reposted from March 29, 2012
One of the best parts of our day here at the VEP office is hearing our tutors’ stories of activities and accomplishments with their students. When we talk to tutors and ask the simple question, “How is it going?” most of the time we are given a rewarding morsel of news.
Sometimes a tutor has a concern; he or she has realized a problem the student is facing and wants to help them surmount the obstacle. The sincere spirit of outreach exemplified by the tutors never ceases to amaze us. Other times, the tutor casually mentions something his/her student did which represents a true gain in literacy. The tutors also often relay stories about students thanking them and expressing gratitude with food or other gestures.
Today I called a handful of recently-matched tutors to check in now that they have been tutoring for a few weeks. Here are some of the tidbits that brightened my day:
“My student told me she went to the store and spoke to the salespeople, who actually understood her!”
“I am realizing he has no time to do homework; he works two jobs and helps his kids with their homework. He does great when we are together, but that is his only study time.”
“She tells me that the most helpful part of our lessons is the conversation. The books are good review, but talking and discussing everyday occurrences and situations has increased her confidence the most.”
“Maurice has finished the book you gave us, and he is ready for the next level! Can I stop by to get new materials?”
“Hong Su got a job, so our tutoring hours will be changing. Her English was good enough to go to an interview.”
“Shin is ready to begin the process of getting citizenship. I don’t know anything about that; can you tell me how to help him?”
So many of these reports validate our model of student-centered, goal-driven one-on-one tutoring. Nothing conveys the effectiveness of our tutoring model better than the tutors own observations. Here in the office, “behind the scenes,” we keep the engine running, but each one of our tutors is really the wheels of the machine, keeping our students in motion and making forward progress. Each story is a little miracle in our day.
by Patricia Morgioni, Program Coordinator