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PrepNow Tutor - Margaret D.

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Margaret's Bio

Margaret has experience working with students in reading, writing, English, Spanish, middle school math and science, algebra 1 and 2, and AP biology. Having taught English as a second language in Madagascar and the US, Margaret is a pro at adapting to different types of learners—including students with learning disabilities—with different socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. She has also taught university courses in social sciences and tutored people of all ages, both one-on-one and in groups (in-person and remote). Margaret holds a PhD in interdisciplinary social sciences and an MA in social justice and human rights from Arizona State University. She earned her BS in ecology and evolutionary biology from Rice University.

Margaret has held diverse roles throughout her career, centered around the themes of social services, policy research, and advocacy to support the well-being of less advantaged communities. Building confidence and promoting a love of learning is the best way she knows how to address all three passions.

Her deep love for tutoring and teaching emerged when she moved to Madagascar, where she taught ESL at a small, rural school. “We had very few materials, no books, and no curriculum, just our collective creativity and passion,” she shares.

Margaret’s tutoring style relies heavily on the Socratic method; that is, asking questions to walk students through the subject matter. “When a student guides their own learning, they are far more likely to be engaged, invested, and successful,” she posits. She likes to challenge her students by presenting mildly uncomfortable blocks of newer ideas—ones that students might have previously thought were beyond their capacity. “Learning happens best at the sweet spot between monotony and chaos,” she notes. To check a student’s understanding, she uses a concept she calls: explain like I’m five. “I aim to teach in plain language and straight-forward steps—the real sign of success is when students are able to teach it back to me,” she says.

Margaret’s contributions to the social sciences have been published in esteemed journals, cited in media, and listed in legislative records related to health care, housing, and criminal justice. She has served in numerous groups advocating for health and wellness in Washington state. For two years, she served as President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Seattle.

In high school, she enjoyed playing the flute and the piano, often competing in state and national competitions. Despite her youth, she also volunteered to work in an ecology lab at a nearby college. Her academic excellence and laboratory research awarded her a full scholarship to Rice University as a Century Scholar and Trustee Distinguished Scholar. At Rice, she was president of the environmental club and volunteered with two national environmental advocacy groups.

When she’s not tutoring or advocating for others, she loves staying active. In the summer of 2022, she completed her first marathon! An outdoor lover with wanderlust, she also loves kayaking, hiking, bouldering, camping, and traveling. Fun fact: she has lived in or visited seven countries on four continents: the US, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Madagascar, and Pakistan.


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