Joe’s focus is on student psychology as it relates to academics and standardized test prep. He’s worked in education for over 15 years and has a knack for putting complex ideas into simple terms that anyone can absorb. Students have described his communications style as “easy to follow” and even as “systematically laid-back.”
Having faced the obstacle at an early age of learning English as a Second Language, Joe has an acute awareness both of the challenges faced by young learners, and the joys of assimilating unfamiliar concepts. After getting a Chemistry and Math degree from UC Berkeley in 2003, he followed his passion for education by teaching in the inner city, working with small classes in a tri-valley learning center, independently tutoring students 1-on-1 throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and even spending 2 years living in southeast Asia helping local students raise their SAT scores so they could gain entry into the best universities in the world.
In addition to covering many standardized tests like the SSAT, ISEE, SAT, and ACT, Joe has a breadth of experience with math, science, reading, and writing. One motto he is often heard repeating is “Don’t say you know it until you can show it.” This places emphasis on the fact that learning is not a spectator sport; it involves doing things to demonstrate that you get it. He aims to not only help students learn, but also to mentor them, to model mindfulness practices in real life, and ultimately to encourage them toward ownership of their own growth process.
Joe has been fascinated by Buddhist teachings ever since reading Siddhartha over 20 years ago and has long sought to apply these teachings to life on an ongoing moment-to-moment basis. Nowadays, his mindfulness practice dovetails with his educational expertise in the form of hand-tailoring lessons that are simple, fun and, effective.
“Joe has been really great at explaining things to [my son], who has said, ‘I learned more in my first session with Joe than I’ve learned all month in my school math class.’” - Parent