Tutoring with BTNY – Initial reflection

LO2: Demonstrate the challenges that have been undertaken, developing new skills

LO6: Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance

I am always grateful for the high quality education I am fortunate enough to receive because I am aware of the significant number of children around the world who may not necessarily be able to experience these opportunities due to various factors that hinder their ability to do so. I always found value in the idea of tutoring and educating others because I think it’s vital to pass on our knowledge and help others in any shape or form – after-all, knowledge is power. Therefore, when I cam across a tutoring opportunity, I did not hesitate to sign up.

As a person myself who receives tutoring, I understand the benefits and substantial help that comes with it, therefore I thought it would only be appropriate if I gave back to the community by helping others, even just one other individual, with their homework or perhaps with something they are struggling with. Initially I was nervous to interact with the grade 8 students I would be tutoring because I do not have much experience apart from occasionally helping my friends understand a certain concept in a subject area. I found it a bit awkward at first because not only was it my first time properly tutoring, but also I was unfamiliar with the environment and people. In addition, while I was tutoring, at times I had to look at a problem from multiple perspectives and try different routes because the student would still be unsure with the concept or question when I took one approach, meaning I had to try different methods of explanation. There were also situations where a few people were distracted or didn’t seem to be focused with their homework and it required the other tutor I was working with and I to remind them to stay on task as well as to check to see what they had completed. Despite initial doubts and worries, I slowly became more comfortable in the environment, interacting with these students and took initiative to ask if they are doing okay or whether they needed help.

I find value in tutoring, yet one of the reasons I volunteered to sign up to tutor with BTNY (Break Through New York) was because all the students that are part of the program to get tutored are from low-income backgrounds. Furthermore, the organisation’s goal is to allow these individuals to break the perpetuating cycle of poverty that subdues their family and their ability to grow, which I found to be very moving. Although our world has become so much more developed and interconnected than ever as a result of globalisation, wealth inequality and poverty still remain a predominant issue in society. In the US, more specifically New York, immigrants and black people mark the greatest percentage of the low-income population or community; the disparity between the wealthy and poor is wide. Therefore, I wanted to be able to engage in some sort of way with the community and hoped that through BTNY’s tutoring program I could contribute to the development and growth of these individuals.

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