Sometimes we wonder why our kids are so eager to come to tutoring. Maybe it’s the homework they want help with. But chances are, the connection they have with their tutor is the most valuable.
Let’s take Ayan* as an example. She is whizzing through her middle school homework so quickly one night that her tutor cannot actually tell what she is doing as she flips from screen to screen on her computer. Ayan just keeps saying she is almost done and is ready to play games- just 20 minutes into the session. The tutor insists that they do their mandated 30 minutes of reading. Ayan rolls her eyes. She already read at school today. And there are no interesting books here anyway.
Our director intervenes, “Ayan, let’s look at some series of books similar to other books you have already read. Have you read the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe series yet?” Ayan proceeds to look off into the distance, uninterested and annoyed. Our director throws out other titles and Ayan quickly grabs the first book in the C.S. Lewis series and sits back down to read it as fast as is humanly possible.
“Ayan, you are a great reader. You have most of your homework done. But we are here to complete all of your assignments and to read and discuss books. But you don’t have to come. In fact, we have a waiting list of kids who do want to come. Think about it and let me know if you really want to come to tutoring.”
Later that night, her tutor asked her if she wanted to stop coming to tutoring. Ayan quickly blurted out loudly, “NO! If I stopped coming, then I wouldn’t see YOU here!” Tutoring is far more than tutoring. To have one adult show up for you each week has a much greater effect than we understand. Ayan comes for the relationship with her tutor. She enjoys being paid attention to. She likes to ask her tutor questions and loves being the center of attention for a whole 90 minutes.
Ayan wants to be seen, heard and loved. And that is what she gets at SDRT.
Will you join the SDRT community by becoming a sustaining partner so kids like Ayan can keep showing up to a safe place to be taught, mentored, and seen?