Nia Crawford

Academic Tutor

I grew up in Orinda, and after graduating from Miramonte High School, I studied biopsychology at UC Santa Barbara. I chose to major in biopsychology because I wanted to better understand the biological processes that underpin human reasoning and behavior, and I thought I might eventually do psychological research. To my surprise, I was most interested in classes that emphasized physiology over psychology—a course on retinal development was my favorite during my undergraduate education.

After graduation, I began tutoring at a college access program for under-served high school students. Many of my students struggled academically and had long felt they were simply bad students. Unfortunately this message was often reinforced by their teachers, peers, and even parents. Watching their confidence grow as they began to grasp concepts that had previously seemed alien was incredibly rewarding. Witnessing “aha” moments—those times when a student’s face lights up because he or she finally understands a difficult math problem or crafts the perfect thesis statement—was and still is my favorite part of tutoring.

One summer I had the opportunity to teach an SAT prep class to a small group of my students. While I had always enjoyed tutoring students academically, I particularly liked test prep tutoring because I was able to see my students make measurable improvements as their scores increased. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I spent the next year and a half doing in-home SAT and ACT tutoring and now continue that work as a test prep tutor with AJ Tutoring. 

My personal teaching philosophy is that a teacher should act as a guide, and a student is ultimately responsible for his or her own learning. Good tutors equip their students with the tools they need to continue to be successful even as they work independently. The SAT or the ACT is just one test, but the skills that help students succeed on these exams—attention to detail, consistent practice, and time management—will be relevant to any academic field they pursue.

When I’m not tutoring at AJ, I’m hard at work at nursing school. I am interested in psychiatric nursing and plan to eventually pursue an advanced practice role as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I also enjoy cooking and going on hikes with my dog Nala.

Subjects Tutored:

SAT Subject Math2
SAT Subject Literature
Academic Algebra 1
Academic Algebra 2






Happy parents and students

 I found it really helpful in preparing for the ACT, and I liked how there are always practice test sessions every Saturday.   Read what others are saying

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