Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Born To Tutor

Name: Renee Paniccia
From: Grand Rapids, MI
Grade: College Junior
School: Davenport University
Votes: 0

I’ve been helping my classmates to succeed throughout my entire education and have found this passion only growing as I advance into college courses. I usually find myself coming up with easier ways to teach the material than how the instructors are teaching it. All students learn at different paces and in different ways than others. A very hands-on student may not comprehend the material when the teacher simply tells them instructions verbally. Using multiple teaching techniques, I find joy in helping students achieve their full academic potential.

Even after getting diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, I continued tutoring students in my grade level and below. I utilized the Internet to keep in touch and ensure the students were staying on track. It’s always been a passion of mine to tutor my peers who are getting behind or those who just want a better grasp on their courses. I help students to not only understand the material needed,
but I make sure they have enough of a grasp on it to where they can teach other students what they’ve learned. I don’t like seeing kids confused when a good tutor could be the difference between failing
and passing a test.

Once I understand the material well enough to teach it to someone else, I
first find out how that person learns best and I accommodate in order to fit the needs of that individual. My favorite part of tutoring students is seeing their face when the material finally clicks.
Knowing that the small learning techniques I teach these students can benefit them in the long-run makes me feel like I’m actually making a difference.

Tutoring
my classmates has always seemed like an obligation for me. Growing up with a grandmother who constantly taught me new things, even challenging me to memorize all 50 states and their capitals before I turned 10, it’s not a surprise that my short-term memory allows me to breeze through grade school. Being able to retain information for upcoming tests better than most of my peers, I like to give back and teach others what they don’t understand.


All throughout school, I would find myself using little memorization tricks to help me remember vocabulary and other class material. My brain would immediately think of some alike sound or meaning that I can use to connect a word to its definition, for example. I never realized until now that this habit was instilled upon me at a very young age by my grandmother. (I will never forget that Springfield is
the capital of Illinois – because when people become ill, they go to a field filled with springs). Even the most random similarity will help our brains to connect two words together. Remembering this
trick, I’m able to come up with memorization techniques that greatly benefit the students I tutor. It’s been very apparent to me how influential our childhood is, how having one person in your life who
constantly challenges you can make all the difference growing up.

Not all kids are as lucky as I am, however. This is why I enjoy tutoring
my classmates. Knowing that the small learning techniques I teach these students can benefit them in the long-run makes me feel like I’m actually making a difference. 

My favorite part of tutoring a classmate is seeing their face when the material finally clicks after being stuck for so long. Utilizing multiple teaching techniques, I find joy in helping students achieve their full potential. Many grade school teachers use only one method of teaching, whether that be lecturing, book-work, or hands-on assignments. Once I understand the material well enough to teach it to someone else, I find out how that person learns best and I accommodate in order to fit the needs of that individual. I’ve seen firsthand how significantly my tutoring can improve both a student’s grades as well as their self-confidence when it comes to academics. Witnessing this change, it only makes me more
determined to help out others whenever I can. 


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