Tutoring and being tutored are two very different experiences. That is a fact that I had to accept during the long period I taught an acquaintance from my Catholic Church. His name was Sewon, and our original meeting was not as memorable as the last. Our final meeting was interesting, yet unexpected for both me and Sewon, whereas our first meeting was extremely awkward. We were to have classes every other saturday to study basic English grammar and vocabularies.
Initially, he was very quiet, sometimes even stoic to the point of being. We did not interact often during our sessions, and we never got to be informal to each other, let alone communicate often. After a few lessons of silence and mishap, I asked my student what he needed to be taught, since he seemed a bit bored often. To rid his boredom, I went over some of the textbooks we were going through, and made jokes out of them. My plan was a success. Furthermore, I realized improvements that I could make as a peer tutor.
The changes that I made throughout our time together are evident by the change in progression of our lessons. Initially, we were merely going over the fundamentals of English and vocabulary of the human body. Afterwards, we moved on to topics Sewon wished for, such as astronomy. Along with that, we also went over vocabulary and grammar to improve Sewon’s English in several ways.
|[Sewon and myself going over a book that I assigned to him]
We also discussed how each course went as well as improvements could make. Typically, I asked Sewon, “What do you think will make today’s class better for you?” He usually responded with comments on how I could adjust the classes to better suit his desires. For instance, he desired the classes to be more relevant to his school courses; he also mentioned that I should try to make my classes less awkward and less strict.
All in all, I feel that my tutoring experience with Sewon has been successful in several ways, for I was able to be enlightened with my own teaching methods. And I was able to reflect upon the fact that the best way to teach was not just to do it in a way that was fun, but also in a way so that the student can decide what they want to do for class. I also learned that the role of a teacher was harder than what was it seemed, due to how teachers have to meet the demands of the students. It was also rigorous because of how they have to make their curriculum based off the students’ opinions and have to listen to their suggestions to fix their teaching standards. Thus, it is teachers who have to understand the student, and not the other way around in a class.
Asia Pacific International School
Matthew Choi firstname.lastname@example.org
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