No two people see the world in exactly the same way, likewise no two people learn in exactly the same way. Thus, if a student struggles to understand a concept in class, then perhaps the concept needs to be explained to the student in another approach. One subject that many students often find difficult and requires teaching in creative ways is organic chemistry, which is what I specialize in.
My educational background consists of a B.S. in chemistry from Cal Poly Pomona and a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Iowa. During undergraduate school I facilitated organic chemistry workshops for several years. While in graduate school I taught discussion sections for both general and organic chemistry, in addition to tutoring students on the side. Even though I’m no longer in school, I hope to continue helping students understand organic chemistry and perhaps get them to love it as much as I do. Through all of my teaching I have found that patience is most important and the more I can understand the student’s perspective, the better I can adjust my teaching to be most effective for that particular student. As for when I’m not thinking about organic chemistry, one of my favorite things to do is traveling, because traveling allows me to continuously explore and learn about the world by broadening my perspective of it.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
At a tutoring session I prefer the student to have their course textbook and related work with them, plus some extra scratch paper. For chemistry, especially organic chemistry, I like to make sure that there is a molecule model set to have on hand. I also sometimes bring extra material like another textbook if I feel it will help make a concept become a little clearer or if it has extra problems I think will be useful.