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Michael

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I obtained my M.S. in chemistry at Brandeis university, and my B.A. in chemistry and environmental studies at Williams College where I spent 4 of my 5 years as a teaching assistant, serving in both laboratory and classroom settings. I also operated as a private tutor for 3 years. Moreover, at Williams College I was a chemistry tutor for the Math/Science Resource Center for 2 years, in addition to being a peer tutor for an environmental studies class: Humans and the Biosphere. During my prior teaching experience, I discovered my favored teaching method: getting to know my students in a one-on-one environment, and learning about their interests. I then try to relate my teaching to my student's interests. If I can find an example relevant to their interests, I will use it. And if I'm using a metaphor, again, I try to choose metaphors most relevant to them.

I specialize in a mix of organic chemistry and biochemistry, but I have a broad liberal arts background, so my knowledge can range from astronomy to theater to art history to baking. Some of the most fun chemistry occurs in the kitchen.

Michael’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Williams College - Bachelors, Chemistry

Graduate Degree: Brandeis University - Masters, Chemistry

Hobbies

science fiction and fantasy writing, game design, star gazing, karate, Dungeons & Dragons, Pokemon, steampunk

Tutoring Subjects

AP Chemistry

Chemistry

College Chemistry

High School Chemistry

Honors Chemistry

Organic Chemistry

Science


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe it's best to get to know the student - their interests and their goals. Tailor the examples and comparisons to what they care about most. Furthermore, this establishes a more friendly relationship, different from what the student likely has with course instructors. I believe the comfort of a casual relationship helps the process.

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

Get to know the student - their interests, their hobbies, their goals. Ask about the syllabus, so I can prepare in advance for the current subject matter.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would learn what interests the student, and try to find connections between their interests and the subject. For example, in my experience, pre-med students may not care very much about organic chemistry beyond what they need to know to become doctors. However, they are often fascinated by my stories of research & development for next generation treatment approaches. Caveat: a nondisclosure agreement in industrial settings limits my discussion to academic pursuits (further from clinical trials) and older examples.