(Wynsome Brown was a FLOC intern and tutor this spring. She attends Howard University.)
On my first day of tutoring, I have to admit I was a bit nervous; I had no idea what to expect. Well, I pretty much knew that I was going to be one-on-one with a student helping them improve their education and learning skills. I wasn’t sure of how the student would respond to me. I questioned my teaching skills, my listening skills, and whether or not I was going to be able to identify where and what the problem areas were and how to fix them.
On my first day, I was a substitute for another tutor. My student was an eight year-old boy named Kevin. I was told beforehand that he was extremely smart and a fast learner, which gave me some relief. But there still was one problem – I was slightly intimidated by the fact that his normal tutor had already developed a certain learning pattern that I wouldn’t be able to mimic. I didn’t want to interrupt his way of learning, or delay his progress.
Once I introduced myself to Kevin, all of my nervousness quickly disappeared. I started to remember why I love being around children. We started off slow but in no time things began to warm up. He was a fast learner and extremely smart for his age. I gave him permission to choose a game. We began to play UNO, and I started to notice that he had his own rules and regulations of the game. I continued to play, and I figured the object of his game was for me not to win. We had a blast! He never wanted to stop, but unfortunately for Kevin, we had to get some reading done. It was fortunate for me though, because I couldn’t take another losing game.
We began to read the Vacation in a Volcano, which Kevin had picked out. We read until it was time to wrap up. I really enjoyed myself and all my worries were completely gone by the end of the session.
The second time I tutored, I was looking forward to meeting my new student and was excited about building a relationship with him or her. Nenis is her name, and she is the sweetest eight year-old girl I’ve ever met. It was her first day, so I could sense a little shyness. We jumped right into learning games and she also displayed a lot of intelligence. As we got more and more into the game, that shyness quickly turned into excitement. She even told me, “That game was fun.” I was glad to see her smile; it just made more excited about our time together.
Tutoring at FLOC has opened my eyes to a whole new world. It has shown me that there are children in the community who really want to learn. I simply love children; they don’t judge, criticize, or intimidate. They are filled with joy and happiness, which goes a long way.