I was born into a family of teachers – my maternal great-grandfather, grandfather, aunt, uncle, and mom were teachers. My aunt, uncle, and mom eventually became school principals and later professors at local universities. As a result, the environment in which I grew up was rich with both natural and structured learning. When it came to homework, difficulty in Math, or my French lessons, there was no one I wanted to study with less than with my very qualified mom. It just didn’t work. Fortunately, my mom saw the limitations in our own relationship and hired a tutor when I would benefit most. Fast forward to high school, my mom was the one who encouraged me to become a tutor myself. With a healthy amount of teenage resistance, I agreed. It took no time at all to fall in love with tutoring. When I worked with underprivileged children through a government program, I erroneously assumed I would be the one offering the child so much. Instead, I left our weekly sessions blown away by the unique aptitudes of each student and their immense substance. I found myself mulling over lesson plans and ways to learn through play for days before, wanting the absolute best for these people who relied on me to help take their French, Math, Reading, and other subjects to the next level. Over thirteen years of tutoring later, it remained something that both challenged and moved me.
When I came upon Monica, a tutor from AvidBrain‘s letter to her tutee, I was thrilled to see a variation on my own experiences encapsulated in a letter. The letter is to one of her students, William. A student with special needs, Will’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) was something Monica was aware of, yet felt did not sufficiently capture what Will’s special needs really were.
A wonderful representation of a student through the eyes of a tutor, here is her letter:
I knew you were special the minute we met. Every week, I am amazed by your mind, your knowledge, your emotions, your pure brilliance. There is something deeper and more profound to you than there is to any human being I have known in a while. You have greatness in you, and you need to know that and believe it. That is why I am writing this to know now. Because I know what you feel and the challenges that come with being misunderstood amongst those around you. However, I also know the joys and successes, as well as the possibilities for amazing things that people like us can experience and accomplish in life. It’s not always easy, but the ups and downs we experience make us stronger, more whole, and are ultimately worth it. Through it all, we come to truly know and believe that we are amazing and beautiful beings. We achieve love for ourselves and confidence in ourselves.
So to help you through all that, for the rest of this year and all that life brings you, I give you these words of wisdom. They are true now here at our desk, and will always be throughout your life. You have given me so much with all that you are, and this is the least I can do for you. Though, you can also expect more book gifts. J…For now, this is what I want you know and want you to know about yourself:
“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
– A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
– Henry David Thoreau
Be you! Be wonderful!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by AvidBrain.com all opinions expressed are mine or opinions congruent with my own.