I am only a tutor.
Throughout my 3 years of experiences, I was fortunate enough to work with different kinds of students. However, most of them have share a mutual open secret: They hate studying, or at least, they are tired of it.
One student of mine is an elementary schoolboy who happens to be the son of my middle school teacher. I could not imagine how pressured he must have felt the first time we met, he was only 7 then. He needed my help, as he was on the verge of being expelled out of his so-called English-orientated class. We managed to surpass his mother’s nightmare of losing her dignity for having a child with bad marks, or so was I thought for quite a while. Spending a few summers with him, I did wish my family was wealthy enough to get me a few extra activities classes like him. Using the evening martial arts class as an excuse to abandon my homework, he threw me over my tantrum several times indeed. I used to love piano, I am still wishing for a taekwondo lesson, I often dream of designing and cooking courses, but they have never been on my schedule, even when I can afford them on my own. Gosh, how I wished to be in his shoe. The problem is, those luxuries are not his cup of tea.
Recently, he has had an abundance of things on his plate. Apart from school, he still have 3 other English extra classes. As his private tutor, I find myself wasting time and papers every week trying to get him through his homework in other classes and learn by heart all the lexical resources that his teachers could print out in their teaching periods. We are both tired; to some extent, he might be worn out in the nutshell of academic hardship, and I, I am fed up with clearing his confusion because the others do not seem to care to clarify those abstract concepts for him. I don’t get it, why do you need to make a child note down an English proverb when he certainly has no idea about its meaning in Vietnamese or how Viet people use that term in everyday conversation, not to mention a literature context? And if so, why not put some minor efforts to demonstrate thoroughly instead of rushing your students as fast as possible just to spare the majority of time for oral memorising tests and grammar exercises which most of them have known a few years ago?
Sometimes, I want to quit him. For a kid of his age, leisure activities are the ones that should take over his after school timetable, with the appropriate guidance from his parents, not studies after studies. But then, I resign myself from doing so a few times also. He loves to enjoy games with me, even the most boring one I can invent. Therefore, I choose to be his partner in this mind-battling game. I am still waiting for the day I get fired by his mom, acknowledging how different our classes are from what you can expect at schools. I am not sure where we are heading to; in the mean time, shall I be his sweet memorises of childhood? 🙂 Hopefully, we can break up in happy ending, this last year.