The Zinc Blog

Meet A Tutor: Claire

Claire Dunnington

Boot Camp teacher Claire has been tutoring with Zinc since 2010 and is now a mentor to new tutors. She graduated from Brown University with honors in English and creative writing and was named to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. After teaching English in Thailand for a year, she moved to New York for graduate school. She received her MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, where she taught undergraduate writing courses. Claire has published in both print and online magazines and is currently working on a nonfiction manuscript and a novel. In addition to writing and tutoring, she performs as a harpist and plays the drums.

An experienced Boot Camp and class instructor, Claire will be teaching the morning section of this summer’s July In-Person SAT/ACT Boot Camp. We asked Claire about college advice, why grammar is fun, and what’s great about being a Boot Camp teacher.

What’s the best piece of advice you got while you were going through the college process yourself?

There is no single perfect college for any student. Some schools will be better fits than others, but it’s highly unlikely that a successful, enriching, and enjoyable college experience hinges on admittance to one school.

What’s a favorite section to teach on the SAT or ACT and why?

I love to teach the ACT English section. The SAT Writing section is similar in the content it tests, but the passages on the ACT often focus on delightfully obscure topics. “Grammar” sounds like it might be dry and rote, but in truth it’s fascinating. Learning how to effectively use language to convey nuances of meaning is a critical skill, and it’s fun to figure out how and why we write the way we do. 

What do you enjoy most about Boot Camp?

I love the fast pace – it can be intense, but the week (or two) passes quickly and everyone emerges on the other side bearing a wealth of knowledge about the test(s). It’s especially useful for rising juniors, who finish Boot Camp with a comprehensive understanding of not only the test they’re planning to take but also of themselves—how they think, how they work, and what they need to focus on. That said, It’s also great for rising seniors who are preparing for a final test or two and want to reinforce the content and methods they’ve been working on.

Check out Claire’s writing:

“High Tide,” published in Lumen Magazine


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