My passion for teaching comes from a lifelong love of learning and discovering how subject like math, English, foreign languages, etc... work and why they are so useful for us. Since starting my career as a tutor seven years ago, I've had the pleasure of working closely with my students and seeing them excel to reach their goals--whether acing their next math quiz or improving their scores on GMAT. What's the secret? A combination of patience, personality, persistence, insightful challenges, and framing concepts and problems in an unthreatening, easy-to-grasp light is key, and this is my speciality.
Educational Background – With a Master of Education (Ed.M), from Harvard University, I have significant academic training in how the brain works and learns, which has proven an enormous benefit for my students. Coursework included psychology, biology, education, linguistics and mathematics. I attained by B.A. as a summa cum laude graduate at Providence College in Rhode Island.
Educational Philosophy - Having been in the education field for some time, I believe that students improve best when they make mistakes, then learn from them. Private tutoring offers the perfect venue for this kind of learning, and focusing on weaknesses and turning them into strengths is a core concept of my teaching. Students are able to attain real results—often far beyond what they expected when coupled with the right teacher, the right environment, and the right curriculum. I ensure all three of these so that students truly learn, develop, improve, and become stronger for their future. This is a rewarding approach for myself and my students.
Past Student Profile – Having taught more than 500 students in the Boston area (face-to-face) and abroad (via Skype), students have naturally ranged in age (12 to mid-60s), academic background (middle school to university), and ability. There is no student who has a math hurdle too challenging so long as they are ready to engage in serious study tailored to their level, so they can improve quickly and effectively.
Past Student Scores on Standardized Tests - Students who are ‘under the gun’ have enjoyed significant score boosts with my tried and tested approach on SAT, GRE, and GMAT exams. Past students who have been able to set aside a 12 week section of time have consistently scored in the 2100-2300 range of the SAT. GRE and GMAT students have had similar results.
Academic Sessions – These are comfortable in a way that the student is not pressured to put on a show or get everything right. On the contrary, a display of weakness or having a hard time understanding something is the area I am searching for in order to get to the core of the problem, and then tackle it. Communication, critical thinking, and focusing on the 'how' and 'why' is important in creating solid understanding that goes beyond rote memorization, and gives students a clear path to future academic successes, as well as a strong boost of confidence. Assigned homework and results-feedback allow students to stay on track and actually see their progress.
Session Length and Location – Every student is different, and therefore every student curriculum that I create is different. Session length, course length and frequency will be determined on an individual basis. Some students need one hour to understand one particularly difficult concept. Other students stay with me throughout the academic year, creating lasting friendships--in addition to excellent report card results. Sessions can take place in-home around the Metro West area, over Skype, or at the Harvard Club of Boston, where I teach from if you prefer to meet there.
Final words - As your success is a direct reflection on my interaction with you as the student, I take tutoring seriously and am dedicated to seeing your goals through with you. I look forward to meeting you!
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Richard's subjects
Algebra 1
Algebra 1 takes pre-algebra to a new level, which can be difficult for many students. But as algebra and the concepts students learn there are fundamental for higher level math, algebra is very important. Grasping those concepts wholeheartedly is even more important, and my methods of teaching them are designed for true understanding. Frequent practice, a 'teach me' module, homework, assessments and frequent feedback are all key components to my algebra courses that help students excel in their...
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Algebra 2
Algebra 2 builds on the concepts from algebra 1. This can be welcome news for students who do well in algebra 1, but for those who do not, algebra 2 can be an unwelcome thorn in their sides. But as algebra and the concepts students learn there are fundamental for higher level math, algebra 1 and 2 are very important. Grasping algebra 2 concepts is even more important, and my methods of teaching them are designed for true understanding. Frequent practice, a 'teach me' module, homework, assessments...
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Calculus
Calculus is one of my most preferred subjects to teach. It's a tough subject that foils many students, and I believe this confusion is unnecessary and more 'in your head'. Sure, tackling calculus alone can be a major feat, but having the right guide can make all the difference--even to the point of making calculus an enjoyable subject to study. I enjoy guiding students through the calculus maze and seeing them succeed with understanding and passing AP exams.
Geometry
Geometry is an interesting subject in the math line-up. It's common that students who are great at math before taking geometry can find that they run into some difficulties during their geometry course. Likewise, students who might have had difficulties in math before geometry actually excel in the subject due to the unique concepts that geometry exposes students to.
Doing geometry is like solving a puzzle with more spacial and visual skills called into play. Geometric proofs are also...
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Prealgebra
Pre-algebra is an important subject as it paves the way for success in later math subjects all the way through calculus. Getting it right at this crucial first step on the way to more advanced math can really make a difference.
I've worked with several students who have initially struggled with new concepts in pre-algebra and I know what works best to help them succeed in grasping those concepts for sound understanding now, and later in more advanced math courses.
Precalculus
Pre-calculus is my second favorite subject to teach, right behind calculus! While each math subject carries its own level of importance, pre-calc is surely a 'step-up' in the math continuum, preparing students for college-level mathematics and beyond. Being that pre-calc is an introduction to advanced math, there are new, intricate concepts that often cause difficulty for even the best math students. As an experienced math tutor, I am able to relate these new concepts to students in understandable,...
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Trigonometry
Trigonometry is a challenging subject that takes a detailed look at triangles, angles, and introduces students to sine, cosine, tangent, etc... Trig is also a subject that seems not to have a secure place in the math curriculum; some schools include it as a separate math course, other schools couple it with analytical geometry, and still others include many trigonometry concepts in with pre-calculus. Where ever trigonometry has a place at your school, one thing is clear: you need to have a solid...
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ACT Math
I've shared my insights and tried-and-true methods with many of students who need SAT/ACT preparation, and helped improve test scores in every case. Students have to be ready to buckle down. As long as they are motivated to work, that motivation coupled with my preparation course leads to very positive results.
SAT/ACT math does not require any math skills beyond geometry, which is a welcome relief for many students. With that in mind, the SAT/ACT math sections try to word questions...
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