Student Voices: TDSB Math Tutors

Hi my name is Richard Leung. What makes me interested in being a tutor is that I aspire to be a teacher and to teach Math to high school students. I actually heard about CCP tutoring from one of my profs who taught SMC 313 (Catholic Schools in Ontario). He knew I was interested in being a teacher and thought that it was a great opportunity for me to gain more experience, so he recommended this program to me. Since I always wanted to be a high school math teacher, naturally I was interested. Since Mathematics is one of my majors at U of T, I believed I was capable of being a volunteer math tutor. Throughout my time at U of T, I always helped my friends who were struggling in courses. When I did help them I was able to make a difference and helped them succeed when they believed that they couldn’t. I want to do the same for the high school students I am currently working with.

I currently volunteer in Vaughan Road Academy. When I first arrived, I was greeted warmly by all the teachers and staff there. I was given a tour around the school and it is a very nicely designed school. I’m usually there for the entire school day on Friday (since I have no classes on Friday). The extra work gives me a lot of experience, and there are a lot of situations that I encounter. The guidance counselor calls a student to the guidance office, and I work with students there. Sometimes, I sit in on a class and answer any students questions.

I’ve enjoyed my tutoring experience so far. The students are very respectful and I respect them too. What I have found challenging in this experience is to adjust to what the students are learning. Sometimes, I have to recognize that students do not know as much as I do about a certain topic. It is also challenging to adjust to students in different grade levels and different academic levels (applied, academic, IB etc.). Since they all learn different math concepts at each level , its difficult to switch back and forth between each student’s needs.

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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.

TDSB Tutors Reflection from Joanne

photoWanting to be the ideal teacher or finding the ideal teacher is a difficult task, but CPP TDSB Tutors has enriched my view on the different ways the TDSB accounts for each and every student – making the impossible seem a little more possible. Prior to joining the program I had never heard of alternative schools more or else experienced the warming and welcome environment it had to offer. It was thanks to the initiative of the CPP group that I was able to expand my teaching pedagogy and knowledge on student needs. Any person considering a future career path in education or looking on the How To’s of building a cohesive neighbourhood, should consider signing up with the CPP TDSB Tutors!

 

Written by Joanne Lieu

TDSB Tutors!

DSC_0018Hello everyone! My name is Vicky La and I am currently the program assistant for CCP’s TDSB Tutors in the High School Program!

The TDSB tutoring program has been quite the experience so far! We have well over 40 UofT tutors across 14 different schools within the Toronto District School Board. The amount of diversity within the tutors themselves is extraordinary!

What really sets us apart from many other tutoring programs is that many of the schools that we work with are alternative schools. Alternative schools bring a unique approach to learning, like having small class sizes, self-directed projects, experiential learning, and individually tailored learning (to learn more about Alternative schools check out: http://www.tdsb.on.ca/HighSchool/GoingtoHighSchool/AlternativeSchools.aspx). We also work with traditional high schools as well, so the diversity in all our learning experiences is quite large!

As tutors, we believe that there is more to the experience than just tutoring students about what they are studying in classrooms– learning extends beyond the classroom. Rather, it is important to be able to connect with students and establish a sense of community. Not only are the tutees gaining from the tutoring, but tutors are learning a multitude of meaningful skills and gaining valuable experiences as well! And that’s exactly the beauty in our service learning opportunities! Working as a program assistant for this program has truly been the highlight of my university career!

We’ve had many reflection sessions this semester already and it’s been amazing to hear all the wonderful stories from all the tutors!

Stay tuned for personal experiences from our tutors 🙂

 

 

Written by Vicky La