Ian is an experienced tutor of test prep, study skills, math, Spanish, and writing. Ian graduated from UC Berkeley with a major in anthropology, earning high honors and high distinction in general scholarship. He teaches essay writing to elementary, middle, and high school students, prepares students for the SSAT and HSPT, and assists with high school and college admissions essays. As a careful observer of life, Ian enjoys helping students train their eye to language as they brainstorm, write, and edit essays, both for school work and for school applications. He also has a talent for explaining math concepts to middle school students who consider themselves more humanities-oriented. Ian has worked with students who have learning differences, and he enjoys understanding or even uncovering each student's learning style.
Previously Ian lived in the UK, Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong. He has maintained an interest in Buddhist meditation and philosophy for most of his adult life. In 2000, he spent several months traveling around South Korea taking photographs of temples and hermitages, which were eventually published in two books on Korean Seon (Zen) Buddhism in 2002. He still practices meditation, but as the father of a toddler he now finds he has less time for it than he used to. On the other hand, he has discovered that parenthood is a great opportunity to put into practice Buddhist principles such as mindfulness and compassion.
Ian is a calm, patient, and empathetic person with a wry sense of humor and a wide experience of the world, who has a genuine commitment to helping your child to succeed academically.
"Ian worked diligently and beautifully with both our son and daughter. He was always very encouraging, thorough, and a pleasure to work with for both me and my wife. We highly recommend Ian." - Parent, The Hamlin School, Marin Academy
"I thought Ian was fantastic! I learned a lot from him and I felt like I was with someone with whom I could ask questions. He helped me with a number of skills that I used multiple times during the test and I am ahead with a few concepts in math." - Student, The Hamlin School
"Ian was great! He was very helpful in both math and language, teaching strategies but also coming up with scenarios to help with verbal retention. He had a nice mix of being serious and on task, but also allowing for fun conversation and banter.
And, the results were worth the invested time and money." - Parent, Katherine Delmar Burke School
"Ian helped our son feel totally prepared for the SSAT through a combination of analyzing practice tests question by question, developing thoughtful strategies for each section of the test, and giving our son focused homework to prepare for the test. He really knows the material, has a great feel for how to push a student, and combines this all with a wry sense of humor." - Parent, Marin Country Day School
"We were very happy with Ian. He provided the tutoring, homework assignments and feedback that resulted in significant improvements in our daughter's SSAT scores. We were under some time pressure and he successfully consolidated material to get quick results.
Thanks for your help and guidance and the great communication Megan!" - Parent, Katherine Delmar Burke School
"Ian did an excellent job with our daughter. He was able to build her confidence and explain crucial test taking strategies and skills. Under his tutelage, she was able to increase her scores by 56 percentage points. Incredible! My daughter's performance improvement far exceeded my expectations. She is even a more confident student in school as a result of posting a strong SSAT score. Kudos to Ian, Megan and the entire Mindful Tutoring team. I couldn't be happier with her results and have referred many friends." - Parent, Marin Country Day School
"Ian was a great fit for [my daughter] and his quiet and patient tempo removed the stress that was building up over the SSAT. He was punctual and professional with great follow-up- a pleasure to work with!" - Parent, Katherine Delmar Burke School
"Ian helped our daughter with the reading section of the SSAT. What my daughter liked the best is that he not only told her the correct answer, he told her why the other answers were incorrect. This overall approach really helped her understand how to tackle the reading section of the SSAT. He was kind and patient." - Parent, The Hamlin School
"Ian was a great fit for our family, not only for our daughter. He understood our routines and adapted to them. He absolutely got our daughter's learning style, and always encouraged her to go the extra mile, with a reassuring smile. He gave her confidence and at the same time listened to our adult doubts. He is a great person and tutor." - Parent, Katherine Delmar Burke School
"A huge thank you from our family to the Mindful Tutor family! With the help of wonderful Mindful Tutors for two of my kids, they are well on their way to getting into the schools of their dreams!
In just six sessions with calm and thoughtful Ian, my daughter improved her overall SSAT score by 32 percentile points and her reading score by a stunning 50 percentile points! At your suggestion, she took the first available flex test and now is happily DONE with testing and stress, and can instead focus on finding the right fit.
And my senior wanted that one extra point to ensure that his ACT score didn't rule out any of the top schools - and after just four hours with Austin, he did it! Austin's approach was super targeted: he looked at my son's previous scores and knew precisely what needed improvement - there was not a wasted moment, and it was worth every penny!
Thank you for changing my children's lives - you've gone above and beyond with your personal attention and concern. We are looking forward to using Mindful Tutors proactively for our high school junior as we approach testing this time! I've recommended you to everyone I know!" - Parent, The Hamlin School and The Branson School