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Case Study #21 - Struggling in 9th grade chemistry

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Teenage female student holding notebooks - isolated over white

Shannon Myers is a smart, independent 9th grader. She’s a student athlete, very social, and generally does well in her classes. But she really struggled with her chemistry class. Her grades and her confidence suffered as a result, and she felt like she was falling behind in class. So her family decided to arrange tutoring for her, to help get her back on track.

Plan of Action:

Early on in their lessons, Shannon’s tutor realized that the struggles she was having in chemistry were not due to a lack of effort or knowledge. Instead, it became clear that she was struggling to understand and connect with the teacher in her chemistry class. For each tutoring lesson, Shannon would work on the topic that had been introduced in class that week. She would always begin the lesson by saying that she didn’t understand the material. But by the end of her hour long lessons, she was able to answer her homework problems on her own. 

Case Study #21


Shannon’s understanding of chemistry is solid, but is negatively impacted by her lack of connection in class. Partly this is due to the difficulties that come with online school, and partly due to the teacher not conveying information in a way that’s effective for Shannon to understand. But Shannon began picking up on material very quickly when it was explained to her in tutoring. Being in a one-on-one space greatly helps, since it allows her to ask questions more freely. And her tutor explains topics in a way that makes sense to her.

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Shannon plans on continuing her chemistry tutoring through the end of the school year. Her confidence in the subject matter and her own abilities has significantly increased, as her lessons have shown her that she is completely capable of doing the work. She just needs a different approach to learning than her current group class provides, and tutoring has been the answer for her. Now her confidence and understanding will only continue to grow!