Xander Burch

Academic Tutor

I was born in Denver, Colorado, where I lived until I was sixteen; then, my family moved to Palo Alto, California, where I spent the next three years at Gunn High School. I graduated from the University of Southern California after double-majoring in cognitive science and narrative studies. I have wide-ranging interests, and I used my time in college to explore topics as diverse as American film, writing and English, behavioral science, artificial intelligence, and statistics. I’ve always been insatiably curious, leading me to pursue research in psychology and the social sciences.

I began tutoring in high school, helping my peers pass and thrive in Gunn’s challenging classes. Though I had initially picked up tutoring to meet friends at a new high school, I quickly realized my love for teaching and sought more opportunities to help my fellow students. As someone who always thrived in academic environments, I loved having the opportunity to share my skills with my friends and peers. By the time I graduated, I had tutored students in diverse subjects, like Spanish, pre-calculus, English, and physics. I continued my work as a tutor in college, initially working with elementary school children. Eventually, I became a tutor with Upward Bound, a federally funded program aimed to promote secondary education, where I tutored high school students enrolled in college-level English courses. As rewarding as this job was, I tutored primarily in classroom formats and regretted that I couldn’t provide each student the focus and attention they needed. 

I enjoy tutoring in a 1-on-1 format where I can get to know each student not only as an academic but also as a person. I find that being able to understand a student’s unique disposition, academic background, and interests is crucial to providing effective tutoring. Typically, students struggle the most in the subjects they are least passionate about or interested in. I see it as my job to help students find their “angle” into these subjects. Especially in topics like math and English, my favorite subjects to tutor, students often see the material as distant, arcane, and inaccessible in their daily lives. I want to show students how they can bring their own experiences and skills to the table, developing abilities they didn’t even know they had.

As a tutor, I endeavor to share my curiosity and love for learning with my students. I find that students struggling with difficult topics like quadratic formulas or Shakespeare’s plays quickly learn to hate those very topics. This, of course, is a travesty; I’ve always seen math and English as contrasting ways of making sense of our complicated world. Math represents the analytical, scientific approach, while English represents the human approach. I find that my own life is greatly enriched by being able to approach problems from these contrasting perspectives. My ability to help students master intimidating courses is made all the more rewarding by watching my students learn to love (or, at least, appreciate) the subjects they used to resent. 

When I’m not tutoring, I enjoy spending time with my cats and dog, playing Minecraft, and hiking.

Subjects Tutored:

Academic Algebra 1
Academic Geometry
Academic Algebra 2
Academic Trigonometry
Academic Statistics
AP Statistics


Happy Parents and Students

 I feel that I learned a lot from my tutoring sessions and I feel way more prepared for the ACT than I would if I was studying on my own.  Read what others are saying

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