Richard’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Richard’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
I'm very enthusiastic about tutoring American History. My degrees are all in this area, and I have taught this subject at all levels, from fourth graders to graduate students, for thirty years.
I've coached younger Little League teams in San Francisco, Burlingame, San Mateo, and Hillsborough. My coaching philosophy is to show how much fun baseball activities can be. Throwing and fielding come first -- as parallels to communication, helpfulness, and thoughtfulness. Learning proper arm motions and "getting in front of the ball" are necessary basics. Batting comes next as a combination of seeing, arm movement, and weight-shifting. The separate motions all need to work together -- as if in teamwork -- to have fun while improving and excelling.
I have helped numerous students read, critique, and express their views on a broad range of classic works. My degrees are in History, and I have specialized in intellectual currents, including the original meaning and enduring significance of the greatest literature. Classic epics, mythology, history, philosophy, poetry, plays, and novels are both timeless and time-bound, meaning across time and meaning in times: in the times they first appeared and in later times when they are read and discussed anew.
As a college professor, I took special care to instruct my students in writing essays. I published an essay in the freshman orientation handbook on the topic of writing essays for college essay tests. As a published biographer, I am very interested in personal narratives, and I counsel students by encouraging students to express and present their individual strengths.
My degrees are in U.S. History, and I am a first year law student who has taken criminal law. In college, I researched and wrote about the prisoner furlough system in Massachusetts for James Q. Wilson.
My K-6th experience includes teaching 4th and 5th grade English and Social Studies at Merryhill School in San Jose, CA; substitute teaching in various (preschool and) Kindergarten through 6th grade classrooms for Teachers on Reserve; teaching English language arts to various grade levels at Enopi Learning Center in San Mateo, CA; tutoring 3rd and 1st grade brothers in Foster City (currently).
I have taught English language skills to elementary, middle, high school, and college students. As a college professor, I required essay tests in all of my courses -- in order to ensure that my students would practice and learn more about writing. Students should not learn grammar, syntax, and punctuation rules just to learn rules; they should learn them in order to become aware of the functions and relations of words within sentences. Development of foundational language skills makes writing much easier, as this basis allows students to write with confidence.
I took French every year in grade school and high school, receiving honors in French upon graduation. I have taught beginning French, in which I emphasize vocabulary, pronunciation, spelling, inflection, and sentence formation. I enjoy showing students how their knowledge of English vocabulary and grammar readily grows as they learn French.
Although raised in America, I learned German in order to remain in contact with my father's family in Germany and the Tyrol. As a graduate student in history, I studied seven months at the Goethe Institut and a semester at the University of Innsbruck. I very much enjoy teaching German because of the many ways in which it is like -- and unlike -- English, a ("Germanic") language I also teach.
Government & Politics
During my college years, I worked in state government and politics. I was a paid assistant to the Lieutenant Governor of Missouri, and I was a paid researcher in the first successful Senate campaign of John C. Danforth. I also interned in the office of the Massachusetts House Minority Leader. More recently I have participated in local city council campaigns.
I have taught grammar to elementary, middle, high school, and college students. As a college professor, I required essay tests in all of my courses -- in order to ensure that my students would learn more about writing. Students should not learn grammar and syntax rules just to learn rules; they should learn them in order to become aware of the functions and relations of words within sentences. A knowledge of grammar makes writing much easier, as this foundation allows students to write with confidence.
I have helped a number of youngsters -- from early grades through middle school -- improve their handwriting. Use of model-tracing sheets and a molded "grip" on the end of the pencil can be helpful devices for many, but not all, students. It's exciting to help young writers learn cursive, as the process is much more efficient and the product much more aesthetically appealing than mere printing. If an articulate person is one who easily connects words in complete sentences, it seems obvious that skill in cursive writing, which connects letters so readily, would be very helpful for the development of articulation.
I currently am helping students prepare for the ISEE and the SSAT. The focus of our work is on vocabulary, sentence completion questions, analogies, reading comprehension strategies, and preparation for the essay component.
Over half of all words in English derive from Latin, one of the most logical and widely-spoken languages ever created. Study of Latin will help English-speaking students understand their own language much better and provide them with a window into French, Spanish, Italian, and other languages. I enjoy teaching students this Mother Language by using the Seventh Edition of 'Wheelock's Latin' and its accompanying workbook.
My experience publishing in several journals, reviewing other writers' submissions, and editing newsletters allows me to help with proofreading quite effectively.
Trained in history, I've taught the history of psychology and published in several psychology journals and encyclopedias, including American Psychologist, Applied Psychology: An International Review, and the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, Encyclopedia of Psychology, and the Encyclopedia of Human Intelligence.
The individualized teaching context of tutoring is very helpful for building student confidence in reading. I give students brief passages that contain interesting stories and ample specific detail (who did what when, where, how, and why?). After they have completed the passage, I have them turn it over, and I ask questions on the overall story and its particular facts. I've had great success with this method. It trains students to be active "hunters and gatherers" of facts and events, and it builds their confidence for reading they do on their own.
I have helped students prepare for the SAT for the past seven years. As a former college professor and high school teacher, I am very knowledgeable of the verbal and writing skills expected of SAT takers. I also have published articles on the history of standardized testing.
My degrees are in history, but I have always required and evaluated student writing in every course I have given. I have helped scores of students improve their writing skills in order to prepare for the SAT essay section. After reviewing grammar, syntax, and word choice, the skills I emphasize are, first, demonstrating one's thesis or argument with specific detail, and second, developing one's thesis from introduction to conclusion.
My graduate degrees are in history, where my training included a seminar in social (and quantitative) history. I have taught courses on the history of social thought and pioneering sociologists. For several years I served as an officer of Cheiron, the International Society for the History of the Behavioral and Social Sciences, and the Forum for the History of Human Science.
I have taught and tutored for over 30 years, during which time I have excelled as a student advisor and received outstanding service awards. I enjoy helping students identify and focus on the practical steps they need to take in order to excel in their schoolwork. A fulfilling education requires the development of reflection in the individual student, and there is no better place for reflection to start than in the conscientious keeping of an assignment book and organized class and reading notebooks. The reflective student will also keep a journal for entering new vocabulary and accounts of new experiences.
I became interested in World History at an early age, as both my parents and (one set of) grandparents grew up on separate continents. My degrees are in History, and I enjoy helping students understand their culture better by encouraging them to take greater interest in their own roots. I have always promoted writing as a key historical skill, as I believe it is essential that students become their own historians, actively writing their own histories.
I've helped numerous people improve their writing, such as when they need to craft their personal (application) essays; it's a delight to interview clients, discover the experiences that define them, and help them organize and express these experiences.