Well it’s true! Although I have been tutoring for 7 years, I have worked as a full time teacher in a private school in Amman a while back. It may seem natural to a lot of people; that a person can be both a teacher and a tutor, right?
I’m going to be frank here, not only have I enjoyed being a tutor more than a teacher, but I have also found out that I am better at doing my job as a tutor than doing it as a teacher. To me, teaching isn’t only about giving a class on numbers or atoms, it goes far beyond that. It is the way you explain it and the way your students react to receiving the information. That’s where all the magic happens!
I realized that focusing on one student, making sure that he grasps the information you’re giving him and watching his reaction when he finally gets it, is much more rewarding and exciting than having my eyes on the board in a class full of students the whole time. But do my students feel the same way about having a class with me as I do about giving them a class?
It’s quite uncommon to ask a student if they enjoy learning Math, right?
Well, that’s what I thought at first which is why I never got my hopes high. All I cared about then wasdelivering the information, you know, explain this and that, give a couple of examples, let them solve some questions and wrap up the lesson. As time passed; however, and after a couple of classes, I started noticing that some students are actually enjoying solving Math problems and are asking me to challenge them with even harder questions than the ones in the book. It appeared as if they didn’t only need a tutor to help them with Math problems, but they mostly needed someone to push them beyond their capabilities and make the experience a little more entertaining and challenging.
Students react better to having to solve problems if you make it sound like only they have the key to solving them, rather than solving boring questions that make no sense to them. To my surprise, it wasn’t long before many of my students started showing genuine interest in doing Mathematics; using logic and common sense when solving problems became one of the approaches that they mastered.
If someone asks me what moments I have enjoyed the most during my journey as tutor, I would say it’s when I get those phone calls from my students after they finish a big exam that we’ve been preparing for over 6 months, and I hear that tone of relief in their voices. What’s even better than that is the feeling I get when I receive those phone calls from them a month later with their voices shaking, loud sounds and music all around them, then they tell me: “Miss, I just wanted to let you know of my score, I don’t think I could have done it without you, thank you!”. Of course I always tell them that it’s their efforts not mine and that they should be very proud of what they’ve been able to achieve, but hey, there is absolutely no harm in taking pride in the fact that you have helped them get there and achieve their goal! I will always celebrate those little achievements as if they were mine, because they are. Nothing will ever beat that feeling.
Written by Areen G. – Grandmaster @instatoot
Also published on Medium.