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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A 'high' in my carrer as a tutor!

Nope.. I'm not 'high' on drugs la, if thats what's on your minds!

I just came back from my class in Jawi and I’m having one of my silly fits of smiling right up to my ears. I mean, I can’t help it, its one of those times when you’re glad you’ve been given a chance to teach someone, something new!

Where shall I start?

About 4 weeks ago, I received two new students. Both were male students and both were so shy, I couldn’t even hear them speaking. But one thing I noticed about them immediately was that they came for some ‘intense’ tutoring in maths and had very low confidence. However, one of them was the kind of student who’d bury his head in his book whenever I asked a question. He’d avoid any eye contact whenever I asked if they understood or not and this kinda’ frustrated me as I felt it so hard to reach out to him.

His behaviour continued like this for the next two classes and by then, I had somehow comforted myself that I had tried my best with him though I can’t really see any difference. You see, his other friend, though still a bit quiet didn’t hesitate when asking questions and has even started making eye contact with me.. but with him, I’m at total loss!

However, he surprised me in my class just now. As usual, whenever I start my class, I’d revise what we learnt the previous week. When I asked if they’d understood last weeks lesson, all of them nodded, including the boy.. though he seemed to be uncomfortable with the nodding.

When I was teaching them, he listened as usual but the surprise came when I gave them exercises to complete. To my surprise, the boy started asking me questions so I cheerfully answered him. However, it didn’t end there, in a matter of minutes he had finished his work and though there were still mistakes, he was smiling, instead of trying to hide his face and he was asking me about his mistakes.

Towards the end of the class, when I gave them new exercises, he was humming while doing his work. Instead of his usual frown, he had this smile on his face that made me wanna pat him on the back. And, I guess, to his own suprise, he was showing his other friend how to answer the questions as he had completed his own set of questions.. and they were all correct! He was especially pleased when the cleverest girl in class asked him to help her with one of the questions and it was obvious that THIS incident boost his confidence!

However, what touched me the most was when he told me, "Seronok nya bila saya boleh jawab sendiri kan, cikgu!" while giving me the most adorable smile ever and his 'thanks' at the end of the class was what had triggered this smile. Though he insisted that I had helped him, I hope one day he realizes that he HIMSELF had made it possible.. and I pray that he'll grow to love maths, instead of shrinking away from it!

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