SOME of his students say they hear his voice in their heads while they do their exam questions, as if explaining how to tackle the problems. When he hears those comments, Mr Raymond Loh knows he and his teachers have done their job well.
Mr Loh, 44, founder and managing director of Raymond’s Math Studio (RMS), said: “The RMS approach is quite different in that we provide, not tuition, but a holistic learning experience. It may sound cliche but it has proven to work.
“We assume the student did not attend lessons in school and teach the subject from square-one, finishing the subject way ahead of what is taught in schools. We then embark on an intensive revision and exam-practice regime right up to the eve of the exam.
‘With this method, I can safely say that both our students and teachers have done the needful in preparing the student as best as we can.”
Mr Loh said that he is blessed with two gifts, a gift in teaching and the ability to spot people gifted to teach and blessed with the passion to put the students’ well being as a top priority.
The search is not easy but fulfilling.
He said: “I look for people who have the gift of teaching, and expect them to work hard for the students’ futures. Technical skills can be taught but one either has or does not have the gift of teaching.
“I ask potential teachers to teach students for a month for free, so as to be able to assess their ability and motivation before hiring them.
“Our top three instructors have no formal training from the Ministry of Education or National Institute of Education, but they love what they do.”
As a result RMS has effective and committed teachers who are not only closely bonded with each student, but have struck close partnerships with parents by virtue of the trust gained.
Many students and parents remain in constant contact with Mr Loh years after they had left RMS.
This is perhaps testimony to what Mr Loh claimed to be providing a holistic learning experience.
Mr Loh said: “I teach more than the subject and believe in capacity building of each student. I believe attitude and character building are as important, if not more important, than understanding the subject well.
“My teachers and I are looked upon as both teachers and mentor. We prepare them for life’s journey, make and use our own materials and use real-life examples, like CPF contributions, in our lessons.”
A former student, Miss Phoebe Ng, said in an email to Mr Loh: “Thank you for being such a fantastic tutor (beyond the classroom) that I will never ever forget in my life.
“Ever since I joined RMS, my passion for math came back... Thank you so much, this gratitude I have for you is just beyond words.”
One of Mr Loh’s career highlights is when he and his teachers see how the students have changed after attending RMS.
He said: “When a student is remarkably transformed, the elation of the student and parents more than make up for the loss of sleep and angst suffered by my teachers and I.”
Behind the scenes, something which Mr Loh firmly believes in, is the need to train and motivate his teachers, constantly.
He said: “I sit-in to observe my teachers in action and devote a great deal of time to coach them on a weekly basis. Apart from updating the lesson and imparting to them the softer-skills, the two-way feedback results in evolving the ‘X-factor’ which has now become the hallmark of Raymond’s Math Studio.”
For RMS, it is always work-in-progress and rightly so because the education landscape is ever-changing.
Mr Loh’s parting shot was: “I take comfort in having planted the seeds and take pride in that the yearly harvests are shared by my students, parents, my teachers and my staff who had made Raymond’s Math Studio what it is today.”
Mr Chin Jin Cheng graduated from NUS Law in 2013. He won 2012 NUS advocacy cup 2012 organized by the NUS Mooting and Debating Club (MDC) and supported by Drew and Napier LLC,
An alumni of RMSS (Class 08), Mr Chin presented himself as a good role model to the RMSS students.
Excerpts from The Straits Time article published on 20 August 2011 about Mr Chin winning the inaugural Attorney-General's cup,
"...Moots are simulations of real-life cases where participants present submissions to a court of appeal. Both universities fielded teams of eight. Three rounds of one-on-one face-offs whittled the mooters down to the final two - SMU's Ms Geradine Yeong and NUS's Mr Chin Jincheng, both 20.
A point system was used to determine the winning team. And after last night's moot, the decider came to a written submission from Mr Chin, who also took home the top prize of $1,000. He said: "I learnt a lot and the competition definitely helped to generate interest in the practice of criminal law."
TKGS student Cherie Lim is the youngest candidate vying to be the first Singaporean to fly into space. She is among 26 other people.
According to The Straits Times, one of the 26 will be chosen by April next year to be launched into the atmosphere on National Day, Aug 9, 2015 -- Singapore's 50th birthday.
They were whittled down from a list of 126. The 26 comprises of 22 men and 4 women.
Other candidates include a former soldier who has climbed Mount Everest and Singapore Airlines (SIA) pilots, two Nanyang Technological University (NTU) undergraduates and a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the United States.
The project by Science Centre Board, the Singapore Space and Technology Association, and IN.Genius (a local firm focusing on high-tech energy solutions) is privately funded and has not received backing from the Government, though organisers hope to secure this. The vessel will be a helium stratospheric balloon.
Cherie's parents are supportive of her. A space and rocket enthusiast, the 15-year-old student strives to be fearless despite her youth.
The 26 will be put through advanced confidence courses, deep diving, para-jumping and a helium balloon pilot course over the next year - with weaker candidates weeded out along the way.
IN.Genius director Lim Seng, one of seven in the selection panel, wants to look for someone not only with physical strength but also the heart to do Singapore proud.
He wants the choice to be a role model who can represent Singapore well.