Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2018 – Expansion of Tutoring

Name: Michelle Tran
From: San Jose, California
Grade: 11
School: Piedmont Hills High School
Votes: 69


All my
life, I was the only one who was available to help my brother with
homework, but because I had difficulty articulating complex problems,
it was hard for him to comprehend my approach. Throughout the years,
my inadequate speaking skills remained which caused me to feel
insecure about an opportunity to tutor third to fifth-grade students
at MATHeasy over the summer. With this opportunity, I was able to
gain over seventy-five hours for three weeks of tutoring.

Luckily
even with my apprehension I got the job. During the first session, I
assigned a diagnostic exam for each student to establish their
strengths and weaknesses. Out of all the students in the group, Kevin
had the most trouble tackling fractions. This was his barrier to
excel at math, and my goal was to break it down.

Working
independently with Kevin I explained how to solve each problem step
by step using my method of deciphering each question. I was having a
hard time elucidating the problem to Kevin because he could not
understand me, this brought memories of my failure to teach my
brother. Instead of giving up and concentrating on the past, I was
determined to help Kevin. I tried to backward engineer the problem by
using skills my teacher taught a few years ago. Using their
simplistic approach Kevin understood the concept and was able to
tackle every problem I assigned him.

I
was quite hesitant and reticent in tutoring children because it was
quite difficult as I never familiarized myself with teaching others.
But throughout the program, I improved emotionally by working on my
communication skills and thinking more methodically how to
communicate with others.  As each session elapsed, I improved by
explaining more to my students how to execute certain problems using
the initial method grade school kids were taught. Towards the end of
the program I was satisfied with how I was able to pass on my
knowledge to my students. This opportunity to tutor at MATHeasy
allowed me to overcome my fears and become a better communicator. I
learned how to think divergently to demonstrate different ways to
solve problems. Looking forward, I believe my dream in becoming a
teacher will be successful as I know how to explain and teach others.


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