# Michael

Certified Tutor

Undergraduate Degree: Cornell University - Bachelors, Chemistry & Chemical Biology

Travel, Italian Language and Culture, Hiking, Reading

College Chemistry

High School Chemistry

Honors Chemistry

Quantitative Reasoning

What is your teaching philosophy?

My general teaching philosophy is to first make sure the basic concepts are mastered, and then move through problems of increasing complexity to solidify understanding and prepare for upcoming exams. When problem solving with students, I like to guide students through problems without revealing the answer. This way, students gain the ability to work independently, which they will need to do on important exams, with my help along the way.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

In a first session, I like to first establish the goals of the student – short-term and long-term. Then, I like to understand what topics the student already knows and is struggling with. From here, we begin reviewing the basic concepts the student needs to learn, and solidify this by working through problems. This sets up nicely for building on this knowledge and working through more advanced problems in following sessions.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I help students become independent learners by teaching them how to learn. One of the ways I do this by guiding students through problems without revealing the answer. This allows students to have that precious "A-Ha!" moment, where they understand for themselves how to do a problem. Once students have this, they can apply concepts to a range of different problems. I also emphasize test-taking and effective studying strategy skills, which once basic concepts are mastered, allow students to work independently.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Everybody learns best in different ways. This means there are many ways to explain the same concept! So if a student does not understand a problem, I will re-explain fundamental concepts from new angles. After working with a student for some time, I can gauge how they think, and use that information to explain concepts in ways most suited to their natural learning styles.