September’s Tutor Highlight Julie V. About Her Work on Opportunity Youth Academy (OYA), Piedmont High Dosage, Summer Success, and Eden Housing Private Tutoring
What subject(s) are you passionate about?
I am very passionate about English.
How long have you been a volunteer with BATA?
A little over a year. I first got involved with BATA during my last year of undergrad, I wanted to get some professional experience before I applied to the teaching credential program, so a friend recommended I work with BATA.
Tell us about a time that was especially meaning for you as a volunteer at BATA.
I had a middle school student who didn’t participate very often and was quiet during class. During an ELA day, I asked the class a question and the student quickly raised their hand and gave one of the best answers ever. He used casual language, was funny, and gave a really compelling answer. I encouraged this student to speak out when he wanted to (because he preferred to not speak in the whole group), and I also had talked to him when we did small group activities. I learned that just because a student doesn’t raise their hand doesn’t mean they aren’t actively participating. I also learned that students have their own comfort levels in the classroom and that it’s worth it to meet students where they are.
Another meaningful time was when I did a summer program with elementary students last summer. One day I noticed students, even ones that didn’t seem particularly interested in tutoring, would tell their main teacher they hadn’t been to tutoring yet so that they could go twice in a day. It was one of the first moments that I could clearly see that the students responded very positively to tutoring and how excited they were to go read with BATA.
How have the students responded to you?
The students generally respond very well to me and enjoy talking to me.
What do you enjoy most about tutoring?
I really enjoy trying to figure out how students learn best. I think it’s really fun and exciting when students who don’t typically enjoy school enjoy tutoring because they’re learning in a way that works best for them.
Why is it important to tutor students?
In a traditional classroom it is very easy for a student to fall behind and struggle to ask for help. Tutoring ensures that students have another means of learning in a different environment.
What has been the biggest surprise about volunteering at BATA?
I was most surprised to learn that no matter the grade, everyone enjoys fun, captivating activities. Though the content level changes, even older students like doing silly activities that you could do with the younger students.
Any words of encouragement for potential volunteers:
Even though it can feel challenging sometimes, being a tutor is so worth it!
How has working with BATA had an impact on you?
BATA has made me a more confident educator.
At BATA tutors are the foundation of the Association and our greatest asset. Thank you Julie for making a difference!
If you want to get involved and make an impact with students in your community click: https://bayareatutor.org/i-want-to-volunteer-covid/ for more information