Grown-ups, and why they're cool.
I lovvvve tutoring adults. In some ways, this surprised me. I'd taught high school English for six years before beginning work on my Ph.D., and I absolutely adored my high school students. I'm still close with many of them and attend their college graduation parties, weddings, and baby showers (where I promptly feel very old). It's only natural, then, that I get really excited when a new high school student signs up for tutoring.
Since I began working at WyzAnt, though, I've had many adult students - and man, they are awesome. Adult students come to me with very clear goals. They've examined their lives and have decided to make a change. They make serious sacrifices to come to tutoring. They take notes, listen attentively, and do as much of the homework I assign as they possibly can. They bring awesome questions to our tutoring sessions. They learn as if they're sitting on a mine that will explode if they stop. There's nothing like the commitment of someone who has decided to improve her life. And as an added bonus for me, they're fun - they bring all sorts of life experiences to our sessions, and *I* get to learn from *them*.
Last night, I got this email from a former Praxis student:
"I got the job! I signed my contract on Tuesday ... thank you for all your help. If it wasn't for the help you've given me the past 8 months I wouldn't be where I am today! I plan on keeping in touch when I need more of my writing advised, so be ready!!"
Can there be a bigger high than that? This student realized, after earning a bachelor's degree in a different field, that he really wanted to be a teacher (a guy after my own heart!). He went back to college, studied hard, and had to tackle the Praxis. We met throughout the fall, and he worked seriously hard. I could not possibly find enough homework to make him happy. Mostly, we worked on his confidence. He was much smarter and more knowledgeable than he would give himself credit for. And then he nailed his test. A few weeks ago, he emailed to say that he had a couple of interviews lined up with school districts and asked for some help with revising his portfolio, as well as for tips for the sample lesson he had to teach.
Last night, it all culminated with that email. Could there be anything better? His hard work, and a bit of help from me, has landed him that teaching job he so desperately wanted - the one that seemed like such a distant dream when we began working together. He is going to be a fantastic teacher who will make such a difference in his students' lives, and I am overwhelmed with pride for him.
I don't think I could have a better job.