find your fire.

The mind is not a vessel to fill, but a fire to ignite.

~Plutarch  

 

Elizabeth

Ms. Ravi has had excellent rapport with [Building a Bridge coding] students and they came to trust and like her deeply... She was able to tailor our curriculum to
meet the needs of students with widely differing abilities, and work with their individual learning styles.
Ms. Ravi is highly competent, motivated, professional, organized and has a positive, gentle demeanor
which made her very relatable to the students.

Dionne

Anjana... has been my son's math tutor for two years, and have been efficient, detail-oriented and extremely competent. Anjana has a wonderful rapport with my son, and has been excellent in her communication skills, and is readily available for support, even on very short notice.

clients & colleagues say:

Paul

 Robert was amazing! If you need help with an essay you are writing he is the go-to guy... I was absolutely blown away by his level of expertise and knowledge.

Pavitra

My son in sixth grade... had a lot of self doubt and lacked confidence when it came to anything related to numbers... Within a few short months, Anjana has worked her magic on him... he has actually begun to care about the work... It's been so wonderful to have his true personality shine even when doing a subject he finds difficult.

Nellie

Robert... brought such a fantastic vibrancy and enthusiasm... his impact on the entire high school... was palpable... Robert's knowledge in his filed (and many other fields) is extensive, but what is most impressive is the passion and care he takes to present these intricate and important pieces, whether it be history or literature... The students... are eager to take up the next question or challenge... that builds upon what Robert has laid down.

Stephanie

He's helping to unlock my child's potential equipping him to be successful... You will not be disappointed by selecting Robert; he's amazing. Highly recommended!

Anjana Ravi

  • LinkedIn

We are sorry to bid farewell to our wonderful STEM tutor Anjana Ravi, who is moving and will be pursuing other avenues for her teaching in the future. We are commencing a search for a new STEM tutor to join the Ignite platform, and wish Anjana all the best. She's brought Ignite so many assets and her clients will miss her greatly! Until we fill these big shoes, we will unfortunately be unable to take on new clients in STEM subjects. Stay tuned to meet our new STEM tutor!

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Anna University

MS, COMPUTER SCIENCE, 2014

B.Tech, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, 2011

Robert McKay

  • LinkedIn

Robert has always loved language, scoring perfect 800s on the verbal SATs, gaining admission to top schools like Amherst, Williams, Vassar, Colby and Wesleyan, in addition to Middlebury where he got his BA. His lifelong passion for writing and education led through numerous outdoor education, urban agriculture and youth development jobs, small-press editing, a book of poems (Cities of Rain, Honeybee Press, 2012) and finally to teaching. Robert taught history and literature for five years in East Coast private high schools, including a startup where he built a new curriculum from the ground up. In 2017 he moved to Seattle and founded Ignite, continuing to work with special education and ELL students in Seattle and Highline Public Schools, where he earned his certification in ELL, Literacy and History on the job. Robert has helped scores of students score higher on the SAT, ISEE, and AP exams, and has spent almost as much time editing admissions essays as he has working on his crime novel manuscript! Robert's other hobbies include parenting plants and cats, cycling the city, and value investing. He's working on his Spanish and Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst certification.

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Middlebury College

BA IN PHILOSOPHY & RELIGION, 2009

GPA: 3.56

Our expert Tutors

What can tutoring do for you?

The INSPIRE model of effective tutoring is a research-based explanation of what great tutors do and why it can be so powerful for students. When I read about it I thought: "Oh yeah, that's exactly what I'm trying to do!"

* Adapted from Wood, W. B., & Tanner, K. D. (2012). The Role of the Lecturer as Tutor: Doing What Effective Tutors Do in a Large Lecture Class. CBE Life Sciences Education, 11(1), 3–9. http://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.11-12-0110

Intelligent: Great tutors know and love their subjects, and can pinpoint students' optimal level of challenge.
Nurturing: They come to know and care for their students--their strengths & challenges, hopes & dreams.
Socratic: Great tutors "provide almost no facts, solutions, or explanations, but elicit... by questioning." Students are "constantly thinking, doing, and responding."
Progressive: Great tutors can lead students through an ascending spiral of inquiry, helping them find not just answers, but new and deeper questions.
Indirect: Great tutors know how to offer feedback with impeccable tact. Students always know how they are doing, and never feel judged.
Reflective: Going beyond "getting the right answer," great tutors ask students to articulate their thinking, developing metacognitive muscles.
Encouraging: Always believing in students' abilities, great tutors motivate & bolster confidence.*

 

We work with...

6-8

MIDDLE SCHOOL

9-12

HIGH SCHOOL

U

UNDERGRADUATE

+

ADULT LEARNERS

on subjects like...

 
 

english & writing

Ignite founder and writing coach Robert McKay says: "I've been a writer since I learned to write, and I practice and teach genres from poetry to research papers to op eds. I've taught high school English for five years, was an undergraduate fellow at the legendary Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and have published dozens of poems and essays in a number of venues. But more importantly, I have a contagious enthusiasm for language that sings, and a zealousness for whittling and polishing away at a piece until it shines."

Social sciences

Robert is incredibly passionate about world history and social studies, and their importance for tomorrow's global citizens. Having developed an innovative global history curriculum at two private schools, and shared it with others as a professional development seminar leader, has given him a level of research-driven understanding of the field that you can't find in any textbook. Robert's philosophy: "I bring my students far more than just the facts -- I help them build up conceptual frameworks, big-picture knowledge, and most importantly genuine interest."

STEM & Coding

As Ignite's STEM and coding expert, Anjana brings an impressive teaching background in physics, chemistry, life sciences & ecology, with an interdisciplinary emphasis on science & society--especially in light of current events! Plus, she's worked in IT for much of her career and has taught Scratch, Python, HTML and more.

At Ignite, we make math meaningful, from pre-algebra through calculus, with enrichment and connections to data science basics, data visualization & presentation skills, beginner to advanced Excel, financial literacy and business math.

Test Prep & Admissions

With decades of combined experience preparing students for the SAT, we help you leverage your strengths, manage your weaknesses, and get over testing angst to concentrate on jacking up your scores! We also work with ACT, ISEE, and AP exam prep.

If you're applying to high schools or colleges, we offer full-spectrum support with schools research, application strategy, resume-writing, essay revision, and app deadline management.

time mgmt & study skills

We provide executive function coaching as well as highly personalized solutions for time management. We identify where a student's organizational systems are absent or breaking down, and help them test solutions--from sticky notes to apps--till we find what works. "As a student, I always struggled with time management, organization, distractions, and procrastination," Robert says. "I love sharing hard-won lessons on how to overcome these hurdles, & I know first-hand how helpful a tutor can be with them." 

Antioch University

MEd COURSEWORK, WALDORF EDUCATION CERTIFICATE, GPA: 3.58

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Middlebury College

BA IN PHILOSOPHY & RELIGION, GPA: 3.56

Our Founder's Story

I've been an educator of one kind or another since I was in high school myself. I've taught in classrooms, gardens, yurts and theaters -- mostly writing and social studies, but also everything from gardening to theater to financial literacy. I've worked with tweens, teens, college students and adult learners at Fortune 500 companies. I love helping English learners as a language learner myself, and recently complete my Washington State ELL and Literacy teaching certification. A History autodidact, I added that endorsement with 98% scores on the WEST-E. I have experience with students on the autism spectrum, students with ADHD, and students struggling emotionally with adverse personal circumstances.


A passion for lifelong learning is what I teach by example. I completed M.Ed. coursework from Antioch University with a concentration in Waldorf pedagogy; I graduated cum laude from Middlebury, the nation's #4 liberal arts college, in 2009 (GPA 3.56); and I have perfect 800 SAT scores in reading and writing. Since leaving academia, I've taught myself macro- and microeconomics, value investing, advanced Excel, Spanish and Internet marketing.

 

As a student, though, I struggled with attention, time management, and executive functioning. I've learned to manage these challenges and find the strengths within my learning style, and I know first-hand the crucial role that tutors, coaches, and mentors can play.


I've always loved helping young people discover new things about the world and themselves. And that, for me, is what learning's all about -- acing the next test is just a side effect (which I will absolutely help you achieve).
 

You know the passion and confidence for learning is smoldering within you or your child. How can I help it burst into flame? 

Robert McKay, Founder, Ignite Tutoring Seattle