Why I Became a Chemistry Tutor

It’s National Chemistry Week. We asked chemistry tutor and mentor Rosann W. to tell us why she became a chemistry tutor. Rosann has been tutoring with Tutor.com since 2006.

Ask any chemist or chemistry teacher why they got into that field and most of them will say “fire.”  You know, causing explosions, pyrotechnics, burning things up.  Not me. What hooked me wasn’t fire, but colors. Specifically the colors of the gemstones.  See, I was completely fascinated by the fact that if you take an amethyst (February’s birthstone) and heat it up you will get a citrine (November’s birthstone).  What’s the big difference you ask?  An electron.  One measly electron that takes an iron atom from Fe3+ to Fe2+.  That’s it.  Oh, and one chemistry professor, Dr. Kenney who explained it all, in detail.  From then on, I had to know more!

So I studied chemistry in college and I knew I wanted to help other people understand it better (like Dr. Kenney did for me).  And the rest is history.  I became a high school chemistry teacher and now I tutor chemistry.

For a chemist it’s all about the “ah-ha” moment.  Whether it’s making a controlled explosion, creating the perfect firework, finding a new vaccine, solving a problem for a consumer application or helping a student understand how to write and balance an equation, they are all “ah-ha” moments.  And for me the best part is when a student says “Oh so it’s like this…” and she’s off and running because she “gets” it.  That’s why I am a chemistry teacher.  That’s why I’m a chemistry tutor.  That’s who I am … I am a chemist.

Rosann’s birthstone is an aquamarine and her new passion is knitting. Knitting isn’t chemistry based, but the patterns are based in mathematics and just like Professor Dumbledore, she can’t resist.

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