I am a Ph.D. chemist who has spent a good portion of my career focused on teaching. I recently served for eight years as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Trinity College, a liberal arts college in which faculty have lots of one-on-one interactions with students. Sitting down and delving into problems with students during office hours was always one of my favorite aspects of the job. I am currently transitioning back into full time chemical research but would like to keep a connection to students through tutoring.
I have designed and taught courses in Introductory, Physical, and Atmospheric Chemistry at the college level. For each of these subjects, I have used multiple textbooks and am familiar with different approaches to presenting the material. In addition to my time on the faculty at Trinity, I worked for half a year at Haverford College, another liberal arts college. I also served as a teaching assistant and tutor during my graduate work at the University of Chicago and won teaching awards from the chemistry department. My tutoring experience dates back to 1996, when I started tutoring peers as an undergraduate at Swarthmore College.
Chemistry is a science with practical applications in every aspect of our lives. I try to help students to see connections between the fundamental science and the many ways in which we all encounter chemical principles on a daily basis.
A note about scheduling:
I have time for online tutoring at 9:30 pm or later every other day. However, since the open days vary each week this is not marked on my calendar.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I think that the ultimate goal of a tutor should be to become unnecessary! I try to help students develop a general framework for approaching questions. In many cases, once a chemistry problem is properly set-up, a good part of the work is already done. I am also a big believer in the value of writing out the work for problems step-by-step. If the work is organized and clear, it is easier for the student to go back and figure out what went wrong if a problem is not answered correctly. I feel that instructors have a responsibility to let students figure out the answer to homework questions for themselves. If a tutor is overly involved in producing the answer, it may help a single homework assignment but will not ultimately aid the student in learning the material. To this end, I try to ask a lot of leading questions and then step back to let students work out the material.