Andrew Isom

Andrew I.

Philadelphia, PA

Lesson Details



Andrew delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5 to 80 and special needs

Teaching since:
July 2000

Teaching and tutoring has been my calling from early in life. It started with tutoring my friends, up to when I was hired through my high school Calculus class to tutor 10th grade Geometry students.

Since then, I've taught GRE, ACT and SAT prep and I've been a classroom mathematics teacher (from 7th grade to 12th grade) for almost a decade.

I have two specialties that make me fairly unique in the domain of Mathematics and Test Prep teaching and tutoring: First, I help students to understand the topic on a much deeper and more interesting level, by connecting it to related topics and skills, providing historical background, and elaborating on how it's been used and how it's currently used. This makes the material much more interesting, and, hence, much more likely to be recalled it in the future, than when it is taught the standard way.

Secondly, I am well aware of the role test-anxiety and self-doubt plays in the lack of success of some students, so I put a lot of emphasis on the emotional and psychological component of learning and test-taking. With a bachelor's degree in Psychology, I have tools to apply that help students to overcome the debilitating affects of test anxiety, self-doubt, and fear of failure.

Beyond this, I am very personable and can connect with most any student that I teach. I love to help students to learn, and that is readily evident to my students. Some students are intimidated by teachers or tutors who don't know how to connect with the students on a personal level, or how to break things down in a way that makes sense to the student, but that's where I truly excel. Instead of simply repeating myself and wondering why a students doesn't understand a challenging concept, I work to grasp where the breakdown occurs, and then build up from what they do already understand. Through this, I have had unparalleled success throughout my teaching experience, whether it is Math specifically, or Test Prep more generally.

Working with me will not only provide you nearly immediate success, but the effects will carry over well into the future. My teaching is a lifetime investment.

I look forward to meeting you and helping you to overcome your challenges to reach your greatest potential.

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SAT Instructor and Curriculum Designer
Jul 2010 - Present
Mighty Writers

I've created and taught a 48-hour course that covers content review, test taking strategies, and test anxiety reduction techniques that has resulted in an average 200+ point gain.

Private Tutor
Jun 2005 - Present
A-Team Test Prep

I have privately tutored numerous students throughout the past 10 years, including:

GRE Prep: a recent college grad and an older adult (60s).
SAT/ACT Prep: Several high school students, and a rising 8th grader
10th - 12th Grade Math: Student completing degree online
10th Grade Geometry: Central High Student
7th grade final exam preparation and SAT Prep
Algebra Preview: Rising 7th Grade Student

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7th Grade Singapore Math and 8th Grade Algebra
Aug 2011 - Jun 2013
Folk Arts - Cultural Treasures Charter School

I spent two years teaching the highly touted Singapore Math method of math instruction, which can be described as:

"Teaching students to learn and master fewer mathematical concepts at greater detail as well as having them learn these concepts using a three-step learning process. The three steps are: concrete, pictorial, and abstract. In the concrete step, students engage in hands-on learning experiences using concrete objects such as chips, dice, or paper clips. This is followed by drawing pictorial representations of mathematical concepts. Students then solve mathematical problems in an abstract way by using numbers and symbols."

Research has shown this to be a highly effective way to teach and learn for all students, no matter what level of understanding at which they start. This resulted in 87% Proficient with 56% Advanced on the PSSA, which is extremely high for a low-income, inner-city school. Furthermore, learning to utilize this method to math instruction has propelled my ability to reach all students even further.

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Teaching Certificate in Secondary Mathematics
Jul 2005 - Jun 2007
University of Pennsylvania
Master's in Human Development and Family Studies
Aug 2000 - May 2002
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Bachelor's in Psychology
Jul 1997 - May 1999
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Teaching Certificate in Secondary Mathematics
Jul 2007
University of Pennsylvania

Teach For America program in Urban Education


Graduated with Distinction
May 1999
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


American Tutoring Association
Apr 2014

The ATA was founded in 2001 and has since certified over 6,000 tutors. In addition to creating standards for the industry, the ATA also provides a host of support services to professional tutors.

Photos & Videos

This video summarizes some aspects of our SAT prep work that we have done through a non-profit called Mighty Writers.
My and daughter and me making funny faces. She's following right in my footsteps!

Selfie with my snuggler.
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8 Reviews

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Christine W. Aug 20, 2014
GRE · In studio

Since he is an experienced teacher, I invited Andy to speak to my graduate students in the teacher certification program at Temple University. He was very well received. Andy spoke to the pre-service teachers about classroom management, adolescent development, and test anxiety. His presentation was well organized and engaging, and the students learned much from his words of wisdom and concrete examples from urban teaching.

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Lisa S. Aug 12, 2014
Algebra 1 · In home

Andy has been working with our middle-school-aged son this summer, to help him prepare for a challenging Algebra I class next school year. We didn't want to overwhelm our son with endless lessons, so we prioritized finding a tutor who would tailor both his teaching style and the material for optimal understanding. Andy did exactly that. He rapidly got to know our son's learning style, motivations, and concerns-- and structured his lessons to complement them. Andy's deep understanding of math pedagogy enabled him to devise a novel teaching plan that has previewed key algebra concepts with our son, laying a firm conceptual foundation and boosting our son's confidence as the school year approaches.

As parents we are also grateful for Andy's accessibility via telephone and email to discuss our son's progress. He has thoughtfully incorporated our input and input from our son's future schoolteacher.

We are also delighted that our son enjoys his tutoring sessions with Andy, and looks forward to his visits! We highly recommend Andy and are glad that we found him.

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Shelly M. Aug 12, 2014
SAT · In studio

Mr. Andrew is an exceptional educator that truly cares about the success of his students. Our daughter was part of his SAT prep
class the summer before her senior year. Mr. Andrew
gave her the skills she needed to improve her test score by more than 200 points. But more importantly than her test score she was confident and comfortable before taking the test. Mr. Andrew provided her with really good insight into what the test preparers were looking for and help to fine tune skills that she has worked during her early high school years. We are proud to say our daughter was accepted at all four of the schools she applied to. She was accepted early decision to Drexel University and will be a freshman there in merely 34 days!!!

Thank you Mr. Andrew we couldn't have done it without you.

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Ben G. Aug 5, 2014
Math · In home

Andy is the Man! I needed a quick refresher course to cover everything up to Pre-Calculus in a short amount of time. If it wasn't for Andy's versatile math skills and organizational skills there is no way I could have learned so much in such a limited amount of time. His patience allowed me to feel as if I wasn't under a huge amount of pressure and helped me feel a deeper sense of understanding in math.

I would definitely use Andy's services in the future if they are ever needed again!

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Eric L. Aug 2, 2014
Sat Math · In studio

Teacher Andy is the best! In the past, I was doing tedious math problems that I had no enthusiasm for, but he inspired me! He cares for his student's success and helped me realize my potentials to do math. He gave me many opportunities to do various math through textbooks, and Khan Academy. He also gave me insights to the field of mathematics by giving me books to read about the history of math and the elegance of it. Not only that, he would help me before, and after school and spend his time to help me with math. I don't think I would have scored so high on my math SAT testing if he had not done so much for me. Excellent teacher!

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Rachel L. Aug 1, 2014
SAT · In studio

In my capacity as Education Director at Mighty Writers, I've been working with Andy for three years. He's a thoughtful professional who worked with us to revamp our SAT curriculum in order to shine a light on test anxiety and the way that it affects Philly students taking a test like the SAT.

Andy is responsible, relatable and methodical. His strengths include curriculum writing and design, meeting students' individual needs and troubleshooting weak areas. The class he's been teaching with us for several years has gotten better with each session, and the student improvement (average +200 points) speaks for itself.

Rachel Loeper
Education Director
Mighty Writers
267-239-0899 x5

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Zeke J. Jul 29, 2014

I taught with Andy. As a special Education teacher, I can say that Andy is a master of differentiation. He is not only knowledgeable of content, he understands student needs and is able to connect with them irregardless of their past experiences with the subject. Two of my students who were attending regular education math for the first time with out any pull out support. Andy was able work within their means and inspired them. They were able to perform in his classroom. They felt successful and their scores improved.

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Annette H. Jul 25, 2014
SAT · In studio

I am the Program Director at Mighty Writers, a Philadelphia nonprofit that teaches kids how to write and think clearly. I have observed Andrew teach a two-hour SAT Prep four times a weeks to students at Mighty Writers in West Philadelphia .
Andy is informed, prepared and affable with his students. His obvious command of the subjects he teaches helps put students at ease, and he is always available to talk to the kids afterwards.
As time goes on, I can see that the students are even more trusting of Andy, which means they will perform for him. The only reason I didn't give him a five-star rating is because I'm waiting for students to take the final test. If Andy's previous students are any indication, his students' scores should increase between 100-200 points. I'm confident that they will.

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