Brian Pines

Brian Pinestutor photo

From a young age, I always loved reading and thinking critically about the world. My natural curiosity and tendency to ask questions ultimately flowered into a master’s degree in philosophy from Duquesne in Pittsburgh and a PhD in Philosophy from Staffordshire University in the UK. Along the way, I mastered a plethora of academic skills and test-taking tricks that I enjoy sharing with my students at AJ Tutoring.

I have years of experience teaching group classes and tutoring on an individual level. I have taught undergraduate and graduate classes at Staffordshire and Redlands University, and I have tutored many students privately to help with classwork and test preparation. Teaching is my passion and my strongest talent. Education is the art of transforming ourselves, of making ourselves better people, and therefore nothing is more difficult than learning. I strive to build the learning skills of my students beyond the techniques they need to pass the next test, towards cultivating an appreciation for lifelong education.

I have found that students learn best when they are relaxed and enjoy the material they are learning. Thus, I strive to be an observant, animated, and patient teacher. I take time to craft funny or outlandish thought experiments or analogies to explain the material, which I find helps my students remember what they are taught.

In tutoring students for standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT, I prioritize familiarization and instilling the most important strategies for each type of question. Over time, my students begin to recognize and anticipate questions that once caused them trouble. My goal is always to have students feel very prepared when they walk into the testing center knowing that they put in the work necessary to feel confident on the test.

In my free time, I like to visit museums, explore the natural beauty of America, read, and write.

Subjects Tutored

  • SAT
  • ACT
  • Academic English
  • Academic US History
  • Academic World History
  • Academic Study Skills
  • Academic K-8
  • AP English Language and Composition
  • AP English Literature and Composition
  • AP US History
  • AP World History
  • AP European History

Offices Served

  • Menlo Park
  • San Carlos


(650) 331-3251 ext. 589

Satisfied Parents

“AJ Tutoring was terrific! Our tutor hit Anna with a completely different approach; his style was especially good for Anna. Her improvement gives her a better shot at early admission to Georgetown.”

- Woodside Priory parent and guidance counselor

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Enthusiastic Employees

"Being an AJ tutor is a dream job.  The 1-on-1 connection with my students is rewarding, and the support and dynamic team atmosphere are awesome."

- Patrick Hennes, AJ team member

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