Amber Nathanson

Academic Tutor

My fondest memories at UCSC, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, were holding tutoring and study sessions in chemistry, biology, and physics. I enjoyed seeing my friends and peers succeed, and I found myself motivated to help others around me excel.

My passion for science began in sixth grade. I had a phenomenal teacher who opened my eyes up to how to apply science to the world around me and changed my perspective on school. Instead of thinking about biology as “the study of life,” I came to see it as “the study of things around me.” Memorizing facts and terminology can be extremely difficult, but understanding both the flow and logic behind biology and chemistry and their relevance to our lives makes the material not only easier, but also more fun. With my newfound confidence and passion for learning about science, I attended Campolindo High School where I enjoyed taking AP biology and chemistry.

I first began teaching when I was 16. I started my own table tennis coaching business and taught senior citizens how to play in private and group lessons for over two years. During high school, I also taught table tennis and other sports to kids at summer camp. I really enjoyed helping people learn and watching them improve, and these experiences led me to begin tutoring in college and begin coaching again during the pandemic. In all my teaching experiences, I have learned to put myself in the position of my student and to really listen, not only to what the student is saying, but also to how the student feels about what we are doing. If something isn’t working out, I pinpoint the problem and find a creative solution.

My teaching philosophy is not to sugar coat things, but also to be understanding my student’s needs. I want to guide my students through learning until they build the confidence and study skills to do it themselves; I see my job as being to teach, not to do their work for them. I enjoy the 1-on-1 tutoring environment as I can customize my approach with each student. For example, with a visual learner, we can draw out the steps of mitosis. With an auditory learner, we can create a fun saying for each of the steps. With a kinesthetic learner, we can pretend each of our hands are the chromosomes going through the steps of segregation. Overall, I work to build strong relationships with my students so that I can not only teach them the material, but also make the learning experience fun.

When I’m not teaching, I love playing table tennis, hiking, watching movies, and going to concerts.

Subjects Tutored:

Academic Chemistry
Academic Biology
Academic Study Skills
Academic K-8
AP Chemistry
AP Biology




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