Matt Pickup

Academic Tutor

My curiosity about the world has been with me since early childhood and has compelled me to explore a variety of subjects that fascinate me. It has also fueled my desire to convey my passion for learning to others. Sharing in the joy of discovery is probably the greatest reward of the educator. 

I was born in the Philippines and spent my early years there before attending a British school in southern Spain. At the age of nine, I moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where I completed the International Baccalaureate program. I then graduated from Humboldt State University, now Cal Poly Humboldt, with a degree in history. Looking back on my education, I maintain a fondness and admiration for those teachers whose exceptional knowledge, passion, and dedication to their craft breathed life into the subjects they taught—this standard of excellence is what I endeavor to match as a tutor.

I can trace my interest in English back to my junior high school days, as I was an avid reader of science fiction, pulp novels, and game books. The more I read, the more confident I became as a writer—incorporating the syntax, vocabulary, and stylistic devices of admired authors into my own repertoire. Words and language captivated me to the point of actually perusing dictionaries. Somewhere around that time I became very interested in history; I was enamored initially with the Middle Ages, but my curiosity grew to encompass the Classical Era, English history, intellectual and military history, and others. 

My first experience as a tutor was teaching math and English to elementary school children from underserved communities. I had the opportunity to teach basic study skills and the fundamentals of literacy, and to watch my students grow in confidence and ability. Afterwards, I taught college-bound high school students U.S. history and AP European and AP World History. 

As a teacher, I champion hard work, close engagement, empathy, constructive criticism, and lasting confidence. The one-on-one format allows me to respond to specific student concerns or assignments and to identify weaknesses, while affording personalized instruction and constant feedback on academic progress, all in a private, relaxed setting that allows for candid communication. What I love most about teaching is when students’ questions lead to more questions and they begin to connect the dots, illuminating what was formerly dark.

I enjoy a number of hobbies including reading and collecting books, watching movies from the 70s and 80s, upgrading my hi-fi system, drawing and painting, growing hot peppers, hiking, camping, and playing tennis.

Subjects Tutored:

Academic English
Academic European History
Academic US History
AP English Language and Composition
AP English Literature and Composition
AP US History


Happy Parents and Students

 AJ Tutoring was wonderfully adaptive to my schedule. They were nice and very willingly helpful.  Read what others are saying

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