I love chemistry. And I mean it! It is a passion of mine, and I really enjoy all of the concepts, math, and learning involved. I love to tutor math and science because they are something that really click with me and make the ground for new understandings of the world around us. Because of this, I really enjoy being able to give that knowledge and understanding to others. It is a great experience for everyone involved, and I enjoy seeing the "I finally got it" moment, so to speak. I have seen it in students of all ages, even adults in college, so I honestly believe it is there for everyone. To get that moment, I find it very important to understand that I, as well as other tutors, am not here to give the answers. We are here to further drive understanding so that you can find the answers yourself. I try to keep the session calm; there's no pressure to get it on the first, second, or even tenth try. That's why I am here! So come ready to learn with a serious attitude and a positive spirit! I appreciate every opportunity to teach, and I look forward to meeting so many more students!
A little bit about myself aside from tutoring: I am from Connecticut, and I received my Bachelor's in Chemistry from Western Connecticut State University. I enjoy cooking and trying to make/eat new foods as well as drawing. I play a fair amount of video games in my free time and conversing with new people is always a treat. I am always open to answer any questions, so do not hesitate to ask!
Western Connecticut State University - BA, Chemistry
High School Chemistry
High School English
High School Physics
Middle School Science
SAT Subject Tests Prep
What is your teaching philosophy?
Knowing the "why" and the "how" will always be more important than the "what." Ice floats. We know the what. Why does it float? This methodology is very important when tackling problems, no matter how simple or complex. It increases understanding and leads students on a path of seeking further knowledge. No one should just be content with what something is. Ask why!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Introductions and reflections are a great place to start for me. Do you know what you have trouble with? Let me know. Now let's reflect and figure out what else you might not realize you had trouble with. Sometimes bringing the basic knowledge from an 85% to 100% makes the advanced techniques that much easier. Then, we can simply review old material to outline our course of action for the rest of the session/future sessions!
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Seek new materials and ground yourself very well in the basics. They are your instruments for addressing future problems. Work slowly and build confidence, then it becomes exciting to push yourself further. Never be content with just getting by to the end of the class! You might be missing out on stuff you might actually enjoy in future classes!
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Motivation has always been my Achilles' heel. Take everything in strides; do what you know, and don't dwell on the problem you can't figure out. Find the solution to the ones you don't know; then find another so similar it almost seems pointless to do it again. It helps! Solving 2 million fractions in 3rd grade helped you know what a fraction was, now apply that same rigor to work. It works out!
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I always tell people this: write what you know. If you can't write it down, try to make some mental notes and take it slowly and logically. Once we see all the information in front of us, look for connections. Whether it be words, formulas, numbers, what have you, it's important to realize these relationships. Having everything visually in one place helps you assess the entire situation and make small bridges one at a time. If you're not sure what a word means or how this sentence is using it, look it up and piece it together. The answer will come with it!
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Positivity breeds positivity. Trust me, sit down in a room with me and talk about chemistry, and you'll just see how much fun I have. I'm just as excited to help you as you are excited to pass this class. Starting with basic examples; I'll show you the harder problems I struggled with. I'm not perfect, but hey, I got here! Everyone struggles in different parts, and even I have parts of chemistry I'm not fond of. We'll have fun and the student will forget that they don't like chemistry for at least a little while.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I will always ask you "why." The answer is B. Why is it B? What makes sense in the context of this problem that leads you to that answer? I want to show you not just how to arrive at the answer, but neat shortcuts to figure it out faster. And unfortunately for some, that really means test-taking. We need to see a million problems before we're sure we've got it down, and through quick and painless tests, we can see that wide array of problems ranging from conceptual to gauging understanding through numbers.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Syllabus, tests, and homework. What are you expected to do as the student, how well do you do it, and how am I going to help you? If you have subject A down 100%, we don't need to go over it. Tests show me what you're getting right; a syllabus will show me what you can expect to cover. And homework tells us the style of problems and degree of understanding we need on every piece of the class.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I'm a pen and paper kind of guy, and I will probably talk a decent amount. If extra books are needed, I will gladly use them for more examples and helpful tips. If we're talking math and chemistry: whiteboards. Being able to draw and manipulate everything provides a whole new world of understanding.