Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Tutoring

Name: Paulina Valenzuela
From: fort worth, Texas
Grade: 12th grade
School: Trinity Valley School
Votes: 0

During my senior year, everyone always asks me what I want to do. I
never am absolutely sure what to say to the people that ask. I know
what I want to do; I want to do something that involves
helping children feel better about themselves

. The idea sparked when I began tutoring at my old elementary school
in middle school. I would tutor almost every day before middle
school. I absolutely loved tutoring the kids, the connection I had
with the kids I tutored. The kids would benefit from how well I was
able to change my teaching style in order to help them understand the
material. Most of the kids I worked with had attention disorders so
when I helped them understand something.

Last summer I went to volunteer with my old elementary school again
for 5 hours 4 times a week for a month and a half. What I would do is
go to different classes and take the kids with learning disabilities
out of class to work with separately. The kids that were with me
would bring the assignment that was due at the end of the class. We
would get all their school work and I would try to help them in
simple ways that would help them understand what they are learning
best. What I absolutely loved about it was the happiness the kids
would get when they finally understood the topic on their own without
needing any hints from anyone else. I could tell that the children I
worked with felt more and more confident with their work by the end
of each week.

I think the work I did in each individual class and with the
individual student helped the environment get better. When I first
arrived at the class, some of the teachers would start getting
frustrated with certain students because they do not pay attention.
These kids usually have certain disorders cannot focus. When I took
the children individually I would make the children feel better and I
would also help relieve stress from the teacher. In the long run, my
volunteering helped kids learn how they learn best and teachers
understand that some students need to be in a more personal
environment to learn best.

In the end I ended up learning about my love for children and their
education and wellbeing. That is why volunteering to tutor has
pointed me to the direction of taking psychology classes and getting
a certification in teaching. Those with learning disabilities usually
are insecure about how different they are compared to others and how
they learn. By having experience in psychology I could really help
them by teaching them in an individual way and making sure each child
knows that it’s okay to be different and still learn.


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