Organic chemistry can be a challenging subject, so it is important to seek the right guidance. With 7 semesters of experience as a teaching assistant at the University of Pittsburgh, I have had a lot of experience mentoring students on the subject. My responsibilities as a TA included teaching recitation and supervising organic chemistry labs, tutoring undergraduates 4 hours a week, creating and grading quizzes and exams, and grading exams from lecture courses. Having someone with this vantage point guide you through the subject would be a great asset. I have a master's degree and am a published organic chemist. I am now applying to doctoral programs to start in fall 2016 and am tutoring students in the Pittsburgh area until then. I look forward to helping you ace organic chemistry.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I feel that guiding students to the answer is preferable to telling them the answer. As such, I try to let them find the answer by making sure they understand the most basic concepts, and then I give them the hints and help they need to discover the answer.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First, I would introduce myself, and I would ask them what their goals are, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. We would then figure out a strategy to meet those goals before proceeding with the session.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would make sure they understand the core concepts and give them problems to highlight those concepts.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Give them positive reinforcement and never let them feel overwhelmed or inadequate.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would give them very basic problems and explain those before working my way to harder problems.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I would tell them to read slowly and explain what they read to me.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I would first do practice problems to see where their competency lies, and then I would work from there.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would give them real world applications and give them easier questions (but not tell them the questions are easy) to build up their confidence.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would give them progressively harder questions that tackle the concepts from multiple angles.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Positive reinforcement and giving them easy questions.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I would ask them what material they feel they need help on first, and then I would test them with problems to identify any deficiencies.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I give problems appropriate for the student's competency level and needs, and then give progressively harder problems once I feel comfortable that the student has advanced.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Pen and paper, or the electronic equivalent.