My tutoring experience started as an upperclassman at Loyola University and continued during my graduate work at NIU where I was awarded a Graduate Teaching Assistantship. My teaching duties included general and organic chemistry. During my time at NIU, I also volunteered to tutor students on a weekly basis. From my extensive tutoring experience, I have found one of the major reasons students have difficulty with chemistry is that most chemistry problems are "word" problems. Most students do not have much experience with "word" problems when they first encounter chemistry. As a result, many students become easily discouraged. However, once I show my students how to decipher a chemistry "word" problem, along with a basic explanation of the chemical principle(s) involved, any student can systematically solve virtually any chemistry problem.
Prior to a tutoring session, I highly encourage my students to identify the particular chemical topic(s) for discussion. This will help me prepare hints, examples, and/or procedures to help the student understand the material better and also make the most efficient use of the students' time.
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