I originally came to Tutors for all because I needed a Federal Work Study job. I had no interest in teaching a high school classroom, but the idea of one-on-one tutoring seemed manageable. At sixteen, I confidently proclaimed that “becoming a high school teacher is the last thing I want to do.” After I worked for T4A and began to witness the positive impact a dedicated teacher could have on a student, however, I started to reconsider teaching as a career. Surprise, surprise: my 16 year old self was wrong.
After only a few weeks into the program, I could discern tangible progress in my students’ work. The program manager confirmed my observation by telling me that my students had improved academically since I began tutoring them, and that I had managed a behaviorally problematic student particularly well. Two things struck me about her compliment. First, it showed the constant, encouraging, and always constructive support that T4A management provides for tutors. Second, it showed me the value of treating students with respect. If I had expected the typically troublesome student to continue with his difficult behavior, I might not have treated him the same way and we would not have established the same productive relationship.
Even after I transferred from Emerson College to Cornell University, that first experience with T4A kept me coming back to the organization in increasingly important and rewarding roles. I am now a lead tutor at the Bicentennial Program at MGH and am working on all sorts of promising curriculum material when I’m not tutoring or preparing to tutor. This is my third summer with the organization, and my interest in education has been the primary factor in driving me to continue to its mission of bridging the opportunity gap.
As you might have guessed by this point, my future involves teaching. I haven’t determined whether I’ll be teaching college level English or high school English. In any case, teaching Moby Dick, The Great Gatsby, and Joyce’s Ulysses (maybe not that last one in high school) is certainly in my future. I guess 16 year old boys lack foresight.
|Jason Ewas is a rising senior at Cornell University. This summer he is working with Tutors for All as a Lead Tutor and Curriculum Support Coordinator. It is his third year sharing his love of learning with T4A students.|