Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The tough ones

This afternoon, I spent some time reflecting on our tutoring program with some other volunteers and planning for 2015. It was such a joy to sit and talk through joys and struggles over the past few months. We talked about "wins" and when it was my turn, all I could think about was this one little boy, Alexander.

I met him in August and our first interaction was me intervening during an argument between peers. The kids were told to line up by grade level and there seemed to be quite the dispute among the other kids about what grade Alexander was in. He spoke ZERO English and honestly, he seemed a bit confused his grade level too. Just recently having arrived in the U.S, you could tell he was overwhelmed with the situation. 

A few weeks later, I'm sitting on the floor trying to reason with him (almost impossible) and convince him to pull out his homework. Followed by another interaction when I was taking him home after tutoring. While trying to calm a crying child outside my car, Alexander smacks another kids in my car and hops in the drivers seat. What ensued was, to be honest not my best tutoring moment, but with zero patience left I just started yelling at him in Spanish. Y'all, this boy. He tries my patience like no other kid before.

Yet, days after my yelling match, he sees me as he gets off the bus and comes running at me full speed and gives me the biggest hug. I was kind of like "what the heck?" I scream at you and you hug me? Anytime I see Alexander he face lights up and he embraces me.

The last week of tutoring, I worked with him one-on-one. He really wants to do the right thing. He was following my directions and practicing his spelling words over and over again.

It's the tough ones, you know, that really teach you things. That make it worth it. The ones you have to fight so hard for and dig deeper than you thought possible, they are the "wins." Isn't that true in all things? I mean I love the sweet, easy kids too, but my patience isn't tested and I don't practically lose my mind, and maybe the testings and near insanity makes the ending even sweeter.


"I like tutoring because you teach me how to play and read. You help me in school and I'm learning English." He then giggles and admits to listening to music during tutoring. Love this boy and so excited to see his progress. 

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