We celebrate Rick Neisser as our Firefly Tutor for May 2022. He resides in Costa Mesa, California and has been tutoring with Firefly Tutors for 3 years. Rick loves both the mental challenges and emotional rewards of tutoring. Preparing a lesson keeps Rick sharp, allowing him to relearn the subject while figuring out the best ways of presenting the material. Rick believes emotional rewards come when students catch on to what is taught and in turn teaches the material back to the mentor.
Rick tutors SAT prep, language arts, literature, social studies, and math including calculus. His favorite subjects are government and economics, followed by history. Tutoring has required Rick to become a polymath of sorts with renewed interest in various subjects ranging from math and language arts to science.
Rick earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Yale University, and a Master’s degree from Stanford University. He studied additional education earning him certificates in HR, Auditing, Life & Property Insurance.
Rick mentions he doesn’t have a favorite tip, but it all depends on the students, the subject and their learning style. “For example, if we're talking math, many students, but not all, respond well to doing problems on the whiteboard, followed by completing worksheets. If we're talking about writing, then teaching the students how to "idea–storm" before composing their essay often helps them organize their thoughts. Plus, some intuitive students like to figure things out independently with just a few clues here and there from me, while others require outlines and study guides.”
A favorite memory of Rick’s tutoring session is when a 3rd grader with learning disabilities had an “AHA” moment when they caught on to the concept of division. Another favorite memory is when working with a precocious 6th grader to improve his standardized test scores and interview skills, he received admission into a California magnet middle school.
In his free time, Rick loves to research his family's history as the family's genealogist. Rick documented over 800 members on his family tree, going back ten generations. As new documents such as census and milestone notices become available, he is updating the tree all the time. Rick has recorded and transcribed his parents' memoirs and those of several relatives.
Other interests include visiting out-of-state family, traveling in Europe, reading, online learning, crosswords, exercise, theater, symphony, and getting in an occasional game of bridge.
Three interesting facts about Rick; He has visited every presidential library in the country, knows how to tie a bowtie, and is a big fan of classic movies.