Mark Blacher holds a B.A. in English from Columbia University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude, and an M.A. in comparative literature from UCLA. As an instructor in UCLA’s Humanities Series, he introduced students to classics of world literature while helping them to improve their essay writing. He found that he loved teaching and was able to get young people excited about demanding texts. As a tutor in UCLA’s Academic Advancement Program, he first experienced the privilege of working with students one-on-one.
Returning to his undergraduate alma mater, Mark taught high-achieving high school students in Columbia University’s Pre-College Programs, which led to a two-decade administrative career within Pre-College. Holding various leadership positions, he played a central role in the program’s growth from fewer than a hundred students to over three thousand. As Director of Faculty and Instruction from 2016 to 2021, he recruited, trained, and supervised hundreds of instructors and focused on ensuring and maximizing pedagogical quality. In 2021, Mark finally returned to his true passion, teaching, and since then he has been leading Pre-College Programs classes in literature and expository writing.
Recently Mark has also been doing some private tutoring, both in person and online. Whether it be 9th graders or graduate students, he has helped learners to become stronger writers (of academic and personal essays), readers, and thinkers. His work includes supporting students with college application essays.
Mark’s approach to teaching is based on the following precepts: (1) The most effective way to foster learning is by making the material interesting, pertinent, and fun. (2) Writing should be a tool for developing and fine-tuning one’s thinking, rather than an impediment. (3) Learning to read, write, and think effectively is the ideal preparation for everything from succeeding as a doctor, lawyer, or financier to functioning as a responsible world citizen.
Outside of teaching, tutoring, and reading, Mark enjoys experiencing art and music, being in nature, taking photographs, exercising, and exploring the world.