May 7, 2008

Volunteer Reflection

While its great to give back to the community and help other people, volunteering is primarily a chance to grow individually. I learned so much from this experience; about other people, cultures, but mostly about myself. Tutoring at Augsburg Fairview Health Sciences Academy was a great opportunity for me.
I have never been a social butterfly and I have always been relatively quiet. This experience allowed me to come out of my shell a little more. Not only did I have to talk to the teachers about what was going on that day, I needed to talk to and interact with the students in order to help them. Sometimes it took a little coaxing to get the students to show me their homework. A few times, they were too enthralled with the laptops or secretly playing with their phones.
While teachers have always talked about different learning styles, I never really knew what they were talking about until I started tutoring. Some of the students were auditory learners. By just explaining how to do the problem, they automatically got it. Other students were visual learners. They actually needed to see a problem worked out. I had to try out a few methods for each student to see which one(s) worked best. After I had established what type of a learner a student was, the rest of the session went much smoother. This taught me to think out of the box. I had to think of new and creative ways to explain a particular problem if a student did not understand it the first time around. This can be extremely difficult to do on the spot.
One of my favorite pastimes is people watching. It was very interesting for me to observe the different dynamics in the room. There were some students who obviously want to learn and others to clearly do not. While this is true of most schools, I was really taken aback by the distinct line drawn in this classroom.
Overall, this was a great experience for me. I met so many new interesting people. I was able to interact with people that I normally wouldn’t have a chance to on a day-to-day basis. Most importantly, I learned a lot about myself.

April 30, 2008


Volunteering this week was great! I helped several students with their projects (the same from last week). I answered their questions about representing data and making graphs. I also got to see several of the students present their projects to the class. It was great seeing them show off all of their hard work!

April 24, 2008


Because my scheduled tutoring time was canceled last week (there was some sort of testing), I went to the AFHSA this week instead. This week was very productive. I helped several students with their questions. I showed one student a few ways (that may be easier) to solve the problems he was working on. He seemed to understand it better when I explained it a slightly different way. This showed me that not only do students have different learning abilities, they also have different learning styles as well. While one style may work for me, it doesn't always work for others. This has been a challenge for me. I have had to step out of the box, and think of other ways to explain problems that work better for the student I am trying to help.

April 2, 2008


This week was similar to the first week I tutored. I spent the first hour and a half helping the students with their math homework. This week, they were working on a project. In this project, the students were required to create graphs of the trig functions and phase shifts. After helping with math, I went with the students to their science class. Here, I assisted the students in solving a periodic table. I was there to answer their questions (when they had them) and steer them in the right direction.

March 12, 2008

March 12 Volunteering

The number of students that ask for help is increasing each time I tutor. This week was a little difficult for me. The students were using their graphing calculators ( I never really got the hang of them), but I was able to help for several of the problems. I helped one girl reprogram her calculator, and several other students with word problems.

February 28, 2008

February 27th Volunteering

Volunteering on the 27th went a lot smoother than the first week! The first half an hour I was there, I helped several students with a nasty graphing problem. These kids obviously wanted to work, because they missed their lunch hour. I also got the opportunity to just talk with a few students about their interests. The next hour I helped more students with various math questions. I answered questions about exponents and graphing. The last half an hour was a lot slower. Not as many students asked or even wanted any help.
I'm really enjoying my time tutoring. I'm still a little nervous about not knowing how to do something, but I know it will get easier as the semester goes on.

February 19, 2008

Feb 13: Volunteering at Augsburg Fairview Academy

I started my volunteering on February 13th at the Augsburg Fairview Academy as an academic tutor. Although I was a tutor in high school, this has been a different sort of experience for me. There is a different atmosphere in the classrooms than at my high school. At this session, I spent the first 30 minutes of my time getting to know the people around me. I talked with the teachers and students in a more casual setting. Then for a majority of my time, I helped a young girl with math. It was kind of difficult to find a method for doing each problem that made it easier for her to understand. Afterwards, I left the class feeling like I had maybe confused her more (but I hope not!). I'm sure I will get used to this, and maybe figure out an easier way to help the students that is easy for them to understand. The last 30 minutes of my volunteering was spent in the science classroom, helping the students with a Chemistry problem the teacher had given them. I found this sort of thing easier to help the students with because I took Chemistry last semester.
I really enjoyed going to Augsburg Fairview Academy. I know this will be a great experience for me and that I will learn a lot from it. Although the first session was a little hectic, (I didn't really know where to go, or what to expect) I am sure that the next few will go a little smoother!