Derek G.


I grew up in Ashland, Kentucky, before attending the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where I majored in English with a minor in History. I’ve always been passionate about both literature and history, but something about going to school in Colonial Williamsburg—where I often passed, on my way to class, horse-drawn carriages or regiments of reenactors with muskets and tri-cornered hats—gave me a greater appreciation for how the two overlap: how the study of history helps us understand the events and movements that shaped the literature of different time periods, and how the study of literature reveals what it felt like to live through those time periods. I later pursued my interest in writing and literature in the M.F.A. programs at the University of Memphis and New York University. In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing, ultimate frisbee, binge-watching “prestige” TV, and not giving up on playing the banjo.


I started tutoring on Halloween ’16. Since then, I have worked with students from all grade levels—from pre-K to college—on a variety of subjects, including standardized test prep (SAT, ACT, ISEE, etc.), college admissions essays, AP Lang, AP Lit, and AP US History. Before I became a tutor, I taught English Composition and Creative Writing as a graduate student at the University of Memphis and as an adjunct professor at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. As an instructor for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth, I have spent many summers teaching various writing classes (most frequently the Creative Nonfiction course, which has been a great resource to me as a college-essay tutor).


Matching a student’s energy helps me build a rapport and adapt to their learning style. As a tutor, I can relate to the student who prefers to sit quietly in the back of the classroom (e.g., me when I was a student!) just as easily as the student with boundless enthusiasm and a million things to say (e.g., me when I was a teacher!). As my student and I are developing that rapport, however, and figuring out each other’s learning/teaching style, my starting point is always “What do I wish I’d known when I was in their position?”

Derek G.