During my last visit to the library, I was able to spend 2 hours of my Thursday evening helping students with their homework. Some weeks, there are way more tutors than students and I sit around for periods of time, waiting for a student to seek my help. However, this week I did not sit alone for long. I was able to help 3 students with their homework and listen to another kid read me a story. For some reason, I had the best experience at the library this past week. Though the continuing struggles that I have mentioned before were still prevalent (i.e. literacy gap, language barriers), I found that the kids genuinely wanted help and wanted to do homework. One of the little girls that I helped, she was in 4th grade, was very excited to meet someone from "the University" as she called it. She had many questions for me like: where do you live? what do you eat? where are your classes? She also found many breaks in between assignments to tell me about her own life. It turns out that she loves her family and she ends up being responsible for several of her younger siblings and cousins. As I listened to her tell me about her school and friends and family, I realized that a lot of these kids enjoy Homework Help at the public library so much because they can talk and socialize to older kids. I remember at that age wanting desperately to talk to older kids. I looked up to them. In a way, I think that these kids look up to me as well (though not far because many of them are nearly my height). In fact, the sweetest thing happened towards the end of my 2 hours at the library last Thursday: Just as I was getting ready to leave, two little girls came around to all of the tutors handing out cards with candy taped to them. Mine read "You are so cool!" Although they were given to every tutor there and they were obviously done last minute, I couldn't overlook the sincerity and sweetness in that notion. I felt, once again, that these kids that we are helping look up to us and enjoy spending time with us, even if it is just to do homework.
Card and candy that I was given by two students at the public library.
Although I don't think I would ever be able to go into education for a career, I do think that I have enough patience and understanding capabilities to work with children in some sense. I do like children and I see such a reward in helping them. My mom continues to tell me that she thinks I'll switch my major to education because she is also a teacher and so was my grandmother. Teaching students is "in my blood" as they both claim. I guess we'll have to wait and see.