Tutoring and teaching courses since 2004. An award nominated teaching assistant (organic chemistry labs) from 2009-2011.
*You can click on any of Chem201/203/351/353 in the link above to see my ratings.
Learnfaster.ca is a collection of some of the material I’ve gathered or created through teaching over 15 courses across more than a decade.
If you’d like to inquire about tutoring feel free to visit http://learnfaster.ca/tutoring/ or read some of the excerpts from audio testimonials below:
I was concerned that it was going to end up being an expensive route to go but it actually ended up being a motivator for Isabella to help her overcome obstacles as they come up in her academic career.
It’s almost like having, really an academic coach more than just the narrow subject area that you were tasked with.
Her demeanor changed. She relaxed. I can tell she’s really motivated now. She can work not just for an hour – she can work two to three hours at a go. And that wasn’t happening last year. She’d try but she couldn’t make it happen. Something’s happened and I know that she’s just miles ahead of her peers that were in her study group last year.
Isabella has really picked up some other skills from these tutoring sessions. Even when it doesn’t make sense – now she knows that she’s got to keep asking questions to pass. That’s been a huge intellectual step forward. The result has been that instead of failing chemistry, she’s doing way better than passing. Her confidence level is way up. She can teach chemistry concepts to her peers. She has no problems – she laughs now when she makes a silly mistake instead of feeling bad about herself.
That is huge. I’m really quite confident that she’s going to get the mark that she needs for chemistry. She was hoping to get in the 90s and I think she’s well on her way to getting there.
*Shortly after the interview, Isabella’s diploma came back as a 93. She’s aiming to rewrite and get even higher.
I’ve had tutors before that say this is a super easy question, you should know this. And that would make me feel kind of dumb.
I was kind of intimidated because you’re so smart. But I guess it makes everything a lot easier and you know a ton of ways about how to explain things. You come at all different angles so that really helps for starting with baseline knowledge.
We would go through all the questions and I would actually understand the material and be able to apply it and I wouldn’t just have to like memorize it.
You’re easy to work with. You explain the material… like you get kind of what you pay for – you don’t just do like the basic stuff you really go into depth with everything. I find that really, really helpful you really want us to succeed… You actually care about how we do.
I came away not hating chemistry as much as I did before and I actually enjoyed some aspects of learning about it.
I guess you were more like an instructor than a tutor.
My chemistry grade has improved a lot. I started with 78 or 79 and then I got up to I think I got up to the diploma with an 87 or an 88 or so.
*Outcome in Chem 30 was 87 across the board… And constantly improving.
When we first started I found it kind of overwhelming because I started with no Chemistry background… When you start off and you don’t understand anything its scary to want to keep going.
I would be confused about a topic and I’d ask about it and certain tutors didn’t seem like they really knew what they were talking about and if they did they just didn’t know how to explain it to me. It’s like there are those tutors that I knew wouldn’t really help me.
And then, there were also ones that just didn’t really pertain to my needs. They taught me based on the sequential level but they didn’t focus on specifically my weaknesses or going beyond.
[Working with Pavel,] It was kind of hard to keep up with it at first. But now I kind of get it better and retain it.
I started doing problems on my own and it made me feel more comfortable and open to learning more. [Now,] when I go to school I feel a lot more comfortable. Because you’re like teaching it to me in advance. Before I found myself kind of just trying to memorize everything but now I think I kind of understand the concepts and theories behind it too.
I like how you kind of catered to my own weaknesses because we’re working one on one – you knew exactly what I needed more help on. You also made it interesting. When my teachers talk about it sometimes it seems kind of like they’re not interested in it but like when you talk about it, you obviously seem passionate about it and it kind of inclines me to work harder.
You implement extensions of the information that you’re giving me. Like how it applies to the world. The way you teach the material – it’s really straightforward and you do it in a way that it’s like easy to understand and I like how you give me problems to work through. I like how you can tell that sometimes I struggle with it but you still push me to keep trying.
*Brielle maintains an over 95 average in her science and math classes. But I apply no pressure – that grade is a reflection of her immense work ethic and ability to focus. All I care is that she gets into the school and career or field that she wants. And that she understands science at a fundamental level so she never forgets it and can apply it throughout her life…
*The work Brielle and I did (and continue to do) is a special case – one that I would like to repeat! I taught her IB level chemistry in Grade 10, ahead of her Grade 11 and 12 IB courses. We did this using material I made for my University courses and she took it very well. We explored interesting questions such as ‘why do we need biological enzymes and why can’t lab scale organic chemistry reactions be performed in cells?’ (this was something we explored as part of her project on HIV antiretroviral therapy).