Science For Everyone

Science For Everyone

5.0 (1)
2 hires on Tutors.com
1 employee
4 years in business

About this tutor

1).  The bottom line about me is that my teaching and tutoring and work in science education is a PASSION, a calling, a mission, and it always has been.  I have to pay the rent/mortgage like everyone else, and often thats a stretch when one is employed in education, but I get to work and LOVE what I am doing every day. That enthusiasm I have for my work is a big part of my success in that work - I bring that enthusiasm and positive energy to you and to our learning process.

2).  I love science, I am passionate about science.  I think coming to an understanding some of ideas that science has brought us brings such richness and clarity to the world.  And I want you to feel the same way (and I have a long track record of creating that kind of enthusiasm in the young people I work with).  For you right now, this may sound "pie in the sky" as you are struggling with the details of chemistry.  Don't worry, I can get you out of that hole and through that next test. But, the difference when working with me is that you are going to come out with confidence  and enthusiasm - the confidence and enthusiasm that comes with true understanding.  And that confidence and enthusiasm is going to help you and inspire you to keep going.

3). I LOVE working with students and young people.  I made a 30 year career of it on the classroom, but I am certainly not done.  I still have a lot that I can give to young people (which I remain very motivated to do), but also, those young people have so much they can give to me!

4).  I am really good at what I do.  Teaching is my personal "super-power".   It is a gift I am so lucky to have, and I am passionate about teaching and inspiring learning in ithe people. 

Read more about this pro


Credentials

Pikesville, MD 21208
Email verified
Phone verified

1 Review

5.0

  • Jen Balchune

    Wonderful to work with. Has helped my daughter tremendously!



Photos & Videos


FAQs


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

Often times students are in academic crisis by the time they get to me.  I wish it were not that way, but often it is.  So the FIRST thing we do is figure out how are we going to get the student to succeed in the work they are having trouble with right now.  I want them to pass the test, get the lab report done, finish a project, or whatever is immediately pressing. Together we want to immediately "save the sinking ship". This creates hope and confidence for the struggling student.

The next step (actually this starts immediately) is for me to assess the student's understanding of concepts and mastery of skills from earlier in the course, as well as from previous science courses.  I will also be looking at math skills and understanding as sometimes there are gaps to fill math-wise.  (Science courses, especially chemistry, can't be seen as a group of individual topics or chapters/units - the science builds on itself, so finding and repairing weak spots in the "foundation" is essential to later success).  My assessing is informal and is going on throughout our tutoring sessions as I work with the student.  But I will also ask the student some specific questions/conversation to help identify the areas of difficulty. 

(This kind of assessment has become especially important for me as I work with students during and in the aftermath of the covid pandemic - many students just "missed" some content and skills in previous science/math classes due to the difficulties of virtual or hybrid instruction and because of the turmoil many schools were in trying to figure out how to best provide instruction to students under these trying circumstances.  My experience is that there are a lot of gaps from that time period).

In assessing, I am looking for:

1).  First, what does the student self-identify as difficulties and problem areas so far in the course? From the students point of view, what seems to be going well and what seems to be going poorly?  From the student's point of view, what do they see as the most problematic areas and the most important things to work on?

2).  What gaps in knowledge, missed content, missed scientific ideas do I identify?

3). What concepts and ideas that are central to this course does the student not understand well or potentially misunderstand (or has not been exposed to at all)? (These are the "foundation" that "the house" gets built on).

4).  What gaps in specific skills or techniques do I identify? These often appear in problem-solving situations but also sometimes in laboratoy work.  This may also include gaps in math skills or techniques.

5).  HOW the student been working and studying so far in this course? What study processes or techniques (or habits) does the student use for this class? Which of those techniques seem to be working and which ones are less successful?  What other study techniques is the student familiar with from work in other classes in the past?

6).  How is the student FEELING about this course and studying this area of science? Why did they choose or need to take this class?  What are the students long term goals? (and is success in this class tied into those long term goals?)  What parts of this course (and previous science courses) have especially interested or enthused the student? What activities or parts of the course so far have helped to build the student's confidence?

Yes, that is a lot to assess, but very necessary.  Students typically want to stay in the "save the sinking ship" mode, and want to focus their time and attention on the material/skills/problems/tests of the moment (which is quite important and quite understadable).  But it is my job to "make the boat seaworthy" for long run - for the student's long term success in the course (and in subsequent courses).  This means setting aside some of our tutoring time to repair the gaps and problem areas from earlier in the course.  I  try to integrate learning or relearning the older material into the process learning the present content and doing the present assignments as much as I can.  But going back and filling in or repairing missed content and skills sometimes needs to be done on its own.  

When I work with a student, I will generally provide some resources for the student to access and work on outside of our tutoring time.  Yes, it is "additonal homework", but I am very good at choosing and providing resources appropriate for that individual student in their specific course at an appropriate level.  I might assign videos to watch, or provide powerpoints or other presentations to view.  I will often select problem sets or calculations for the student to complete between tutoring sessions that lead to understanding and mastery (not just "extra homework practice").  

Conceptual understanding is central to my tutoring process.  I work to have the student link the new ideas/concepts being presented with ideas they have previously learned and especially with their own real-life/real-world experiences. This generally involves quite a bit of back and forth CONVERSATION about the ideas and how they link to other things.  I am both shaping their understanding and checking up on their understanding through conversation.  Often old gaps or misunderstandings appear and need to be addressed at the same time.  It is important that the student feel comfortable and willing to to try out the ideas verbally and informally.

This is something I am good at! 

Different students in different curriculums are going to have different needs. Some need conceptual intruction, some need more skills based instruction.  During a session we will typically review new ideas and skills from the course to ensure understanding and to make sure they are properly linked to prior ideas and skills.  Often I will email students links to instructional videos and ask that they view them prior to our session.  This makes use of my time with the student more efficient. 

We will also solve problems together -  either provided within the courses curriculum or provided by me (usually emailed to student prior to the session).  Often instuctors assign very hard problems before the students have mastered the basic ones - I make sure we work through problems by increasing difficulty.  The emphasis in not "getting the problem set done" - I want to prepare students so that they can do the harder problems on their own.  Often I assign small amounts of my own homework when I see areas that need additional practice.

I generally work with students on a set schedule, once or twice a week.  I generally have enough flexability in my time to add additional sessions during crunch times.

I am also checking in with students about how they feel about the course and the coursework.  It is hard to learn when you feel unhappy, frustrated, overwhelmed, or ones self esteem has taken a blow.  I am a positive and supportive person and I help the student feel more competent, successful and self motivated.  


What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have a bachelor's degree from Brown University in Geology (geochemistry focus), plus I have taken significant coursework in chemistry and other sciences as part of my bachelor's degree and also as post-bachelaureate work. I am well read and well educated across all science disciplines including chemistry, physics, biology, geology and astronomy, and I have both taken and taught courses in all of those disciplines in the past.  Keeping myself current across a breadth of science disciplines is something that adds so much richness to my teaching and tutoring, and it is something I feel quite proud of.

I have completed substantial coursework and training in many areas of education, educational theory, and educational practice - particularly focused on science education.  I won a competitive National Science Foundation award that allowed me to study chemistry education specifically while in residence at University of Northern Colorado for an entire summer.  I have completed several graduate level courses specifically targeted at teaching Advanced Placement Chemistry (9 credits total). I have taken sufficient post-bachelaureate coursework (bith in education and in science content) that my school district categorizes me as having a masters degree equivalency.  Finally, I hold a current Advanced Professional Teaching Certificate (highest level certificate) in the state of Maryland to teach Chemistry, Earth Science, Space Science, and Physical Sciences. 


Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

My work is priced hourly, but sessions can be longer if desired.  My price includes my preparation for each session, the time I spend with the student, communication with teachers and parents, and email communication with students between sessions (communication, not instruction).

When I travel to work with students my fee will be higher than if we work electronically in order to cover my travel time and travel costs.


How did you get started teaching?

I started teaching in 1987 in Massachusetts.  I entered the profession because I loved the time I had spent working with young people as a coach (bicycle racing) and in other roles.  That joy in working with young people continues many years later. After teaching in Massachusettes,  I have taught in San Francisco and Oakland, California, and in Baltimore and Carroll County, Maryland.


What types of students have you worked with?

As a tutor now I work primarily with:

1.  College students taking introductory Chemistry (at all levels) 

2.  High school students taking AP Chemistry and Honors/IB Chemistry

3.  High School students needing support in Chemistry (any level), Physics, Physical Science and Earth/Space Science


What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

It is worth it to pay the extra money to get someone with a career's worth of teaching skills.  A tutor who knows the material well but but doesn't know all the ins and outs of how to teach this material and encourage and motivate the student is going to be a dissapointing and unsuccessful experience.  Look for someone with a long history of successful teaching.


Services offered

AP Chemistry Tutors Chemistry Tutors Earth Science Tutors Life Sciences Tutors Physical Science Tutors Science Tutors Thermochemistry Tutoring Help Cycling Classes Geology Tutors Astronomy Tutors