Hi everyone! My name is Ronnie Li, and I'm a current PhD Student in Neuroscience at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. I have been teaching and tutoring since I was a sophomore in high school, and I've loved every moment of it. I love getting to know my students on a personal level, so that way I can break down the material in ways that are tailored towards their interests and hobbies. I am also very creative; I often give unconventional homework assignments to my students such as writing a song about a topic in biology, but I have always found that doing so helps them retain the information better.
I graduated from Brown University in 2015 with a BS in Neuroscience, and I am currently studying to become an research professor. At Brown, I was a teaching assistant for the introductory biology and neuroscience courses, and I tutored on the side for about 20-25 hours per week, even though I was not required to. A lot of times these students were from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, so I would offer to tutor them for free or for a very low cost. Teaching is a passion for me, and it's about more than money. In fact, I was so effective as a teaching assistant that I became the only undergraduate in Brown's 250-year history to receive the Teaching and Advising Award, which had always been given to faculty.
One last thing you should know that I have a brain disorder called Tourette Syndrome, which partly motivates me to study neuroscience. Some symptoms you might see are me making noises, twitches, and saying things I don't mean. I promise you that this will not hinder our studies; in fact, having a chronic disorder allows me to better empathize with students who are all going through their own struggles. I hope you will give me a try. I won't let you down.
I love the fact that I can form meaningful connections and often lifelong bonds with students I would have never met if they hadn't contacted me. I truly enjoy mentoring students, and if I'm able to make a significant difference in the life of one person, that is enough for me.
Ronnie is exceptional. As a student, I appreciated his ability to explain concepts clearly, and I was especially grateful that my endless stream of questions was welcomed and thoroughly addressed. Ronnie made me feel comfortable asking the questions I feared were obvious to everyone else, and he provided answers in a way that would eliminate confusion. Through him, I was able to re-learn not only the content of Bio 200, but also to take tests efficiently and to prepare for them properly. Ronnie is also the type of person who always does more. Every review session, he would pass around an enormous bag of candy that he had bought himself, and before tests, he always brought me my favorite chocolate bar “for good luck, but you don’t need it,” he would say. Outside of review sessions, Ronnie also freed his schedule in order to tutor students individually, and to answer questions that we had while studying on our own. He also opened his home one night during reading period when I was studying with some friends, so that he could answer any questions that arose while we were reviewing. As I got to know Ronnie more, I began to recognize his capability, generosity, affability, and dedication, and I’ve realized just how lucky I am to have had Ronnie as an instructor and a friend.
In addition to being the student's formal tutor, I always try my best to get to know the student on a personal level. I am genuinely interested in people's stories, interests, and beliefs, and this helps me tailor my explanations to the student's needs. My first tutoring session is always a preliminary meeting to discuss the logistics, and it is free, so you can try out the service decide whether you want to continue risk-free.
I graduated from Brown University, an Ivy League institution, in 2015 with a Bachelor's of Science in Neuroscience. I am currently a PhD Student in Neuroscience at Emory University, where I combine biology, computer science, and mathematics into the emerging field of bioinformatics. I have been teaching and tutoring since sophomore year in high school. After, I was a teaching assistant at Brown and then a co-instructor for an elective course at a nearby high school in Providence.
I do have a standard pricing system for my lessons, and it depends on the difficulty of the subject and how much time I have to put in for preparation before each lesson. For example, I would charge more for organic chemistry tutoring than for high school biology tutoring. Generally speaking, I charge $25 per hour.
Of course, I am open to negotiation, since I have worked with financially disadvantaged students in the past. If you are traveling from far away, I do take your travel distance into account. I also offer discounts to students who stick with me for a long time!
It all started out with tutoring my neighbor in honors biology when he was a freshman in high school; his mother was impressed with my ability to explain concepts clearly, and she suggested that I seriously think about incorporating teaching into my career. Honestly, I never knew I would be an effective instructor, but ever since that occasion, I have continued to eagerly seek teaching and tutoring opportunities.
Throughout my extensive teaching and tutoring career, I have worked with students from all walks of life—all kinds of socioeconomic, religious, racial, and cultural backgrounds. The academic backgrounds of these students varied tremendously, too. I have helped a student study basic GED material, and I have tutored my friends in organic chemistry.
The best advice I can give a student looking for a teacher is to be open-minded. As a person who took a lot of neuroscience and psychology courses, I know that we have unconscious biases, so you may already have an image in your head of what the ideal teacher should look like, talk like, and act like. However, I would encourage you to recognize that implicit bias and be mindful of it. There are so many wonderful people out there, and you will never know you struck gold until you keep digging.
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