Tutoring Saved Me…
June 15, 2018
I’m sure that some people are wondering why I am expanding Know Better Do Better Education’s offerings to include subject tutoring. Short and sweet answer: Tutoring saved me. This is not some hyperbole. In high school, I was a depressed, low performing student in my math classes. I didn’t know at the time, or at least, I didn’t want to accept at the time, that I had learning disabilities that were keeping me from performing at my best without extra help.
I was a bad speller, to the point that my World History teacher muttered under his breath to me that his cat could spell better than I could. (I wish I could have told that teacher that in the five years following that spellcheck would eliminate that from ever being an issue for anyone, especially me, ever again.)
I felt ten steps behind the rest of the students, particularly in math. This was compounded by the fact that I had a math teacher who believe that I just wasn’t applying myself and gave off the vibe that if I wasn’t able to learn by her teaching methods, I was either not wanting to learn or simply unable to learn. I tried! I spent hours after school, sometimes up until 11pm at night, on the homework that should have taken me a half hour to an hour. I worked so hard at learning math that I literally dreamed about it and was trying to solve geometry problems in my sleep.
I tried so hard to learn and wanted to badly to understand that I began to think that I was just stupid, unworthy of any teacher’s time. When I came home with a “D” for my semester’s grade in Geometry, it was simply the conformation that I was not good enough written in red ink. All of the hours, the effort and, yes, tears shed amounted to nothing.
That was when my mother saw my distress writ bold across my face and loudly stated in the sound of my voice. She kissed my tear streaked cheeks and said, “It’s ok, hun. No one is going to put on your tombstone that you go a D in geometry. But we’ve got to do something. Let’s see about getting you a tutor.” I told her I didn’t think it would help. That I was just dumb. She said, “I don’t believe that. You’ve got nothing to lose by trying it.”
So I asked my teacher for recommendations for tutors. The response I got was a simple question: “Why do you think you need one?” A thousand replies floated through my head, some not so nice, but the answer came out, “Because I’m not doing well and I need help understanding”. The teacher and administration threw up roadblocks to my getting a tutor. We were told the person I was to be tutored by had to be approved by the administration and told that the teacher still believed that I didn’t need one. I jumped through every one of the hoops they set up and finally got a tutor.
The tutor I had was a gem of a man. I was so anxious and fearful of learning math that, at times, I was like a beaten puppy who’d finally had enough and lashed out at the next hand that went to touch them. My tutor never took it personally, though. He never snapped back, he never lost his cool and always, but always, found ways for me to understand the process of solving the problems that I was being presented. It was only through his help that I began to love learning math again. My grades improved. The next semester I got an A and my overall course grade was a B, if I recall correctly. That’s only a small portion of the wonder of tutoring for me.
The true miracle of tutoring for me, was the increase in self-confidence I experienced. The true miracle of tutoring was the restoration of my faith in educating myself and that I could be educated. The true miracle of tutoring was growing to know that I wasn’t stupid, or unwilling to learn. I was simply in need of help.
Since then, I have seen too many students walk into the chemistry lab showing all of the signs of having been beaten down by the subject, feeling like they don’t understand or worse yet, are incapable of understanding. It is true to say that not everyone has the same strengths or enjoys the same things. It is fine if you don’t care to learn about one subject or the other. But if your heart’s desire is to further your understanding of a science or math, don’t ever consider yourself limited simply because you don’t understand the first time.
That’s why Know Better Do Better Education is adding tutoring to its services. No student should be made to feel less than, or a burden because they don’t understand a concept as explained by any teacher or “fall through the cracks” because teachers simply aren’t always given the resources they need. If they are struggling, they deserve help. KBDB Education is here to help fill in this crucial gap. To provide the caring, competent and confident tutoring distressed students need to succeed.
Please, if you are a student that resonates with what I have written here, contact us. Please, if you’re a parent and you’ve spent way too much time consoling your child over grades than watching them bloom, call us. Don’t live in silent agony. We will do our best to help.