Rachel’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Rachel’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
I think algebra is the part of math that most befuddles people. You get equations like x+y=5,or y+z=8, and your brain just goes in to panic mode. "Those aren't all numbers!" Is what your mind is thinking, and you become immediately discouraged. But if you think of these problems as puzzles rather than headaches, and learn the technique (which is quite similar for all basic equations), then your brain calms down, and your heart stops racing. I've worked with a number of students in algebra 1 at a variety of ages (from middle school to GED students) and love this subject. I have tutored students in this subject who have IEP's as well as students who wanted to ace every exam and really master the material, all with great success.
In addition to having scored a 100 on the NYS regents exam in this subject, during the 2012-2013 school year I worked as a home school math teacher/tutor for a student who used the Saxon curriculum, so this material is extremely fresh in my mind. I am intimately familiar with the NYS regents curriculum in this subject, and have had great success preparing students for that exam. Furthermore, I am currently also tutoring algebra 2 students in private schools such as Horace Mann, Riverdale Country, and Fieldston Ethical school, so I am aware of the challenge that the private school curriculum poses.
Geometry is one of those subjects that people either love or hate. Most of the time when you mention geometry, people sigh and say "I hate proofs." To combat this, I bring logic puzzles and Sudoku problems to kids to show them the applications of the proofs they are learning. I do a lot of hands on activities, with measuring tapes and colored pencils, to show students the real world applications. Last year I coached 6 geometry students to success on the NYS regents exam, with the worst score being an 83. Additionally, I am currently working as a home-school geometry teacher/tutor so I am also familiar with the private school expectations.
From the age of 9 until the age of 17, I took piano lessons with a teacher who really focused on the fundamentals of music theory as well as general piano instruction. Through these lessons I learned a great deal about music theory, and my knowledge was further expanded during my time at Hamilton College. In college I continued to take private instrumental lessons, and also took many classes on music theory. I equate music theory to the study of English literature, because many people who love reading simply hate grammar and syntax, which is basically what music theory is for music. Once you understand the underlying concepts, it becomes truly fascinating how complex music actually is.
Throughout the years I have tutored various students in SAT math. Most of these students come to me having scored around a 500 on the math section on their first try, although a few were a little lower, and a few a little higher. After working with me each student increased their score by at least 100 points, but usually more. One student I worked with scored a 740 on the math section after two months of working with me. By focusing on strategies to tackle the hard problems, and eliminate crazy answer choices I help students achieve success on the math portion of the SAT.
My junior year of college I had the opportunity to study abroad in Madrid, Spain, in an immersion program where my Spanish improved drastically. This program also further instilled in me a love for the Spanish people and their culture. I absolutely love Spanish, but as a student who has studied other languages (namely Arabic) which do not come easily, I completely understand the frustration that comes with learning a foreign language.
My senior year of high school I took AP Statistics and became absolutely intrigued by the idea that math could be manipulated in such strange ways. People just plug numbers in to equations and report them as if they were "statistics." The problem with this is that they lack the analysis part of the equation. Misused statistics are one of my pet peeves so I love to help people figure out how to use them properly!
In high school my trig teacher was a French major in college, who actually hated math and made my learning experience absolutely miserable. So I definitely understand the frustration that goes with this subject. That being said, I managed to teach myself the large majority of the material, and ace the Math B Regents! I would love to improve any student's experience with that course, because it is quite interesting once you get it!