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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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it's been a while - July 29th 2016, 12:02 AM

It has been a while since I tutored someone in math. I used to do it when I was young like starting I'm 4th grade I was tutoring my classmates because I was doing well and they struggled and they'd come to me for help. This continued all throughout school and college in various subjects whether for tutoring or sharing my notes or forming study groups. Classmates just tend to graviatate towards me for some reason

Okay so this one friend who recently we saw each other in the train station and reconnected. She messages me asking me to tutor her. She said she failed remedial math 4 times-tried her college tutoring services for 45 minutes a day but still failed. She said she remembers I helped her in high school, that I'm a kind and sweet person and knows I have work and am busy but really needs my help. She wants 3-4 hours a week. She is also in what i call financial limbo-popr enough to struggle with paying for college but doesnt qualify fpr financial aid, been in a community college for 4 years going into her 5th where most students graduate in 2 yearsand wants to graduate so badly and I feel with her. She is a hard worker. But I also fear she is putting too much faith in me. I also sense she may have a learning disorder if she failed remedial math 4 times and I mentioned it and she said "maybe" and I told her maybe she needs the accommodations and we talked a little about that but ultimately she believes she needs someone who she feels comfortable with. Her major is early childhood so she won't need math if and when she transfers to a 4 year college to complete her bachelor. But she does need more math remedials after this one. I think one more. She said math is her only class left

I told her I need to think about it and how to fit it into my schedule but that I want to help. I worry that I may not be much help though and I will let her down. She said the college tutors do not explain how they got their answer and that that's the main reason she doesn't understand it. I am willing to try. I told her to send me a list of topics she needs to study
I have experience but having so ,much doubtand insecurity in my ability to give quality tutoring.
Anyone has tips?
   
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Re: it's been a while - July 31st 2016, 06:41 PM

If you do tutor your friend, it can be helpful to remember that it's not entirely your responsibility for her passing the exam (though that is why you are tutoring her). She needs to put the work in just as much as you, and if things don't go well for her, there are many different reasons why that could be e.g. if she has a learning disorder. If she is putting too much faith into you, just remind her that while it's good she feels comfortable with you, you're only human and you haven't tutored in a while. Also, that the work needs to be 50/50...you tutor her to the best that you can, but that she tries to learn, remember and revise the work.

It sounds like she needs someone with patience to explain how they got their answers. If that's what she believes that she needs, then it's definitely good to try to do this with her. Also, if possible, try and get hold of practice test questions (or make them up yourself) and test her every so often. This will be a good way of judging whether she is improving or not, before the actual exam. Don't forget that YouTube and other maths resources are good for going through things step by step, or testing using quizzes and such.


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Re: it's been a while - July 31st 2016, 06:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Three_Blind_Mice View Post
It has been a while since I tutored someone in math. I used to do it when I was young like starting I'm 4th grade I was tutoring my classmates because I was doing well and they struggled and they'd come to me for help. This continued all throughout school and college in various subjects whether for tutoring or sharing my notes or forming study groups. Classmates just tend to graviatate towards me for some reason

Okay so this one friend who recently we saw each other in the train station and reconnected. She messages me asking me to tutor her. She said she failed remedial math 4 times-tried her college tutoring services for 45 minutes a day but still failed. She said she remembers I helped her in high school, that I'm a kind and sweet person and knows I have work and am busy but really needs my help. She wants 3-4 hours a week. She is also in what i call financial limbo-popr enough to struggle with paying for college but doesnt qualify fpr financial aid, been in a community college for 4 years going into her 5th where most students graduate in 2 yearsand wants to graduate so badly and I feel with her. She is a hard worker. But I also fear she is putting too much faith in me. I also sense she may have a learning disorder if she failed remedial math 4 times and I mentioned it and she said "maybe" and I told her maybe she needs the accommodations and we talked a little about that but ultimately she believes she needs someone who she feels comfortable with. Her major is early childhood so she won't need math if and when she transfers to a 4 year college to complete her bachelor. But she does need more math remedials after this one. I think one more. She said math is her only class left

I told her I need to think about it and how to fit it into my schedule but that I want to help. I worry that I may not be much help though and I will let her down. She said the college tutors do not explain how they got their answer and that that's the main reason she doesn't understand it. I am willing to try. I told her to send me a list of topics she needs to study
I have experience but having so ,much doubtand insecurity in my ability to give quality tutoring.
Anyone has tips?
Get her tested, she may have a disability. She should talk to her parents.

And do your best . Go on the khan academy, good videos and tips.
   
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Re: it's been a while - August 9th 2016, 03:28 AM

Oh I meant to reply to this but never sent it so I'm retyping it. What you said makes a lot of sense so thank you. As for testing, she is 22 or 23 years old, either way she is an adult and while I did suggest her to see someone about this at the office of disability at her school, it is up to her to take that initiative. Nor do I wish to speak to her parents. Not like they speak English anyway but I don't feel comfortable speaking in that kind of authority. We are not even close friends.
Actually that brings me to my next point which is that I spoke about it at my support group and upon doing so out loud for the first time, I realize last time I saw her a couple weeks prior to her request, she was very rude towards me. She's said some things that were confusing and inappropriate or outright rude. I realize I'm not sure if I want to tutor someone for free of charge who wants so much of my time and I even realize she wants the tutoring at a particular library that would take me 30 minutes to walk and 30 minutes to come back home. And I won't even be getting paid so if I want to take public transportation I would have to pay out of pocket.


Okay now this gets even worse. This other friend who I hang out with gets on my nerve sometimes. I still care about her and she is more of a cousin to me (just a neighbor who enjoys doing activities and talking although we do have serious talks from time to time) than a friend I can be close to. Okay I was telling her the situation and she believes this person is taking advantage of me. Okay I realize that's what it can turn into. But then she says "oh maybe you can tutor me but I will pay you!" And then she adds "but only if you want to be paid, I know how it is with friends" I just go silent and say I'm not sure yet. We talk about what her coursework is about. Then off topic a little I mention something about how I am nervous...okay skip details but the point is that she gives me a train pass that has $12. I mean, I don't want it really but she kept pushing it. Then I tell her I have the money it isn't a problem. She then says ohh instead of paying me back you can just tutor me. And I'm like...I don't know if I can tutor you. I'm not sure what I'm doing yet. Then she just kept saying it like it was a final deal. And I'm thinking in my head, you basically want me to tutor you for free as well because 12 dollars isn't even that much and the deal isn't balanced. She wants me to tutor her for many hours over multiple weeks and in return get 12 dollars that I never even asked for? And I literally showed her that I had a five dollar bill and could use that for my train ride.
She basically put her train fare into my pocket book and wouldn't take it back and since I'm seeing her tomorrow I will return it to her and I don't plan on using it because I want my freedom of choice of whether to tutor her or not.

I hate myself. I'm so unasserive and passive and gross. I just want yo hide my whole life and never wake up. Is it keep going to be this way? Is it going to take me a lifetime to successfully place boundaries? I also quit my job because it was so violently toxic. I hate my life right now. Everywhere I step into I end up on hot steam about to burn me. When will this end? My whole childhood was one big ball of toxicity, I don't want my adulthood to be this way too :
   
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Re: it's been a while - August 9th 2016, 06:24 PM

Regarding the first person you were talking about, it is understandable that after talking about it out aloud and to others, that you may remember other things that happened and may not want to tutor someone who was recently rude to you. Tutoring, in a way, is like being self-employed: you're the boss. If you wont be getting paid, and it's inconvenient for you to travel to the place, as well as the person being rude to you, you don't have to tutor them or tutor them in their terms (e.g. you could ask for a small payment, or if possible meet closer).

It does sound a little inappropriate for your other friend to be suggesting that the person is taking advantage of you, and then ask you to tutor them...and practically force the idea onto you (by giving you the $12 and suggesting you pay her back by tutoring). I definitely think it's a good idea that if you don't know where you are with tutoring at the moment, to give her the $12 pass back as it was an unfair demand on you.

I'm sorry you hate yourself, but I am totally the same as you (unassertive) so I know how you feel! I'm working on boundaries....it's difficult because I find that you have to be certain, confident and direct with what you want and stick to it. Which for someone with not much self-esteem or assertiveness is difficult But thankfully, I can assure you that it is entirely possible to change all that and put in boundaries and be more assertive. My mum was exactly the same as me. If she got ripped off or something, she wouldn't say anything. Now, she'll stand up for herself and isn't afraid to speak up if she disagrees with something. It is possible, but I think it takes a lot of practice, and overtime it will come naturally.


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Re: it's been a while - August 12th 2016, 11:21 PM

I think the second person was basically saying that she is my friend so she isnt taking advantage of me and is somehow more entitled or deserving but the other person wasnt a (true) friend so she doesnt get to have my help. I'm saying what she thinks in her point of view.
I spoke to the first person. I told her "my scheduling is changing and I don't think I will be able to do it" which is actually true because I'm looking into different things that I could do for the upcoming months. For the second person, I gave her back the MetroCard. She offered to pay me $10 a day for tutoring and I told her I am most likely going to be busy which is true.

In some ways I feel guilty, I want to help out but I also don't want to be committed and then not have time for other things or feel trapped and start dreading it. Maybe if once in a while, someone came up to me needing help with a particular problem, I would help out in a heartbeat but to be a tutor 8 hours a week seems daunting (4 hours each person) and also spending money for bus fares because I'm pretty sure I won't want want to walk 30 minutes in the freezing cold come wintertime. . Also I suggested a more convenient location to the first person but she said no. This was a few weeks back. .I've went out of my way to tutor people and I have some bad experiences with the whole being used and not cared about thing. I even had bad experiences with paid positions so it isn't all about the money here. Although I am trying to move out as soon as possible. It has happened way too many times that I find myself so indecisive. And guilty because I want to help but I don't want to get drawn into it. I'm also trying to recover from the job I had and reflect on it before I jump into another helping position, whether paid or not

I also don't feel qualified. As the first person may have a disability but the second one definitely does. She has multiple learning disorders. Sometimes even spending time with her casually can be difficult because she does things like throw sand at me at the beach, threaten to tell my family about my self harm, and can repeat things over and over until I respond in the way she is looking for. (Ie: she coughs and I already know she is recovering from a cold so I don't say anything and then she says she is choking and makes even louder coughing sounds, and I'm honestly tired of asking if she is okay every few seconds because I see that she is fine and coughing is normal for a cold)
   
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Re: it's been a while - August 15th 2016, 10:44 AM

Glad to hear that you have been looking into other things and as such have had to tell both people that your schedule is busy, and that you also gave the card back.

I think it's understandable that you would feel guilty, but at the same time, there is no need to feel guilty. You are busy doing other things and don't want to commit yourself, especially with people that you don't know if you can help. Even full time tutors probably have their limits! It's definitely good to stick to your boundaries especially if you know you will likely end up being out of pocket for bus fair, and not wanting to walk that length of time in the cold. Though it sucks feeling that you have had many bad experiences and have been taken advantage of, in a way, you could use it as a learning curve. And you saying 'no' to these people means that you are learning to put boundaries in place and make sure that you don't get taken advantage of again. There's nothing to feel guilty about there. I think with 'helping' jobs there is always the need for that balance between doing what you can to help others, but also yourself. And that may mean saying 'no' every once in a while. I think, with practice, you'll feel less guilty and realise that not only are you helping yourself but also anyone else that you decide to help (taking on to much will probably cause to burn out).

Learning disorders can definitely make things difficult for tutoring, so it's understandable about how you feel. Perhaps not necessarily that you don't feel qualified, but more that you don't know how to help, or you feel inexperienced helping those with learning disorders. And that's ok too, because I imagine that, depending on the severity, you would have to adapt how you tutor the person, what resources you would use etc., for their needs. I think this shows that you are being mindful of yourself and your limits, which I think is great


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Re: it's been a while - August 19th 2016, 03:29 PM

Thank you, Holly.
I was thinking that I would rather do volunteer work with an organization of sorts rather than informally with individuals. I am personally interested in working with children so I might end up doing a homework help after school thing. I think I'm scared about doing test-prep because there's an expectation of progressing through a measured score. I've never been good at test taking and let alone prepping others. I don't know...I'm thinking of making a compromise of like meeting up once in a while. But that would make more sense if I were in her class which I'm not in either of their classes. If I were in their class it would be easier to just spend time after class going over stuff. But with how it is now, I would have to do some intense brushing up, as I hadn't taken math courses in ages.
Yes, I feel inexperienced. I think that's the word. The second girl sometimes "tests" me by doing something on purpose and seeing if I'm able to do the "right" thing. That gives me the impression that she wants me to be doing a lot of behavioral managing even though she knows herself best and when I asked her what are some things that usually help she sidestepped that question and started talking about how she will need me to be very on top of her.

So I mean...I just don't think I can do it. At least not at this time.
   
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