To Whom It May Concern: June 18th, 2014
I am writing to recommend as highly as possible Dr. Raymond Vazquez as a tutor. I am the mother of two children who were in middle school in 2008, a 6th-grader and an 8th-grader, and Raymond tutored both of them in a manner tailored to their difficulties and with great professionalism and results.
My daughter Dawn, the 8th grader, was struggling in her math class, having trouble thinking critically about the word problems they began giving her that year. She would read the problems too superficially and plug the numbers she saw into formulas that didnt necessarily apply to a given problem, yielding random results. She had earned all As and Bs through the end of 7th grade and had tested into early algebra I, but she failed the first math test that had these word problems and I was worried that she might fail 8th grade math.
My son Noah presented an even more difficult challenge, as he was not only failing 6th-grade math and science, but had been diagnosed with oppositional-defiant disorder (ODD) and was unruly in and out of class and very difficult to teach.
I saw an advertisement for Ray on a bulletin board in the supermarket and I was immediately impressed that he had a science doctoral degree, that he accepted students with behavioral problems, and that he offered customized lesson plans. My children needed that! Also, his rate was very reasonable which was something my family required at the time.
I knew Ray was going to be great with my children within minutes after he entered our home. He chatted easily with both Dawn and Noah, and praised Noah for a clever joke he had made seeming to sense what an ODD child needed to avoid an immediate power struggle! He worked with Noah first, starting with math (fractions) and then moving to science (the solar system). Ray determined the level of Noahs knowledge in both areas quite quickly, and keeping the mood friendly and respectful, Ray zeroed in on Noahs misconceptions, starting at a more basic level the level of his current knowledge -- than was assumed in his current homework assignments. Ray made learning about fractions fun, along the way teaching Noah something more advanced about prime numbers that he encouraged Noah to share with his math teacher. At the end of the session, Noah felt proud of his progress and he was somehow easier to manage that evening.
Dawn was a more natural student to teach, but her status as an advanced student (she was taking algebra in 8th grade) was threatened by her performance in class. As with most students in Florida, Dawn had been taught to the tests she had to take regularly, the FCATs. Reasoning about word problems eluded her because she had never developed critical thinking skills for numerical reasoning despite her high intelligence and strong work ethic. Ray quickly determined that she couldnt mathematically express simpler concepts stated in words, and build up her ability to do so rapidly and effectively. Her math grades improved dramatically in only a few weeks.
I couldnt recommend Ray more highly. If you would like to speak with me further please contact me through Thumbtack.