Merry Wanderer of the Night + TIME

A Tutor's Diary

Normally Thursdays are Children's Books Thursdays (although I have not been so great at keeping up with this lately). In case you don't know what the reason for Children's Books Thursdays is, I wanted to explain it. For the past year I have participated in a program where I tutor two children three times a week for thirty minutes. I've worked five children this year, but the two I had this semester have really grown important to me. Today I am sad because tomorrow is the last day I'll get to see these kids and it is also my last day as a tutor. Next year I'll move onto my new job and leave behind the two jobs I've been working for what seems like forever. So today I thought I'd talk about the experience of teaching children to learn.

Tutoring is time consuming, and a lot of people don't put in the right amount of time. I often fall short myself. Choosing books for children is difficult, especially if the children are having a hard time reading. The books they "should" be able to read are too hard for them, but the books they can read aren't right for them because of the content. "The dog ran" is only interesting for awhile and then it becomes embarrassing. I learned how to read very early so I never experienced what the children I work with are experiencing. That is, I never experienced it in regards to reading, but I did experience it with many other things. Like math. And sports. And learning to ride a bike. I always say I can relate to the anger the students I work with sometimes have. If someone came in and said I had to do math for a half hour I'd probably be pissed too.

As difficult as tutoring has been though, it has been seriously rewarding. One of the children I tutored this year had difficulty reading even the shortest of words and now she has mastered the word "about." This may seem small, but after tutoring for a year I realize what a huge accomplishment this is! Another student I worked with wouldn't read pages that had more than one sentence on them. Now he reads pages that have paragraphs (although he does so begrudgingly sometimes). This is another huge accomplishment.

Tutoring has also taught me the importance of literacy especially in regards to children. I knew how important reading and writing was to me, but working with kids has made me realize how important reading actually is. Especially in today's world where we are constantly being bombarded by text. Emails, ads, signs, texts, newspapers, websites, and on and on and on. We're reading constantly, yet there really are a great deal of children struggling with reading. And this is just in the US, children's literacy is a much bigger problem on a national level.

There is another purpose to this post, possibly a more fun purpose. Since I'm done tutoring this week I want to change my regular Thursday post and I'm looking for ideas. Is there a meme or weekly post you'd like to see on English Major's Junk Food? If you have any idea let me know!

children's books, reading, and more:

A Tutor's Diary + TIME