Testimonials by Students and Parents
As a professional Boston tutor for two decades,
I have taught a wide range of students. The following statements
have been written by my students or their parents regarding my tutoring.
I have changed all names to protect the privacy of my students.
In some cases the students and their parents have agreed that I
may provide their names and telephone numbers to people who make
serious inquiries about working with me.
I was anxious about taking the SAT exam.
I incorrectly felt that as a girl, my math skills were limited and
insufficient. The most important element of my tutor sessions with
Dr. Charles Robinson was the confidence he instilled in me as a
student of math. He was instrumental in identifying and building
on the skills I already had but was afraid to use.
Another important part of my tutoring sessions
was that Dr. Robinson showed me how to approach and solve entire
types or categories of problem, rather than just solving individual
I still follow my tutor's advice and look
at me now: I'm earning a Ph.D. at a top-ranked institution in a
I wanted to let you know that my GRE's were successful. I went up
100 points in the verbal section and another 50 points in math (to
a 690!!!!). Thank you for all your help.
Note: Janos goes to college out-of-state.
He came home (to the Boston area) for the Thanksgiving vacation.
During this period, I had the opportunity to have three one-hour
meetings with him.
Our son Janos was a strong math student in high school,
calculus stopped him in his tracks. He felt defeated and discouraged.
Charles Robinson clarified the math and provided support that allowed
him to regain his personal confidence. I wholeheartedly recommend
Note: Kitty was a graduate student at
Harvard studying solid-state physics. When I returned her call,
she requested that I wait on hold while she finished another call.
When she came back on the line she explained that she had been on
the phone making airline reservations. She had bought a one-way
ticket home. She had decided to drop out.
I suggested that she call the airline back and cancel the flight.
"Give it a little longer." I suggested. She did cancel
We had two two-hour meetings every week
for ten weeks. During these meetings we put our heads together.
Solid state physics is not a subject
that I had studied in any depth. I learned the subject while working
During our meetings, Kitty brought her
knowledge of crystallography and other related subjects. I brought
my knowledge of math and physics (and of how to tutor). Together
we figured out the theory and the problem sets.
Kitty sent me the formal announcement
when she received her Master's degree.
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Now that Kevin is graduating from high school,
I want to thank you for the significant role you have played in
When we came to you at Ted Wallace's recommendation,
Kevin was failing mathematics--an unacceptable situation for a young
man whose math SAT, at age 12, was better than 78 percent of graduating
seniors nation-wide. I was unable to help him, since my own mathematic
education was minimal, and there was no one among his friends and
teachers to whom he felt he could turn for help.
Just as important, his attitude towards academic
success was negative. He saw his abilities as forcing him into a
conformist role, as though he had to become an intensely serious,
competitive person to be successful and could only be a "free
spirit" by failing.
You have been an important support for him,
both in providing the depth of understanding that is missing from
classroom instruction, and in giving him a model of how to be happy
and successful on one's own terms. The improvement in his math grades
has been dramatic, and the change in his attitude has affected every
area of his schoolwork for the better.
Kevin and I are both very grateful, and value
your help far beyond its dollar cost. We are pleased that you are
willing to continue working with him if he needs an occasional hand
up in college.
Thanks again--we'll be in touch.
P.S. Please feel free to use me as a reference.
I first began studying with Charles
Robinson in November of 1992 when I was preparing for the Graduate
Record Exam (GRE). I have a learning disability and have always
had some difficulty with certain mathematical concepts. As a result
of my work with Charles, I obtained a high score on the GRE that
represents my real abilities.
What impresses me most about Charles is his
patience. He is willing to explain a concept again and again. There
were many concepts in algebra which I did not yet have a complete
grasp of. I often had to go over the same principle with Charles
many times before I understood it. He was always patient. What also
impresses me is his ability to explain difficult or abstract concepts
in a clear and understandable way. When explaining a math problem
he often uses analogies, diagrams, and even models. In addition,
he did not expect me to learn his way, but rather helped me to find
the most comfortable and productive way for me to learn. He expected
me only to try my best as a student. He has a deep understanding
of math and science and is thus able to boil it down to its elemental
principles. Charles has also expressed his willingness to work with
me on studying material with which he is unfamiliar. He is amiable
and approachable, and always accommodating with scheduling.
Charles Robinson was very helpful to me.
Before, I was getting kind of low grades on math quizzes. He guaranteed
after an hour with him I'd get a higher grade on my next math quiz.
I went from a 73 to a 95.
I took two accounting courses as an undergraduate,
but what I learned for 1 hour with Dr. Charles made Accounting clearer
than the two courses I took in college.
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Note: I helped James when he and I
were both in high school. When I encountered James in October 2002,
this is what he wrote for me.
Charles E. Robinson tutored me in the essentials
of high school mathematics and algebra and raised my understanding
of these essential thought processes. I used these concepts throughout
my life, not only to do well in my high school courses and have
the necessary grades to get into Brandeis, but throughout my life,
in my vocation and in my personal life.
Note: Sachiko's sponsor, Christina, called
me and said that Sachiko needed a miracle. Sachiko had recently
arrived from Japan with a very limited knowledge of English. She
was five weeks into a chemistry course, and understood neither the
basic concepts nor the basic terminology. To stay in school, she
needed a 75% on the next test.
I told the sponsor I don't do miracles,
but she brought Sachiko anyway for two one-hour meetings. Christina
attended both meetings, and after the second one she kindly wrote
Dr. Robinson is able to break down difficult
College Freshman Chemistry concepts and present it in an learner-friendly
In addition, he successfully work through
the limited English language usage barrier and enabled the student
to absorb the material and apply to the homework problems immediately.
Both the student and sponsor are very grateful
for his valuable assistance.
Note: a few days later, on October 28,
Christina (the sponsor) sent me the following email.
Subject: "Miracle" did happen!
Just writing to inform you that Sachiko did make a "75%"
on her Chemistry test. That was the "miracle" that
I asked for. Thank you very much from both of us.
Mack and Zeke
To Whom It May Concern:
It has been our pleasure and privilege to
know Charles Robinson through his academic work with two of our
sons, Mack and Zeke. We first engaged Charles in 1986 to do SAT
prep work with Mack, then a senior in high school. Although he was
an able student, Mack experienced a fair amount of anxiety and lack
of confidence related to test-taking, and we asked Charles to work
with him with the specific goal of improving his approach to and
performance on the SAT. In a relatively short time (a couple of
months), Mack was able to raise both his Verbal and Math scores
approximately 150 points, from the mid-500's to the 700 range.
In September, 1992, we again contacted Charles
and asked him to work with our younger son, Zeke, who was in seventh
grade in the Brookline Public Schools. This time, we had a variety
of goals in mind. Zeke is an extremely able student who has been
involved in gifted and talented programs from his early years in
school, but it was our feeling that these programs were offering
him less and less as time went on; therefore, our first purpose
in asking Charles to work with him was to provide a level of enrichment
and mentorship that we felt was appropriate and needed. In addition,
we were planning to apply a year early to private high schools,
and we thought Zeke could benefit from some introduction to the
SSAT required for secondary school admission. During the time that
Zeke and Charles were working together, Zeke was selected to participate
in the Johns Hopkins Talent Search administration of the SAT to
seventh graders, so that became a third focus of their work.
We feel that the time Zeke has spent with
Charles this year has been an invaluable experience for him. Our
concrete goals were certainly met; Zeke placed in the 99th percentile
in the SSAT, will be attending Commonwealth High School in the fall,
and received on of the highest scores in the state of Massachusetts
in the Johns Hopkins program. But of even greater value to him has
been simple the scope of learning that has taken place. Charles
has stretched Zeke's horizons considerably.
Charles has a number of unique characteristics
as a teacher that enable him to function successfully with very
different students, as our two sons certainly are. In fact, we would
say without qualification that he is the most gifted and dedicated
teacher that we have ever encountered. He takes care to communicate
clearly and fully; he may be the only teacher who has really ever
been able to communicate with our older son Mack. He is able to
communicate sophisticated subject matter in a way that is not only
clear and suited to the level of the learner, but, perhaps more
importantly, in a way that is interesting and compelling. He respects
his students, and our two sons have returned that respect. He questions
and thinks, and encourages his students to do the same. He inspires;
his own joy in learning and teaching is always evident. He has an
uncanny knack for cutting right to the heart of the matter, and
perhaps because of that, he seems able to understand what it is
that each student particularly needs from him, and to tailor his
approach based on that need. In his work with Zeke, he has gone
far beyond the call of duty, seeking out sources of information
and tools for him, and in some cases, learning material himself
for the first time so that he could pass it on to Zeke. He cares
deeply about teaching and about his students.
We are gratified to know Charles, and feel
supremely fortunate that we were able to call on someone of his
talents to work with our sons. We hope that what has transpired
thus far will be only the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.
Thank you, Charles!
Stan and Jody Bolton
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Note: Frank studied GRE with me and then
has continued to work with me on a variety of other subjects.
I wish to express my sincere gratitude in
recognizing your competence to apply suitable methods for the betterment
of your students. I rang the correct doorbell this time, and I'm
beginning to understand why I keep ringing that bell (even though
I've finished the GREs...I'm not finished).
Just as I wasn't ready to accept defeat when
I bombed the SATs twice -- the second time after taking a prep course
my score improved 40 points reaching an astonishing 860 total --
I applied and was accepted by a competitive school, SATs be damned.
I continued my education, and still am, but there's a difference
now. That pervasive feeling of self-doubt as a result of my reliably
poor testing scores left me questioning my competence to perform
at each of the aforementioned levels of education.
So now I shall say "Thank you, Charles"
for helping me realize my thirst for knowledge need not be questioned:
I know why I want to learn. And I'm excited to continue our sessions
focusing (as you have from day one) on what it is I want to learn.
I'm happy my quantitative and analytical scores shot up, but I'm
ecstatic with what I've learned from our sessions, and what's in
Incidentally, unless you've retained a patent
on the structure of your tutoring sessions, I've adopted various
premises for my work as a teaching assistant/tutor. Though I can't
quite parallel the sharp acuity from your side of the desk, I look
forward to making (and taking) the most from each session.
Dr. Robinson is a great tutor. I spent a
majority of the summer working on my writing skills. Dr. Robinson
cares about his students to the fullest. He got down to the core
of my problem and helped me tremendously. I now feel well prepared
for a mandatory writing test at [college].
When I come home for vacations, Dr. Robinson
will be the first one I call on.
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