes from Derek. He's diligent in his lessons and pushes to improve. He helped me with writing resume and cover letter which proved useful in getting calls from recruiters.

  • Sonya Naomi

    Derek really helped me improve my writing! I feel much more comfortable with any writing assignment I receive and hope to get his help on college applications.

  • Alec Trotman

    I worked with him for a couple weeks and he was always on time and prepared. He made sure I understood a concept before moving on, and once it clicked with me he made sure I could do all types of problems with the concept.


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

In my first session with students, I like to discuss expectations and goals to understand what they hope to get out of tutoring. After that, we create an action plan to achieve those goals with a clear timeline established.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have tutored for over 500 hours with 20 students (as of writing this) as an SAT tutor with a tutoring contractor, and have decided to venture out on my own. Prior to that, I was the academic officer in the Army for an Engineering unit and I helped teach a class on political statistics while in my bachelor's program. 

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Standard rate is $75/hour

How did you get started teaching?

I started teaching in the Fall of 2016 as a Supplemental Instructor for an undergraduate political statistics course that I had finished the previous spring. It was here that I first learned that just because I understand the concepts doesn't mean that I'm able to explain them to others. I still enjoyed helping others learn though, and so when I arrived at an Engineering Course for the Army and they needed volunteers to be the academic officer, I stepped up and got experience teaching material that I had recently learned. After graduating from this course, I continued my streak in education by serving as a full-time SAT tutor for one year where I helped 32 students improve their SAT scores. 

What types of students have you worked with?

High school students make up the majority of my students, though I've also taught other K-12 students in addition to undergraduates & post-undergraduates.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I absolutely love when students get passionate about the material we're discussing. In fact, one of the freedoms I enjoy from tutoring is the occasional indulgence in a tangent of the subject matter at hand. I really enjoy fostering students' curiosity to go beyond what I'm teaching them, and I find that this indulgence accomplishes this.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

If you're a student with a genuine passion to learn the material at hand, don't feel bad about discontinuing sessions with a tutor if you don't have a connection to them or if you feel like you're not improving in the areas you need to. I would recommend giving a tutor 3 or 4 sessions to get a sense of what a working relationship with them entails, and if after this you aren't certain it is beneficial then consider re-starting your search.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Is the help you need ends based or means based? That is, do you need help with something specific/to achieve a certain result, or do you need help with how you're approaching a subject/discipline for a more holistic understanding? 

Services offered

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