“Science is an area that mounts similar challenges to every student, but each student conquers them in his/her own unique ways.”
I have fifteen years of experience in teaching General, Physical Chemistry, and Physics. Through tutoring, mentoring, and advising I have helped many students individually to meet the challenges the Chemistry and Physics represented in the form of exams, tests in courses, or standardized tests (such as MCAT). If you struggle with Chemistry or Physics, I might just be the person who can help you. If you have to use Excel, PowerPoint, and/or Word, again, I might just be the person who can help you.
Looking for the right tutor can be stressful, especially if you are not used to having a tutor and/or in the classroom you feel intimidated. It is my responsibility to comfort you and establish an environment where you feel comfortable and inclined to ask questions. Learning doesn’t have to be dreadful, especially subjects that are not your favorite, it can be made at least tolerable but I try aim for making it fun.
There is no “silver bullet” to successful tutoring, because every student is different and also because your approach depends on if you want to keep up with the material or you have a few days to catch up before an exam or test. No question, the in-person one-on-one setting is the most effective because of its interactive nature and because of the effective communication. However, sometimes it is not an option (e.g. distance) in which case an online interactive session is the next best option. If you are reluctant to engage in such a tutoring session, I encourage you to give it a chance and I promise your reluctance will go away. My online sessions are interactive (I would be on the phone with you through the session) and I use a digital whiteboard that you can actually see as I use it and if you have the intension and the technical ability (like a tablet pc) you can also use for example to explain a question that you might have (I use WebEx professional teleconferencing system). At the end of the session I can save the content of the board and send it to you. Also, if you prefer to review the session later, I can record the session (whiteboard on video and the conversation on the phone) and make it available to you for a period of time.
I make an honest effort to adapt to the particular instructor or professor. Every topic can be discussed different ways, using different nomenclatures and the variation among textbooks and instructor approaches are significant. It is rather challenging to adapt to a particular text and instructor in a short period of time, but if necessary, I make an effort.
As far as the pedagogical approach is concerned, it depends on your needs. While in general I discourage students to wait until the last minute, sometimes it is inevitable that there is a short period of time before a test or exam. In this situation the focus is on reviewing the key concepts, definitions, sample problems, effective flash cards, etc.
It is a misconception that spaced out tutoring is more expensive. It doesn’t require necessarily more in-person interaction if planned ahead. However, leaving enough time between short sessions allows reviewing the material (or reteach if necessary) in a timely fashion, work on problems, and me to address your questions, review individual tests, assignments, etc. Based on my assessment on your understanding of the particular topic I take a different approach if necessary before we move on to the next topic, something that you may not be used to being in a large class.
I cannot emphasize enough that my success as a tutor depends on how prepared the student is. The more information is provided (notes, completed assignments, homework, test, etc.) the more effectively I can help. Many students lack the skill of note taking, or simply they are not encouraged to take notes, which often is the instructor/professor’s mistake. If we meet regularly, I can help you to develop note taking skills and help you to develop your study guide which in turns helps you to keep up with the class.
Scheduling is a challenge sometimes. If you need an immediate help, you get on the top of my list, however, it is a good idea to plan ahead to secure your spot.
Applications, such as Excel, PowerPoint, and Word can be very useful tools. Often instructors require some (or all) of them without appropriate introduction. If you find yourself in that situation, don’t worry. I will demystify these applications and I can help you to get comfortable with them. Even if you are not required to use them, I do encourage you to consider using them as they can make your calculation work (Excel), presentation assignments (PowerPoint), and written assignments more professional, more effective, not to mention that being able to use these tools a transferable skill that you will need later no matter which profession you are aiming at.
If you are reading these lines it means you need help. If my approach is appealing, please contact me. If the only option is online tutoring (because of the distance) I can show you how the system works, how I can help you before we start the actual work. By all means, if you have questions do not hesitate to contact me.
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