I am an educator with wide-ranging experiences: private and company tutor; classroom instructor in public and private schools; Applied Technology coordinator; corporate management; entrepreneur.
Math Teaching Reviews:
• “Mr. Ricker worked with my son to increase his D average in Geometry to an A.” (parent of high school student)
• “I wish I hadn’t made fun of your excel skills, they are great and I wish I had learned them.” (Asperger’s student)
• “He could reach them with his special way of connecting with the children and their parents. It is truly a gift.” (peer teacher, St. Matthews School)
• “We are a few sessions in and my daughter is very happy with the help she is getting from Dave. Getting started with Dave was a breeze. He is very responsive and accommodated our requests as to place and time for the sessions. It is clear that Dave is excited about teaching and he is very good with kids. (parent)
• “Mr. Ricker has a special gift for connecting with students. I’ve observed him over and over again taking students who present as unmotivated, or truly believe they cannot learn a skill, and he turns them around.” (Director: Huntington Learning Center)
• “I just spoke with ‘your tutoring student’, and he was almost speechless with excitement about how happy he is to be working with you. You have really motivated him, and as you know, that's most of the battle.” (tutor placement professional)
• “Recently, I was observing Mr. Ricker in one of his pre-Algebra classes. One student who is ‘on the spectrum’ was clearly out of sorts and looking to engage Mr. Ricker in a ‘scene.’ Dave never took the bait, managed to divert the student’s attention back to the math lesson and did it without anyone being aware except me. Instead of an incident, the student managed to have a reasonably productive math class.” (Principal: Canton Public Schools)
• “I was impressed with Mr. Ricker ability to help students who had difficulty focusing or with attention issues. His teaching strategies benefited these students greatly. Mr. Ricker also did a fine job integrating technology in to all his lessons.” (Principal, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School)
• “Having worked with Mr. David Ricker, I have known him to be a dedicated educator and a person who works well with faculty, staff, parents, and children.” (Principal, St. Matthews School).
What I like most about tutoring is finding the key with each student to allow them to develop math skills and confidence. I believe that confidence unlocks the mind's ability to process mathematical strategies for solving problems. I find tutoring to be exciting and rewarding! I enjoy taking select pieces of my business, education, and parenting experiences and applying them to a student's unique needs - like finding the key that opens their mind.
When working with a new customer, I like to try to understand what their goal is. I want to discover what motivates the student, and what is their learning style. Ideally my Strategy for Improving Grades (SIG plan) can be followed. SIG addresses consistent errors that are holding down math performance. If the student doesn’t understand EXACTLY why they miss these consistent errors, then they will make the mistakes repeatedly. Implementation means: 1) a Practice Test will be given, marking each question that is not 100% positive about. 2) When the test is graded, every single question that was marked unsure, as well as every incorrect question, is reviewed. The focus is to Dig Deep: Why did you miss the right answer? What are some common reasons that you missed questions? "I don't know” is not allowed!
The education and/or training I have that relates to my career comes from my diverse background: 1) Education: Masters in Instructional Technology, and BS in Management Engineering 2) Job experience and training: General Electric Company management training, including the Technical Marketing Program and the Kepner Tragoe Problem Solving. 3) Life experience: father of 4 children and 7 grandchildren (happy and successful). 4) Enabling people to learn: I receive immense satisfaction from watching a student discover information
I got started doing this type of work because of my daughters. After a business career, they suggested teaching as a new career. I remembered that my business successes always included teaching customers, employees and vendors. So I then went back to school to get teacher certification and a Masters in Instructional Technology. I have always wanted to be a teacher, starting in high school. However, I ended up pursuing business careers, always involved with service and technology.
The types of customers/students I have worked with include: - high school and middle school - college and post-college - remedial, advanced and special needs.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I designed, wrote and implemented an applied technology curriculum (advanced technology in graphic arts, photography, 3D printing, poster/sign making, and video), as the Applied Technology Coordinator in a small private k-12 school. The student makeup was SPED, primarily Asperger’s. Students created objects in 3D printers, flew a drone, printed oversized posters, etc. The entire implementation process took two years.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
University of North Florida
Secondary Education - Instructional Technology