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Giving people tutoring

  1. Apr 23, 2012 #1
    I'm a 3rd year chemistry student and I put my name on a list of people offering tutoring, I stated that I can give tutoring to 1st years. I got a call a few days ago so I am scheduled to give a tutoring session. This is the first time I've done this so I don't know how well I can do it. I got a load of first year exam papers and I am doing them right now (excellent revision) so when I see the guy, I'm gonna show him how to do all the questions on the past exam papers and explain to him all the theory behind it as I go. Is that a good approach? I'm worried that when I get there, there'll be stuff that I have forgotten and won't be able to explain. I'm only charging him half price though so I'd say he won't mind if theres a question or two I can't answer. For example, in organic chem, I don't remember every step of every mechanism of the common reaction classes so I'll have to look it up. I can explain to him the theory behind why the steps of the mechanisms occur though which should be helpful.

    I'm guessing lots of you here have experience with this. Is this exam paper approach a good one?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2012 #2


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    I think that's a good back-up approach. I suggest first asking him what he's struggling with. If he's unsure or vague, then go to the exam questions.
  4. Apr 23, 2012 #3
    Not everybody may think this, but occasionally forgetting something as a tutor can be a great thing. It shows the student that you're only human and not perfect. Furthermore, you can then show the student how to deal with unknown information.

    The worst thing you can possibly do is make up some wrong or confusing things to hide that you don't know it. Always be as open about it as you can. And if you really can't figure it out, then tell the student you'll get back to him.
  5. Apr 25, 2012 #4
    It went pretty well. I asked him what hes struggling with and he showed me a question that confused the hell outta me so I couldn't help him there but it turned out he knew barely any organic chemistry so I was able to teach him loads of stuff he'll need to know for the exams in the hour. The question he was stuck on was a ridiculous question to ask a 1st year in my opinion, the question was to draw a d pi bonding orbital. His course didn't cover anything about d block compounds. I think I know what these MOs look like (same as a p pi bonding orbital but with 4 lobes instead of 2) but I have no idea how you could draw it on a 2D sheet of paper.

    I like the idea of tutoring a lot now because I have to revise the stuff I learned in the past which reinforces my knowledge and ensures that it will always be fresh in my mind. For now, I'm charging €20 per hour and I go out to them (so some of what I make goes into transport), more experienced tutorers around here charge twice that and you have to go to them so this works out good for everyone.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
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