Keep Pushing and Never Give Up: Words From a Math Tutor

Greetings everyone! My name is Devron. I'm a math tutor from New Orleans, but I've recently moved to Nashville, TN. I have to say math has always been a passion of mine, but admittedly, it wasn't always my favorite subject. During my middle school years, I was always ok, but not great. Nothing special about the subject jumped out to me. Math was just numbers that I saw no special value in. It wasn't until I made to transition to high school that I started seeing the light. I started my freshman year at a school in New Orleans. There I studied Geometry. The subject was fun because I was able to learn about shapes and angles and understand the relation that they played in everyday life. Hurricane Katrina struck a year later so I found myself changing schools. I finished the rest of my school years at East St. John High School in Reserve, LA. There, I was behind in some of my subjects, including math, because school had already started for the students. I was taking Algebra II at the time and boy did I struggle. Everything looked new and I couldn't keep up with the students. I use to catch the bus to school so I couldn't stay after school to receive additional help and my mom couldn't afford tutoring. I almost failed Algebra II that year with a D which was unacceptable to my standards since I was used to getting good grades. Facing the situation, I had two choices: Accept defeat, or teach myself. The next school year I took a non-honors Advanced Math class and I asked a million questions. I even risked staying after school sometimes just to receive additional assistance. I worried about the ride later. My teacher at the time saw how determined I was to improve myself so he took as much time after school as he could just to provide assistance and I thank him for that. Things just started clicking. Light bulbs turn on and everything started making sense. I would go home and do my homework assignments plus a little extra if I was still confused. I realized math was all around me. From the distance and time it took to get to school, to the price-to-gallon of gas used to fuel vehicle. I became fascinated with the subject. I would memorize formulas, run practice problems in my head, assist fellow classmates who also needed help. I was being noticed because of that. Needless to say, I passed with an A that semester and I wanted to try my luck at higher subjects. I informed my next teacher that I was interested in taking her honors classes and she gave me some advice that I wasn't too happy about hearing. Since I took the non-honors Advanced Math class, she wasn't too sure if I would pass her upcoming class, so she suggest that I take he Advanced Math Honors class. I was a bit upset that it seemed like I would have to take that class over again, but she assured me that I wouldn't regret it. And I didn't. I learned more concepts that weren't covered in the previous class that was vital to know for the next class. I got so much better at the subject that my teacher suggest that I represent our school in the upcoming literary rally. I've never been in a competition before. I didn't think my skills were that great, but my teacher saw a potential in me that I didn't. She even offered to stay after school to help me prepare. Reluctant at first, I agreed. It was my senior year in high school and I had nothing to lose. I studied, I studied, and I studied. I took 4 math classes that last semester: Advanced Math II Honors (the subject which I represented my school in), Calculus AP for college credit, College Algebra for dual enrollment program, and I retook Algebra II so that I can qualify for my TOPS Scholarship. Guess you can say I was more than prepared, but yet and still, I was nervous. The day of the competition arrived and all I could think about was the test. The rally took place at Nicholls State University in LA. My teacher saw that I was nervous and talked to me to calm me down. It was time to go into our respective classrooms. I don't remember much about the test, but there were a lot of students in that classroom. We could not use any formula sheet, only a calculator. All the formulas had to be memorized; good thing I started that I idea a year earlier! Not too long after the test were administered, I already saw students getting up to turn their exams in. I was amazed because I thought these students were extremely gifted, or maybe they had just given up. Not me. I at least tried. I was the last person in the class to turn in my test. I breathed a sigh of relief but the nightmare wasn't over just yet. The winners still had to be announced. We took a break for lunch then all the schools met back in the auditorium. There, the speaker announced the winners subject by subject. My subject came up and all I heard the announcer say was "In Advanced Math II, representing East St. John, Devron!" The weight was lifted off my shoulders as I got up to receive my award. I hugged my teacher so tight for having the patience to guide me through that process. She was so proud, and I think we both cried a bit. I received a gold medal and also a newspaper feature in our town newspaper. That was one of proudest moment in my life. I went not believing that I would be any good in math  to winning a competition. I went on to qualify in the State Rally at LSU where I placed third. Since then, I've been doing my best to help others who may feel less confident in their math abilities. I want to share my knowledge with others so that they too may go on to share a story of victory! I'm bringing these skills to Nashville so I reaching out to students and parents. The the students, never think that you don't have what it takes to achieve your goals. Don't let something like math become this immovable obstacle in your way of continue down that road to reaching your goals. It will take hard work. Nothing comes easy, but if it's something your really want, you will fight to attain it. Never give up! To the parents, encourage you kids. Remain a positive force in their lives because when they are down, they look to you for assistance. They look to you for guidance. Do everything you need to do in order to help them overcome obstacles. They are the legacy that you leave behind. They carry on the name. Nothing in this world is impossible to achieve. It all depends on how much effort you put into it. And please reach out to me if there is anything I can do to assist, I will be more than glad to. Stay positive and stay blessed. Til next time!


Congratulations Devron!!!  


Devron D.

Young, Fun, and Passionate Math Tutor

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