When I first signed up for Peer Tutoring, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had never considered myself to be tutor material exactly, as my grades hadn’t exactly been the greatest for the past four years, though that never stopped teachers from believing in me. When I first walked into first period that year, I realized that I hadn’t even thought of what teacher I wanted to work with, and was prepared to be sent wherever I was assigned. However I was very pleased when I heard that my English III teacher, Ms. Smith, had personally asked for me to assist her in class. I was relieved to know that I would be working in a subject that I felt I had a firm grasp on, and needless to say I was eager to work with new students as well. However, my first day in the classroom I felt slightly uneasy, not because I didn’t like the class, but because I hadn’t prepared myself for a leadership role of this size before. I became even more nervous when I was told this would be an advanced English class, although this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as I was given a class full of well-behaved students. I can’t recall any disturbances this far in my classroom, and aside from an incident where I was put on “Cheater-watch”, it was a relatively stress-free environment. My abilities were utilized in a variety of ways, from running to grab copies, to teaching the class on my own in Ms. Smith’s stead. I am especially proud that I’ve been able to keep track of my students’ names, and have a friendly relationship with almost all of them. They know that they can come to me for help whenever they require it, and are thankful when I bring certain issues with assignments to Ms. Smith’s attention. I was saddened, however, to see one student drop the class due to its difficulty, although in the end I believe this was probably for the best. We received another new student who had struggled thus far, but I believe if I devote extra time, I can assist him with keeping up with the rest of the class, and I have no doubt that they will develop into a competent writer and be prepared for higher level English. There were also several students who show above-average abilities in their writing, and this makes me very happy because I feel that through my tutoring, I have become part of something greater. This experience also kept my English skills sharp and helped me maintain a high average in English IV. I was always pleased when substitutes would ask “Are you Jordan?” to which I would affirm, followed by “Oh good, she says you’ll take care of everything”.
I also enjoyed the time I spent with my fellow tutors in our weekly meetings. It was a great setting to discuss techniques in the classroom, our weekly articles and essays, or to simply let off steam from the stress that can come with the weight of having to guide young people academically. I liked getting to know my fellow tutors and relating my personal experience to theirs, as it helped me get to know them as people, as well as fellow tutors. Mrs. Brookfield always attended to our needs as far as placement, and offered helpful advice concerning our classes; I thank her immensely for this. I also enjoy hearing other student’s stories from their classes, and how these events have helped them grow as individuals, as well as educators. Although I never thought I would become a peer tutor, now I can’t imagine school life without it. It was an experience that has helped me grow and develop leadership and positive characters traits that I imagine will assist me in the “Real world” for many years to come. I will take comfort in the fact that during my time at Oakland High school, I made a true difference, not only in my life, but in the lives of those around me.