Michael Ralston

Academic Tutor

My passion for learning, and education as a whole, came out of visiting my elementary school library. Any time my class went there, I would find a new textbook or historical account and try to make sense of it. While I mostly read fiction now, my love for learning has lingered.

I was born in the Bay Area, but I attended college at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and graduated with a degree in political science. At Reed, all classes are conferences, meaning that class time is a discussion between the professor and class. While it took a little adjustment at first, it made me realize how important engagement and interaction are in education. 

While I loved to read when growing up, I didn’t develop much of an interest in literature until high school. Since then, I’ve fully embraced the whole gamut of humanities disciplines. This experience has taught me that sometimes interest in a subject can take a while to develop or just takes the right topic, and I’ve found it incredibly satisfying to help my students figure out what draws their attention, be it English, social sciences, science, or mathematics.

Before I joined AJ Tutoring, I volunteered as a tutor for EPATT and both provided general tutoring and taught a computer science class at the Boys and Girls Club. My approach to tutoring is to help my students engage with the subject matter in a way that is both productive and fulfilling. Finding ways to bridge the gap from the task at hand to an appreciation of the subject can be challenging, but it makes learning far easier and enjoyable.

Outside of tutoring, I enjoying reading, writing, and looking for new artists on Spotify.

Subjects Tutored:

Academic K-8
Academic Study Skills
Academic US History
AP US History


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