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PrepNow Tutor - Andy G.

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Andy's Bio

"I fell into teaching very early," Andy says, "as I moved up in the world of summer camp, becoming an assistant, and found I was good at getting the campers to follow directions. I enjoyed the performance aspects of teaching in particular, and hoped in college to combine my growing interest in teaching with my passion for theatre." He was able to do just that in a small and unique program at New York University. He earned his bachelor's in educational theatre--all grades, graduating with honors and receiving a Founders Day Award.

Since then, Andy has done a lot of teaching in different forms, working at summer camp, substitute teaching and working with independent companies who work with schools. At the summer camp, as well as at an arts magnet middle/high school, and public elementary schools, he has worked with students of all ages doing dramatic work--playwriting, acting, costume designing, and collaborating.

As a substitute teacher in many subjects at the middle- and high-school levels, he worked to adapt to material quickly and present it to students in a way that did not interrupt their continuity of learning. "I have found that the challenges of getting students to ask deep and interesting questions and engage in productive discussion is a great joy," he says.

More recently, he has transitioned to working within the non-profit theater world, helping education departments do educational outreach and bring theater to many different audiences, along with increasing the engagement and understanding of those in the audience.

In the 2014 - 2015 school year, Andy worked as an Education Administration Apprentice with the Olney Theatre Center. One of his projects was the development of a Collaborative Playwriting Program for the fifth grade at an area school. He expanded and deepened the curriculum, created a "preview" mini-unit for fourth grade, and helped pitch the program to new schools. The pilot fifth graders ended their year writing and performing their own short plays at the Olney, a professional theater. Andy's work helped the Center formalize and expand the program.

Andy describes himself as "lighthearted" and "always up for a good laugh," but he also says, "I like to view a teacher as someone who can push." He offers guidance, support and encouragement, but also works to create an environment in which the student is excited about his or her own learning. He says he loves thinking about things from multiple perspectives, and that allows him to connect with students and find the right angle to help each student understand.

"Asking lots of questions, putting things in perspective, and helping students see their own knowledge at work are at the core of my philosophy as a teacher," Andy says, "so that when learning is happening, there is a strong balance between the intellectual and the excitement of learning and applying knowledge."

Andy performed in almost all of the plays his school produced when he was in high school, and of course, many productions in college, as well. He also took significant leadership in the high-school drama club. An avid movie watcher, he liked to get together with friends to watch and discuss movies as often as possible.

Andy continues to see a lot of theatre and keeps an extensive Playbill collection of every play he sees. He also still enjoys watching movies and television and particularly enjoys discussing and critiquing them, both online and in-person, "to help me articulate my reactions and share my ideas with others."

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