Volunteer at Augsburg
I will be volunteering at Augsburg/Fairview inner city school system on Mondays, assisting and tutoring 11-12 graders in math. Last Monday was my first day. I sat through the lecture of parabolas and concavity, which lasted about a half hour, and then was there to help students afterward. Since school is out at 3, many of the students left and didn't stay for extra help. I was able to sit with one student, Muhamed, who was not there for the duration of class time, but is struggling very much in the class. I worked with him for about 15 minutes before he had to leave and catch his bus. Although I didn't feel like I drilled the information into him concrete, I spoke to the director afterwards, who told me that Muhamed was excited about doing some extra work. I am hoping that I can work with him each week in order to help him get a good grade on his final exam! I was happy to hear of this, because he explained to me that he hates math, and isn't very good at it. I remember tutoring 6th graders in math a few years ago, and how gruling it was for them because they didn't want to feel silly by asking questions and getting help. I think it is beneficial to have someone younger, someone other than the teacher to walk things through with them. They seem a little more comfortable that there won't be judgement and that there isn't a past history of me knowing grades or class attendance or class ability. I hope that more students will ask me for assistance in the future.
It was difficult seeing their learning environment, and how it differed greatly from my own experiences in high school. I think that the environment helps a lot, and when things are casual and improper, I feel there is an essence that isn't captured to complete the fact that it is a learning environment.