Student Tutor Spotlight: Michael Berthaud and Ruben Raskin

Michael Berthaud is a sixth grade student at Maurice Tobin Elementary school in Mission Hill. His tutor Mr. Ruben Raskin, a senior at Emerson College, studies writing for television and film. For a little over a month, Michael and Ruben have been meeting twice a week to work on Michael’s basic mathematics skills. Already Michael has made significant progress. He has passed into the advanced level curriculum and scored 20% higher on his second Show What You Know assessment than on his first. The fact that he has shown such improvement with only three and a half weeks of instruction attests to his tutor’s leadership. Also, both Michael and Ruben have perfect attendance records. In light of their shared success, we asked them to talk about their experience together.


Michael talked about the topics he and Ruben have touched upon in tutorial. “I’ve learned about two-variable equations,” he says. “I have also learned about discounts with percents.” When asked what he enjoys most about tutorial, Michael elaborates, “I really like doing those two-variable equations and being able to do it by myself. I wanna be the best at those and do it alone.”

Ruben’s description of what it has been like to work with Michael reflects his student’s ambitious attitude: “With Michael being so advanced, he’s taught me new tricks and old tricks that I’ve forgotten about math. He ends up teaching me some of the time by jumping ahead, which is an amazing feeling to see your student not just master material, but apply it in front of your very eyes.” Mr. Raskin says that what he likes most about tutoring is “sitting down with Michael every tutorial and getting to apply real-life situations to the math topics we’re covering. We’ve used biology, climbing mountains, making movies, and all sorts of situations, which makes the tutorial much more fun.”

Michael and Ruben have indeed found space for fun and laughter amidst their hard work. “Michael brings humor and a good attitude to every tutorial,” says Ruben. “He manages to joke about whatever topic we’re on, and I leave every session with a smile on my face. When asked to talk about his tutor, Michael responded, “He is really funny and has an awesome beard.”

Ruben added some final words about Michael’s determination, his good humor, and what he hopes to accomplish with his education: “On the very first day of tutorial, Michael expressed his dream of following in his father’s footsteps and becoming an engineer. I have no doubt in my mind, based on his hard work and positive attitude, that Michael will be able to achieve his goal.”

Congratulations to Michael Berthaud and Ruben Raskin on their hard work and achievements so far!

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