Michael Eastman
Associate Academic Mentor

I am originally from Cape Town, South Africa where I was a human rights lawyer, working on everything from representing refugees to promoting freedom of speech. I also clerked for the Chief Justice of South Africa, practiced corporate and appellate litigation as a trial lawyer in Johannesburg and throughout the African continent, and served in a senior policy role for the Government of South Africa. When I took a sabbatical to study for a graduate degree in international relations at Yale University, I happily met my now-wife and so immigrated to the United States. I have a deep passion and love for teaching and mentoring. I taught at Yale University for three years, coached professional development in both the South African government and in the legal fraternity, and served as a volunteer English and Debating teacher in marginalized high schools in South Africa. I hold bachelors and law degrees from the University of Cape Town in South Africa and a fellowship and graduate degree from Yale University.  I am also a novelist, drawing on my human rights work in Africa for inspiration.

I take great joy in cultivating the talents of my students. I do so in two complementary ways. First, I seek to create and hold a strong, supportive, and encouraging personal rapport with every student. Second, I design my lessons in meticulous detail so as to allow students to learn as much as possible in every session. Perhaps you’re a talented writer who wants to kick on to the next level. If so, I’ve taught writing to students who are now journalists at the New York Times and the Washington Post. Then again, perhaps you’ve never had the opportunity to discover the excitement of writing a story. To me, it matters not - I love helping students learn essential writing, reading, and executive function skills needed for success wherever they are headed.

Areas of Expertise

Middle Level

Middle Level Academic Humanities

  • Non-Fiction Reading Skills Middle Level
  • Fiction Reading Skills Middle Level
  • Social Studies and History Middle Level
  • Social Studies and History Middle Level


Middle Level Test Preparation  

  • Proctored Writing Sample


Middle Level Independent Study - Humanities

  • Project-based creative Fiction
  • Project-based creative Non-fiction
High School Level


High School Academic English

  • English 9th grade to 12th grade
  • AP English Literature
  • AP English Language


High School Academic History

  • AP United States History
  • AP Psychology
  • AP United States Government and Politics
  • AP World History: Modern


High School Level Independent Study - Humanities

  • Project-based creative Fiction
  • Project-based creative Non-fiction
Executive Function

Executive Functioning / Academic Coaching

  • Time management and study schedule
  • Organization of physical and digital materials
  • Planning skills for short-term and long-term assignments
  • Note-taking and note review
  • Test preparation strategies
  • Focus, attention, and engagement in class


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