February’s Tutor Highlight is Varun P!

How did you get involved with BATA?
I was looking for local volunteering opportunities, and found BATA’s website online. I filled out the application, completed an interview, and started tutoring with BATA!

How long have you been a volunteer with BATA?
I have been a volunteer with BATA since January 2022.

Tell us about a time that was especially meaningful for you as a volunteer at BATA?
There was this one student who for a time period would be the only student to come to my room. I connected with him and helped him with his English homework and a History project, but after we would talk about our favorite movie and TV show characters, or whatever he wanted to. I really enjoyed connecting with him in a way outside of homework help, and this shaped how I want my volunteering experience to go.

How have the students responded to you?
A lot of times students will only have a couple of questions, and I’m happy to help them out and answer them. But for the few that want to work through any sort of work they have, or even just talk about their life and school, I’m happy to help them out in any way I can. I’d like to think they respond well to me, that they’re comfortable enough to discuss anything at school or otherwise, but the students are the ones who can speak to that best.

What subject(s) are you passionate about?

Science and Mathematics, as well as History

What do you enjoy most about tutoring?

I enjoy engaging with the students, understanding their thought processes, and knowing that they come away with a better understanding of whichever subject they are struggling with.

Why is it important to tutor students?
Teachers are only available during school time, so when students have a question or are confused when doing homework or studying, the only materials they have available to them are their notes, their parents, or the Internet. Tutors are able to act as teachers outside of school, and being able to discuss their confusions with those who understand the subject they are confused in is essential in learning and growing as a student.

How has working with BATA had an impact on you?
I gained a passion for tutoring and teaching others, and has influenced me to pursue teaching when I go to college.

What has been the biggest surprise about volunteering at BATA?
The different sorts of kids that come in. There will be all sorts of kids, not just those who are in desperate need of tutoring, a lot of the kids simply want to discuss the lesson or their assignment; they just need some clarification on their lessons, and sometimes this simple advice from a different perspective is incredibly useful to them.

Any words of encouragement for potential volunteers:

If you’re afraid or nervous about tutoring, don’t be! The interactions with students don’t need to be stressful situations, you just need to explain what you know or understand about the topic, and if you’re unsure about something, don’t be afraid to tell the truth, by lying you can cause the student unnecessary confusion later on.

At BATA, tutors are the foundation of the Association and our greatest asset.  Thank you Varun 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