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Apart from being an end in its own right, education makes other goals possible. My purpose here is not only to help students learn and apply academic concepts, but also to share approaches to problem-solving they can put to use outside of the classroom.

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Richard’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Arizona - Bachelors, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Graduate Degree: University of California-Berkeley - PHD, Chemical Phyics


music, chess, math, science, predictive modeling

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Knowledge for its own sake!

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In our first session, I'd discuss goals and hash out a plan of action.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I'd first come to understand how the particular student learns, then formulate a strategy drawing from the student's strengths.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would discuss with the student how success in coursework is, in fact, aligned with her or his personal goals, despite appearances.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

I would attempt a different explanation.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

A hallmark of a successful student-tutor relationship is creating an environment where the student is completely comfortable with, and trusts the tutor.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I would put it into context in the real world, or try to relate it to something the student's interested in.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Spot-checks, dialect, application.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Verbal encouragement, anecdotal accounts, and a frequent progress report.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Discussion, performance review, and verbal and/or written assessment.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Pencil, paper, textbook, calculator, search engine...

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I'd ask the student to pause and consider what the question/task referencing the passage requires of them before reading a single word.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I first determine the type of learner the given student is, and adjust my pace and materials accordingly.

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