I tutored someone in Calculus today for the first time since college. Not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous, ’cause I wasn’t sure if I still had it. I won’t say I’m a good tutor because I have no idea and can’t judge my own performance, but I do enjoy doing it.
I like showing cool relationships or applications of the material to whoever it is I’m working with because they are interesting and exciting to me and I think it helps integrate (no pun intended) the material into something more tangible. But when I present those types of things, sometimes I feel like my student (not specifically the one worked with today) just wants to get on with the lesson or wants me to give them the answer, which I can’t fault them for.
That’s the struggle, getting someone to care. Not just as a tutor, but in education in general, in my work a MOXI, and even in my work with Doctors Without Walls. You can’t force someone to be interested in what you are saying no matter how much logic you are using. I recently was at a talk on motivational interviewing. It’s a way of being with someone that can help them find there own way through a situation. This specific talk was in the context of working with individuals suffering from substance addiction, mental health disorders, chronic homelessness, or a combination of two or all three, but the concepts really apply to anything. One of the big tenants of the motivational interviewing process, is recognizing that no matter how much education, power, resources, etc. one has, the other person is the expert on themselves, and they are the only person who can ultimately choose to move in one direction or another.
In the case of tutoring, it’s hard to make progress in that regard. How the heck do you get someone to care about math. Math bears a huge cultural stigma, as do the people who fraternize with it, and it can be conceptually difficult. People want to do stuff that makes them look good and are easy.
But anyways, yea I still like tutoring, so if you know anyone looking for some, lmk.