Periodic tables are useful to find out the nature of chemical behavior. There are a set of laws that govern combinations. Referring to a documented pattern of the way reactions take place it helps us understand the world of Chemistry that we live in. Let us suppose there is a classroom situation. The teacher explains a particular subject in Chemistry and later exposes the students to the periodic tables. Some students are able to understand and respond accordingly, while David and a few others find themselves blank. The class gets over and the teacher assumes that he can proceed. David is lagging behind, but is unable to tell the teacher out of embarrassment. He is not able to answer any questions that are posed to him, in subsequent classes. This causes a great amount of grief to David.
What strikes an observer is that David did not understand periodic tables the first time. The observer then goes to David and asks him; ‘Are you struggling?’; ‘Do you need help?’ David says, “I find the terms very difficult to understand. They are too technical. I am afraid to tell the teacher as he thinks that the onus is on us to pay attention.” Many students are faced with a similar situation that David finds himself in. The problem is twofold. One is that the terms appear unfriendly. This indicates that the student needs to know, prima facie, what purpose periodic tables serve. The other problem is sociological and psychological, which is that asking the first time was difficult as the teacher believed that students have to pay attention, and the onus is not on the teacher to get attention. As the concept was not understood the first time it has become all the more a problem to clarify with the teacher.
The problems enumerated above are commonly faced by many students. This is why teachers need to understand that teaching is not just about communicating but reaching out to the students. A teacher has to attract the attention of students by making the subject interesting. This can be done by presenting anecdotes and by introducing students to the historical background of the topic concerned. This is where online tutoring can make a difference. The tutors are trained not only conceptually but also psychologically to enable learning in students. Did you know that there are seven periods on the periodic table? What we call reality can to a lesser or greater extent be reduced to the way chemicals behave and interact with each other. Periodic tables can be used to predict the properties of these chemicals. The very subject that seemed daunting at first sight can make you its prince.