Monday, November 9, 2009

Tutoring, tutoring, tutoring

I have just finished tutoring for the night, and I am exhausted, but Scott is not home yet, (He is watching NFL with some guy friends) and it is pointless for me to try to go to sleep without him here. I can't do it.

So...I blog.

I haven't blogged in a few days because I haven't had the energy to think of what to say. Ada is back, thank goodness, but she is a double-edged sword in that she is one big ball of energy that never stops. On top of that, she is super attached to me these days. I am guessing she senses that something is a-changing around here, and she doesn't want to give up her mama. Every time Scott tries to help her with anything--juice, bath, diapers, bed time, etc, she says very adamantly, "no, daddy, it's mommy's turn." Ya'll, it's always my turn. And this little girl of mine that normally demands to walk everywhere now wants to be carried by me. She knows that's something's coming. She has to.

Well, on top of motherhood, I have tutoring every night. And I am so thankful for the tutoring because it allows me to stay at home with Ada while bringing in a tiny bit of income every week, and let's face it, I love all things education. Truly, I loved teaching. Other than wife and mom, I was certainly created to teach. But I will eagerly give up the tutoring after Christmas as I anticipate John's arrival. I am tired, you know?

Here is my schedule each week.

On Mondays from 4:30-5:30, I tutor a middle school girl, who I will refer to as B. Middle School B. is a delight to tutor because she is a great student. She just needs a little extra help here and there. So every week, we study whatever she has coming up that week, and I help her with whatever questions she has. You know, spelling, history, simple algebra. It's an easy hour, she is polite and works super hard.

Then from 6:00-7:00, I tutor a seven year old boy, J. Seven year old J. is a math student, who is struggling BIG TIME with his multiplication tables. It's a sad situation because he has great grades in all of his other subjects, but he is failing math. And I am his tutor. Crazy, right? We are drilling, drilling, drilling the multiplication tables, and then we spend a bit of time working on longer multiplication and division. In the mean time, he continues to skip half of the problems on his tests just because he doesn't feel like doing them. So much so, that I have promised him his favorite candy any time that he leaves no problems blank on his test. He is a funny little guy, and he always makes me laugh, as he often tells me that his brain is broken. He also always has great excuses for why he didn't bring his math homework home again. It's an uphill battle with this little guy. But he is slowly learning his multiplication--he almost knows through his fours, and he has a few sets that he can fly through in less than ten seconds. We make a really big deal about that because I think much of the problem is lack of confidence.

So, that's Mondays and Wednesdays--Middle School B. and Seven year old J.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I tutor seven year old G. She's a tough one. Though she is seven, I often find myself saying the same things to her that I say to Ada--don't throw the pen across the room, don't write on yourself, look in my eyes, etc. etc. When I first started tutoring G., she could barely read at all. Getting through one page of a simple "learn-to-read" book usually involved tears on G's part. However, she now reads first grade level books on her own, and we even recently read a Beverly Cleary book together--her reading one page to my two pages. I thought we would never see progress with G, but all of a sudden she is improving in leaps and bounds. We still have really good days and really bad days, but it is exciting to see the improvement she has made. We are now working on writing, which is super tough. Getting through a two sentence answer to a question usually ends in tears, but I am not discouraged when I remember where we started with her reading.

As with anything that I do, I get very emotionally attached to my students. I just don't know how to do things in a detached way. Though I loved teaching, it always left me emotionally exhausted. I had nothing left to give at the end of the day. Tutoring has that same effect on me on a much smaller scale. I want to see progress. I want the students to feel confident. I want them to understand the joy of learning and discovery. And all of these feelings leave me with the potential for exhaustion every single night.

But, I only have another month until I give it up for a while. I will turn all of this energy to Ada and John.

By the way, I also tutor online, which is why I am just finishing for the night. But it is much less exhausting as I am sitting at home talking to a computer, so my emotions are not nearly as involved. In fact, we are looking into buying me a lap top so that perhaps online tutoring will be all I do after John is born. We'll see.

So there's a glimpse into this other part of my life other than the mothering and homemaking and such.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

It is interesting to hear that Ada is acting that way, Andrew is doing the same thing! All of the sudden, if my husband tries to get him dressed, for example, it's an all-out battle of screaming and struggling. It's also hard for me not to step in and do it, because while it would be quick and painless if I did it, Andrew needs to learn to let Daddy do his thing too, and it's not helping anything if I swoop in and save the day.
Hopefully our little ones just need some TLC and reassurance!
Hope you are feeling well (I have also been over-the-top-tired too).