When I started tutoring, I was likely doing it for the same reason a lot of other tutors work at helping students. I needed to earn income. But as I began to tutor, suddenly it was no longer about the money, but rather the honest joy of helping my variety of students - adults and special needs children. I watched the way they would change from lacking confidence and believing they could not learn to becoming comfortable with their subjects and feeling good about themselves. I think I learned a lot along the way myself because I began to understand what the inability to read and understand what you have read, or the inability to get work done that you feel good about creates a lot of insecurity. Math was one of my weaker subjects, not bad, but not great either. For some reason, I decided that I could teach elementary math. Once I started tutoring in math, I discovered that by focusing on the needs of the student with the math instead of worrying about my own insecurities, I actually did very well. I had conquered some part of my own learning that I felt was not my strong suit.
Tutoring really has made a difference in my life. I feel that every student is my personal accomplishment, and I am always so happy when I see the changes and they begin to realize how really easy it is to learn. I teach in a natural rather than formal way. For example, when I am teaching writing, I have the students write in a daily journal and bring it in for our weekly lesson. Rather than having them try to memorize a lot of grammar rules that just make them more uncertain, we go through the journal and I point out the areas where they need change, asking them which sounds better or more correct as it were. Eventually over time, they begin to write really well and understand what they need to do. For some of these students, English is their second language, so it is easier for them to learn this way. I am a strong believer in natural learning whenever possible. Thanks, Wyzant, for this great experience. It has truly made a difference.