I have a PhD in organic chemistry and have over 15 years' experience performing research and teaching.
I began college with an interest in cell biology, then came to believe that comprehensive knowledge of organic chemistry was necessary for a deep understanding of biology. I ended up falling in love with organic chemistry, and have spent most of my career in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries performing medicinal chemical research with the goal of developing new drugs and studying biological systems.
My teaching interests include most science subjects, including chemistry (general, organic, bio), biology (general, cell, molecular), and physics, but I have also tutored students in other subjects, such as earth science, psychology, and anatomy and physiology, as well as worked with students on general study strategies.
My philosophy about teaching is that students learn best, and retain more information when they are actively involved in the learning process. That means that they have to be participants in deciding the goals and milestones associated with the tutoring process.
Science can be abstract for some – lists of theories and equations – and each person has differing aptitudes in learning the course material, doing homework, and taking tests.
In addition, there are many different reasons for taking science classes, and tutoring goals must take these into account. Some people, for example, might be taking a chemistry class only because it is a requirement en route to some other educational goal (like a nursing degree). In these cases, the student may not even like the subject, but merely wants to survive the course to get to the stuff they are really interested in. For these students, I can offer tips on how to approach problems, and can focus their attention on the critical information they need to get the most from the course.
Other people may be excited about the subject and would like to learn additional information not covered in much detail in class. In these cases, I can bring theories to life and show how they apply to everyday events.
In all cases, I believe that students will best assimilate and incorporate new information when connections are made to their own lives and interests. When this occurs, the course material becomes a part of their worldview and not just facts to memorize. I challenge students to broaden their minds by enhancing their awareness of science and scientific principles all around them, no matter what their ultimate educational goals may be.
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