the bistro off broadway


Learning to multiply with a cool teenager
By Ryleigh Cloyd
Edison State Communications Student

There was a lot of genuine quality and tons of value that came from tutoring students in grades kindergarten through six. Using free time throughout the semester to help kids who struggle with reading, writing, and math is really a great way to spend time. And being able to work with different kids of different ages every time I tutor was a nice experience. I became close with a few of the students and knew the names of almost all of them by my last day. And when a kid or five walk into the cafeteria and personally ask for me to work with them or help them with their homework really made me feel good. I liked having the kids enjoy working with me. It made me feel like I was doing something right and being a good role model to these young new leaders of the world.

To me, there were a lot of positive factors that came out of tutoring these kids. The first, and most important to me, was seeing all the kids every day who remembered my name and were dying to have me as their tutor that day. Working with them to better their reading, writing, and mathematical abilities really warmed my heart. I knew some of those kids were really struggling in some areas, and when I’d ask them a question and they’d answer correctly, it made me smile so big and feel so accomplished. I’ve never enjoyed anything more.

There were very few negative aspects that came from tutoring kids at Greenville Middle School. One of them was it was difficult to change almost my entire schedule, even though it was for a very good and rewarding cause. If my schedule wasn’t so hectic and all over the place as it is, maybe it wouldn’t have been a big deal. It just wasn’t always easy.

The relevance in the completion of the six core values was of high importance. Communication was a huge one because I had to be able to talk to the kids I was tutoring and know how to communicate to them specifically. Ethics was also very important because what seems right and wrong to an adult could be very different to what seems right and wrong to a kid. I had to be able to relate to them on their level and understand from their point of view. Critical thinking came into play whenever they asked me questions I didn’t have an immediate answer to. I had to be able to think outside of the box and tell them in a way I know they’ll get my point. Diversity is everywhere, especially in kids. All kids are different and learn differently. Working with different kids every time I tutored meant it’d be a whole new personality and way of teaching things than it was with the previous kid I worked with. I had to be able to work around the different learning types to be sure they all got what they needed out of that lesson. Inquiry is a huge relevance in tutoring kids. If the tutor doesn’t have a respect for learning, then how is the kid they’re tutoring going to have an appreciation for it? You have to be a role model with kids and guide them into the right path. Finally, teamwork is a very important factor and also very relevant to tutoring kids. You have to be able to work one-on-one or one-on-four with our kids. Sometimes, I had 4-6 kids just to myself to tutor by myself. I had to come up with a way that I could help all of them with whatever they needed. Not all the kids knew each other, but if they have the same math homework, doing it together was a nice way to help the kids make new friends.

The impact from my tutoring reflected on the kids and the community. It was a tremendous one. For the kids, it meant getting help with something they may not quite understand, and not having to do it with an adult. Younger kids look up to teenagers; they want to be teenagers. It’s more fun for them to learn how to multiply with a cool teenager than it may be for their teachers to try and push more information into their brains. For the community of Greenville, I believe it has also a great impact. The parents of these kids didn’t have to pay money for their kids to be tutored and learn something they may not have the time to teach them. This program also gave parents a chance to finish any errands or jobs they had to get done before 5 o’clock.

I personally feel like I’ve gained a lot of perspective and knowledge from doing this after school tutoring. I felt more in touch with the younger generation and can more understand how different education has become since I’ve been in those grades. I’ve learned how to be more patient with a kid who might not understand something as well as another kid, and to just let them take their time and to work with them on it. They thank you for not giving up on them or getting upset if they don’t get it on the first try. Some kids just don’t absorb information as well as others, and it really kills their love for learning when someone pressures them to understand something or just gives up on them all together. If I had a less busy schedule, I would happily give more of my time to tutoring those kids. I made a lot of new friends there, and I was sad to say goodbye to them. I hope to see them all grow up to be smart, successful people who make this world a better place.

Editor’s Note: Edison State Darke County Communications students had to volunteer 26 hours during the semester, preferably at the Empowering After School Program. If a student’s schedule or distance from campus made that impossible, they were allowed to work in a comparable program under licensed supervision. The purpose was to teach the student how the fundamentals of communication impacted their own lives and the lives of those around them.

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