Learning Resource Center (LRC)
Fall Semester 2001
In the summer of 2001 I came into the LAP looking for assistance in my Math 2 Pre-calculus
course. The first tutor that I got a chance to work with was Stew Berlin. He was such a great
help that I came back to him everyday to get assistance. Near the end of the summer session Stew
had begun to encourage me to sign up to be a tutor. He told me that it was a great way to not
only get a chance to help other people, but also to get a chance to review math basics for
myself. Since I was considering being a Math/Chemistry teacher in the future I figured it
would be a great way of giving me a chance to see what it is really like. In the fall of
2001 I became a math and science tutor. What I expected to get from the whole experience
was a greater passion for teaching and a better appreciation for the math, but I got more
than I expected.
When I first started to tutor I was very nervous about helping other people. I kept thinking
to myself, What if I can't answer their questions, or even worse what if I tell them the wrong
answer and leave them more confused than before? my fears were quickly eased when I found that
once I sat down with them, things were not as difficult as I had anticipated. The students were
patient and understanding and they helped me to realize that teaching was definitely a career
I want to pursue. I once had a student who came in who needed to pass her math class for her
major, but she was positive that she was mentally incapable of doing the math. She kept telling
herself that there was no way she was going to get through it. I started to work with her and
to my surprise she was a great math student, she just needed the confidence to get through the
class. She ended up getting an A in the course. I have found that all students need is a
confidence booster to help them through their courses.
Even though I did get a greater passion to be a teacher, being a tutor helped me to see that
teaching math and chemistry was not where I wanted to be headed. When I worked with the
students I found that I understood the math for myself but not in a way that I could help
them to understand it. A student once came up to me and wanted to know what taking the square
root of a square did. I told them that they cancelled each other out, so then he asked me why.
As hard as I tried to explain it to him, I just couldn't find a way to explain it enough for
him to grasp the concept. I found that when students came up to me I knew how to do the math,
that was the easy part, the hard part was trying to find a way to explain it to their liking.
hey have helped me to realize that I do love teaching just not teaching math.
Next semester instead of being a math and science tutor as before, I plan on being a Sign
Language tutor. I am no longer planning to be a math/chemistry teacher but I do hope to become
a Sign Language professor. I am looking forward to working with the sign language students next
semester because I think it will help improve my own Sign Language skills and also, it's a lot
of fun. I had a great time this semester working in the LAP. Not only has it taught me a lot
about other students and about math, it has taught me a great deal about myself.
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