Learning while doing

Written by Kelvin Chow

My name is Kelvin, and I am a recent social science graduate, Class of 2015. I joined this great family of CCP in the winter of 2014 when I participated in the TDSB tutor program for the first time, as a social science and English Language Learning-focused tutor. I enjoyed it!

My initial reasons for joining this program were simple. I thought to myself, “well, you did have some volunteer tutoring experience before, and taking two hours per week is not a lot. Why not?”

But soon, when I actually stepped into my assigned high school, I changed my mind.

This mind-change for me, is the biggest difference between my past tutoring experience and tutoring with the CCP. I had  more time to interact with students, and I found myself delving into topics that were beyond textbooks and essays. This opportunity, especially during my first semester of tutoring, was essential for me as a social science student. I was assigned to one of the alternative schools and I learned a lot.

TDSB teachers were nice, and were willing to discuss ideas and provide opportunities on top of holding normal tutoring sessions (it was an exceptional case indeed, but I actually got to lead some minor assignments in my ELL class last year. I got to facilitate dictations and take part in listening to their presentation assignments).

How did this program impact me? Frankly speaking, it actually changed my last two years’ of school life. The experience in the alternative school pushed me to re-observe society, and encouraged me to start to take part in municipal politics. I volunteered in the mayoral election last year and I am still volunteering with a city councilor presently.

My experience last year in ELL class let me rethink my career path, which inspired me to pursue an education degree in Newfoundland this September.

While I can only speak from my experience, what this program can provide is an opportunity; an opportunity to not just sit in front of your computer in Robarts all-year round. It can lead you to communicate with different people with different backgrounds and it can change students’ or your life, or both.

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