One of the most rewarding things in life is seeing the physical impact and difference you left on the world. During my Fall semester of my first year in college, I was able to spend time with elementary school students, as well as some high school students and assist them with their homework and concepts they were struggling with in the classroom. Helping them succeed in their school work was immensely rewarding, however becoming a friend, a role model, and a mentor to these children was even more fulfilling. Each week, I was able to walk into the walls of the tutoring center and see the smiling faces of the children and the excitement in their eyes to see myself as well as the rest of the tutors. I have never been more grateful and happy with a decision I made than to become involved with this tutoring program, because not only did I get the opportunity to help these children, but they helped me as well.
Each week, I worked with the same children, merely because they came to me because they were used to me and because I began to understand the way that these children learned and the different methods and techniques that got through to them most easily. The main child that I worked with was named Isaiah, and he was one of the most polite children I have ever met. He would work for countless minutes and then he would look up and ask me, “May I take a break and go to the bathroom?” This made my heart happy, because he saw how proud I was of him when he worked hard and persevered through his work, and he had the respect to ask my permission to take a break and use the bathroom.
Each Friday, the day after I would tutor Isaiah, he would have a test in school on his math, reading, and vocabulary skills, so our Thursday nights together consisted of us preparing him to take these tests. Some weeks, he would need more time studying, as he struggled with the material, but I was able to help him find ways and tricks to remember the material more easily, and I made it more comprehensible. By the end of every tutoring session, this child left knowing more than he came in knowing, which meant that I had successfully done my duty as his tutor.
As I mentioned, the even more rewarding experience that this opportunity provided me, was being able to bond with these children on a different level than just school work. These children became something I looked forward to every week, and I was able to teach them lessons about life, and what it is like out there in the real world, and they taught me things too. They taught me patience, compassion, and they opened my mind to a whole new type of culture as well as way of life.
The things I learned while tutoring also reflected back onto what I learned throughout my first classes on the foundations of education.I had seen the idea that all children learn in different styles and methods that work the best for them, and that it may take before finding that specific method. I also saw reflected back from class while tutoring that, accommodations for certain students can be very challenging, however very important as well. I worked with students who were on 504 plans as well as IEPs and I had to change my own way of thinking, in order to understand theirs, and ultimately help them succeed in the task at hand. The most important thing that I was able to finally understand and see was how fulfilling and pleasing it is to be someone’s teacher, and see these children’s faces light up when they finally get it, and it was all thanks to my guidance, support and confidence in their capabilities. In conclusion, my experience as a tutor was overwhelmingly beneficial to my understanding to the field of education, and I was able to help children learn things not only within the textbooks, but within the world around them.