Feb 12, 2013


Today in tutoring, I had to exercise a "special kind of patience".  Not only did I have my "regular" group of children, but also the ones who were "put out" of class. I willingly take them on because I own the business and want Envision to stay well represented.  Tutors/Teachers should not have to continuously deal with disrespect, when they themselves are pretty much volunteering to be there.

 I wanted to understand the disconnect.  Believe me.........they didn't behave any better for me than they did for the other teachers, but I believe I got somewhere.

As each child was "cappin'" on one another, I told them that before they got the reward of getting on the computer, they had to write for me.  One assignment was to look up the word "loquacious", write the definition and then give me 10 sentences using the word.

What was interesting is that when I asked them if they knew what the word meant, each student shared that they knew what it meant.

My mom said it means "that I am stupid"
another shared "It means that I am dumb"

there were only 4 extra students that I was dealing with and 50% sharing that they were identified as dumb/stupid.... I was done.

What I appreciated is that they did look up the word and find out that loquacious meant talkative.
I appreciated that they wrote the 10 sentences.
I appreciated that when they left for the day......they wanted to come back.

I'll take it.

Feb 8, 2013


Today, I had to leave a phenomenal event that highlighted the success of the Urban League to tutor 1 student at Bond Hill. I truly felt a bit of conflict.

1. Envision doesn't have the funds to attend an event for 1 hour.....then leave
2. That child will be okay for one day of me not attending.  That student will be okay.  It's just one day.

Now it is 12:40pm (tutoring @ 1pm) and I just couldn't do it.  I made a commitment to these children and if I have to sit there and stare at the walls for an hour, they will know my commitment.

I showed up at 1pm and the sweetie was excited to see me. 

One day does make a difference.  She was successful in her assignment that we worked on and wanted to make sure that I would be there next week.

I wouldn't miss it.  We all make choices.  It's so easy to forget how crucial our presence is when it comes to our youth.  Events.....galas.....networking parties.

Watching one student grow..............

Great Choice.

Feb 7, 2013


If that wasn't the mantra the other day, then I don't know what was.  LORD!LORD!LORD!Why do I do what I do? 

It was time to reassess how much my students had gained in knowledge of their fact fluency.  4 "EASY" 3 minute tests.  Addition........Subtraction..........Multiplication.........Division.  Everything being single digit. 

One would THINK that this would be a breeze.  The students get to show off how far they had advanced; I can sit back and reap the personal satisfaction of yet another amazing year of academic achievement. 

HUH!!! HA!!! I should have stayed home.

Apparently Spring was in the air and the only thing the students wanted to be fluent about is "I DON'T WANT TO DO IT".  Are you kidding me?

I try......."this is easy. you will be a huge success"
The Refrain, "I DON'T WANT TO DO IT"
I try......."if you do well, this is the last time you will have to do this for me and we can move on to bigger and better things"
Response, "I already did it" and The Refrain, "I DON'T WANT TO DO IT"
I try...."we will have a big celebration for your achievement when you are finished"
Answered by "I'm tired. I don't have a pencil" and........The Refrain, "I DON'T WANT TO DO IT"

At this point, I am running out of patience.  What do they mean "I don't want to do it".  There are a lot of things I don't want to do, but have to do.......Like argue with 10 year olds about the benefit of knowing 5 times 8.........or putting $3.55/gallon gas in my car in 2degrees temperature.............or go to work after Superbowl Sunday.  But I do it.

I think, why am I trying to convince these students to take 4 easy freakin' tests????
Then I realize, that it's not really about them taking the tests, but that I am really trying to convince them the importance of not only the work they are doing, but in doing what you have to (to the best of your ability).....even if you don't want to.

The tug of war isn't about math, but about 'fighting the fight'.  Our youth not only have to have the tools to fight the fight, but the "fight" in them to engage even when they don't "want to". 

In the end, after spending more time reas oning with the students, the tests were taken and all did very well.  HALLELUAH!!!

When they were on their way home, and giving me my hugs (as though they hadn't just given me grief only an hour ago..........how quickly we forget), one students asked,

"Hey, Ms. Garner.......I don't want tutoring to end.  Can it keep going?"

I gladly said, "I WANT TO !!"