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During my undergraduate career at the University of California, Irvine, I tutored through the Learning and Academic Resource Center (LARC) as an Organic Chemistry tutor throughout my third year. Tutoring through LARC required a great deal of preparation on my behalf, including attendance to class lectures and the creation of a thorough lesson plan for each session. Once my junior year was completed I began private tutoring students and group tutoring outside of LARC. Many of the students I tutored in my final fourth year were previous students who were continuing their organic chemistry series. These students individually contacted me for tutoring services and I still keep in contact with many of them after graduating in June of 2012.
LARC provided me with a solid foundation in teaching strategies since I also took a course designed to teach specific techniques to utilize in tutoring sessions. I understand the importance of creating an efficient work environment and good rapport with the students in order to maximize their ability to ask questions comfortably. Throughout the past 2 years I have tutored 85 students and have received superior reviews from students, with only a few receiving a grade of C in their organic chemistry class, and the remainder receiving a grade of B or better.
Throughout private tutoring sessions, I like to structure sessions in a way that is specific to each student. If, for example, a student is struggling with fundamentals, I begin by discussing those topics and working through examples to make sure the student is able to apply basic concepts. However, if the student is having trouble integrating multiple concepts I work through problem sets step by step and then allow the student to work alone to assess their approach.
Even though I have mainly worked with college students in Organic Chemistry, I am comfortable with a variety of topics in Biology as well - either at the high school or college level. This includes biochemistry, genetics, physiology, molecular biology and microbiology. Additionally, my Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences and preparation for the MCAT allows me to be a good resource and mentor to students interested in pursuing an academic and/or professional career in the health field.
Organic Chemistry integrates fundamental concepts from general chemistry as well as compound reactivity trends. The subject is used in order to create new compounds and see what the components of other compounds are via synthetic and retro synthetic pathways. By understanding the geometry and reactivity of a particular compound, one is able to predict the product of a particular reactant and reagent. A key feature to understanding product formation is the mechanisms of reaction that must first be understood by students prior to attacking synthesis problems.
I have successfully completed the Organic Chemistry series at UCI with grades of B or better. Once finished, I applied for a tutoring position through the university and became a tutor/mentor for a total of 85 undergraduate students at the school. Additionally, I completed a course aimed at providing teaching techniques. Organic chemistry is best understood upon comprehension of reaction mechanisms and synthetic pathways. I assess a student's understanding through differently formatted worksheets and through conversations regarding mechanisms and reaction pathways.
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