Friday, December 05, 2008

My New Volunteer Venture.. Part Two

A month ago, I posted about volunteering as an after-school tutor for a foster boy or girl. Since then I’ve tutored three times, twice working with a seventh-grade girl and once with an eight-year-old boy. The experience with both kids has been both rewarding and difficult. With the girl, I tried to help her with math. I say “tried” because things didn’t go well. While she struggled with some of the problems and I attempted to explain what to do, her eyes filled with silent tears. And I wasn’t even raising my voice or anything! As a foster child she’s been through a lot (stuff I can’t even imagine) and apparently expresses her frustration by crying. I’m not sure how to deal with that, and the other adults don’t, either. Be kind and give her lots of positive strokes, I guess. The boy was more challenging. He’s pretty smart and whipped through some of his work. Then dug in his heels and refused to do more. Apparently this is his usual way, and it’s frustrating! I’m planning to talk more with some of the adults who work there for tips and help.

However... No matter what happens, I’m learning that flexibility is key. That and love. These kids need tons of it. So that’s the latest from me.

Until next time and wishing you satisfying volunteer activities,



shelley galloway said...

Hi Ann!

I'm so glad you updated us! I have a feeling you'll be making lots of progress soon...either in math or gaining their trust! Both are important, I think.


Ellen said...

Ann....if the kids don't want to be there this maybe their way of making people give up on them and go away so they don't have to be there. All you can do is sick with it and don't give up on them.

Estella said...

Stick with them, Ann. They need you.

Ann Roth said...

Shelley- Thanks for the pep talk. I'm going back armed with the best weapon of all-- love.:-)

Ellen- I think these kids are glad for a safe place to go after school, where they can socialize and get snacks. Even if they don't know it.

Estella- I will!