Top 10 Tutoring List!
I have several lists running through my head at this point of the summer: a list of tasks to complete before my last day of service in the NC LiteracyCorps, a list of friends to invite to my twentieth birthday celebration, and a list of textbooks to purchase for my sophomore year of college. I’m currently experiencing some pretty serious ambivalence about all of these lists and the events associated with them. As a remedy, I’m indulging myself in this blog (forgive me) with a list based on something that I am actually happy about: my time spent tutoring with AmeriCorps. So, in the style of David Letterman (but not as funny), I present:
Student Blogger Top 10 List:
The Top 10 Reasons Why I Love Tutoring
10.) Finally somebody thought I was cool. Oftentimes, my peers can smell nerd on me from a mile away. This was not the case with my elementary school students. Being a college kids is way cooler than being a third grader, and these kids knew it.
9.) Direct deposit. Making a difference in the lives of children is great, and so is getting paid for it. Even greater? Not having to walk to the bank.
8.) Children’s books. All preconceived notions aside, earning an undergraduate degree is not all frat parties and sporting events. Sometimes I actually have to pick up a book, and sometimes that book is difficult to read (The Wealth of Nations, anyone?). Every once in a while, it’s nice to curl up with a little Dr. Seuss (for the benefit of my students, of course).
7.) Chauffer service. My school was about a mile away from the nearest bus stop. Usually this made for a pleasant walk in beautiful Chapel Hill (another reason to love tutoring—exercise!). However, every once in a while my mentor from SCALE would be waiting in his SUV to pick us up and chauffer us down the road. Is there anything that makes a girl feel more special than a ride in a ’95 Nissan Pathfinder? No, absolutely not.
6.) Tutor training. Rather than throwing us out on our own with no clue how to tutor students, the kind folks at SCALE provided us with a couple of highly valuable trainings throughout the year. Best part? Seeing my fellow tutors imitate children in role-play activities. Diet Coke and Starbursts sweetened the deal.
5.) Kids say the darndest things. Bill Cosby was right on. All six of the students I worked this year have careers ahead of them in comedy if they keep it up. They were also highly creative, making it highly enjoyable to coach them in narrative development.
4.) Sometimes when my students couldn’t think of a response to something, I told them it was okay to skip it. I will practice what I preach.
3.) Staying hip and with it. One day, I complimented a students on her Jonas Brothers t-shirt. She corrected me with an eye-roll, informing me that the pop group on her shirt was actually One Direction. Thank God I have these kids to set me straight and keep me current.
2.) Spelling words. This is a shameful thing for a literacy tutor to admit, but I seriously cannot spell. It’s amazing what spell-check can do for a person. Sometimes when I helped my students with their spelling homework, I was learning as much as they were.
1.) Being involved. All jokes aside, my time serving with AmeriCorps has been incredibly valuable and transformative. I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve the community that I live and learn in. I gained so much more from my experience as an America Reads tutor than I ever could have from any other work-study position, and my involvement with AmeriCorps provided even further enrichment. A complete list of the reasons to love tutoring would be infinite.