As part of THC’s Resident Services, we offer youth at Faircliff Plaza East, Fort View and Webster Gardens tutoring support twice a week. Matt Kocur served as a tutor in early 2013, during his experience as a volunteer he took some time to reflect on his service — this is what he came up with!
As a 20 year-old university student with no experience tutoring, I was somewhat ambivalent about my prospects when I started volunteering with THC a few weeks ago. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to communicate with any of the kids who came to the sessions for help with their homework. After all, though I spend my days at school analysing 17th century manuscripts and other dry documents, I felt anxious over my grasp of all but the most simple math equations and science problems.
When the time came to start tutoring, my fears proved overblown. My first day at the Fort View complex introduced me to a small but affable group of kids whose motivation to learn and master their homework was obvious. In each two-hour session with these kids, it was obvious that the attention and encouragement that THC volunteers paid them on a regular basis gave them the confidence to make inroads on their schoolwork. I noticed that in most cases, all they needed was encouragement and help breaking down and working out problems in their heads, whereupon the answers became obvious to them. Over the course of the week, I noticed that the answers came easier to them, and I was humbled to be able to help them in even a minor way. Seeing this progress has helped me to realize how important involvement in early childhood education is, and that encouraging growth is an effort not just by parents, but by schools and the community as well. I am glad to know that groups like THC are working to provide and expand these much-needed services, and am equally glad to have been a part of the tutoring process, if only for a week.
Photo Credit: David Moss