Stephen Sanders

Academic & Test Prep Tutor

I was born and raised in rural South Carolina. My mother, who taught first grade for over thirty years, always stressed the importance of learning. Nonetheless, I struggled in middle school and high school. My schools were overcrowded and underfunded, and I resented “busy work” and frequently skipped class to read history, philosophy, and literature on my own. I originally planned on becoming a high school history and English teacher because I wanted to learn for a living. So, I became a “teacher cadet” in twelfth grade, helping elementary school students.

As an adolescent, no one informed me about the importance of college prep and standardized tests. Going to college at all is an impressive feat where I come from. But, to my surprise, I did exceptionally well at my hometown university. The small, communal environment was the perfect place for me. I quickly developed a knack for academic writing and decided that I wanted to be a professor. I majored in English, triple-minoring in history, philosophy, and religious studies. Throughout my undergraduate degree, I tutored my collegiate peers in history, logic, literature, and writing. Meanwhile, I supplemented my education by attending multiple summer and exchange programs; effectively, I made my own scholastic program. After my humanities BA, I pursued a MS in social and cultural psychology at the London School of Economics. I then tutored middle and high school students in humanities and social science subjects while working in psychology and neuroscience labs. Over the past three years, I’ve worked in four research labs, two of which studied cognitive development in children.

Before arriving at AJ Tutoring, I had five years of experience tutoring middle school, high school, and college students, and three years of experience working with preschool and elementary school children. I had studied and worked at ten universities thus far, including the University of Cambridge, Harvard University, the London School of Economics, and Stanford University. I’m also an Eagle Scout and a former ESL instructor. In addition to teaching, I study how people think about knowledge, morality, and each other. At AJ Tutoring, I enjoy helping high school students achieve success in their English classes and push their ability to think critically. I also coach elementary and middle school students not only in their academics to develop the skills and habits that will help them succeed throughout their academic careers, but also on the test taking skills essential for exams such as the HSPT, ISEE, and SSAT.

My scholastic frustrations and triumphs have profoundly influenced my teaching philosophy. I am passionate about educational equity and accommodating my lessons to fit my students’ needs. I strive to know each student as a unique person while fostering a meaningful relationship with them. My goal isn’t to merely help students make good grades and ace tests, but to develop a lifelong passion for learning. I delight in teaching multiple subjects to varied age groups, and I constantly benefit from refreshing and expanding my own knowledge while helping others. It’s all terrific fun.

When I’m not teaching and researching, I hike, befriend animals, write fiction and poetry, listen to podcasts, garden, and cook.

Subjects Tutored:

Interview Prep
ISEE, HSPT, SSAT, and Writing Sample
Academic English
Academic Study Skills
Academic K-8
AP English Language and Composition
AP English Literature and Composition


Happy Parents and Students

 I really liked my tutor, as he was both helpful and friendly, as well as encouraging.   Read what others are saying

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