Monday, November 15, 2010

Tiptoe with the Tutor...

Retirement from something I love to do but am too tired to continue doing it has been interesting. I really didn't want to quit working; I just wanted to quit working so hard. In order to continue in the field of education without burning myself to a crisp, I've opted to try out tutoring for awhile.

I am particularly fortunate to have an office of the Learning Disabilities Association of Saskatchewan within walking distance of my home. One of their programs, ABSee, hires people with B.Ed's to tutor students. I work by the hour. Most students contract for 1 to 2 hours per week. Presently, my youngest student is 7 and the oldest is an adult.

Since in one of my previous teacher incarnations I was a resource room teacher, some of this work is familiar. I work one on one with a student to teach specific skills or help with homework. What is profoundly different, however, is not having any contact at all with the students' regular educational institution. I know from my special ed days that what a student can do one on one with you, isn't what that student does in a classroom. When I've asked parents if their child is doing better in school, they expect that I should be able to tell by how the student is progressing with their tutoring.

I had looked forward to being able to use all that cool online technology to supplement my tutoring. The good news is there is an incredible amount of "stuff" online and a lot of it is incredibly good. (Here's a "link to my links"; I still have Google Notebooks, so if you go to "More from Pat.Cone, you should find other pages.) The bad news is that internet access is even flakier in downtown Saskatoon than it had been in Hafford! (I don't know if everyone checks email and FaceBook before they leave work?)

It took awhile to orient myself to my new surroundings and working conditions, but I must say I'm starting to enjoy what I'm doing. I get to teach without burning. Bonus.