Covid-19 vs. Virtual World of Tutoring

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Amanda Jose

A calculator that Amanda often uses while tutoring her students. A calculator is possibly one of the most important parts of tutoring.

Amanda Jose began her week relaxing at her home and watching television. She ended it with a rigorous, full time, paying job of tutoring children in math.

Ever since she was young, Jose has always been gifted with the ability of math. She was constantly ahead of her classes, and caught onto each topic with ease. Currently a senior at Padua Academy, her love of math slightly faded overtime as the topics grew more difficult. Despite the growing difficulties of high school level math, Jose is still able to use her gifts to aid kids in lower-levels of the subject.

“I actually didn’t expect to get a job this summer at all because of the virus,” she began. “One day my friend called and told me that her boss is looking for someone to help tutor children with math. She asked if she could recommend me.”

Jose was promptly taken in for an interview and received the job almost immediately. Although the job of tutoring itself was unexpected, Jose fell into a routine within the first week of working.

“Everything just fell into place for me without me actually having to do anything. A week before, I wasn’t even thinking about getting a job, and then all of a sudden, I got one.”

Her strong points at teaching are Algebra, fractions, and long division. “That was my speciality as a child, so I love teaching kids it today.”

Jose works, on average, two days a week in four hour shifts. Each meeting is conducted through a Zoom call to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

A notebook that Amanda keeps her notes and lessons on tutoring in. Each page is filled with a different lesson and progess (Amanda Jose)

“This can occasionally make teaching difficult since I can’t physically point out mistakes, but with enough support, students can learn.” Jose said, “I always try to get the students to be more engaged and active in class because I know that work can become boring and tedious. I always use positive reinforcement to reassure that the kid is doing great, even if they’re struggling.”

The pandemic has greatly impacted average school life, and students all around the world are struggling to adjust to the changes. Jose’s tutoring schedule has made other after school activities difficult to fit in. “As a student myself, it’s a lot harder for me to meet up with teachers when I’m struggling, and I’m sure it is like this for many other students. Not to mention the large amount of work given to us every day,” she said.

Jose is happy to provide any form of support towards students who are struggling with the load of work. “Sometimes, there is a lot of work to prepare for the students, but overall, I am able to manage it pretty well.”

Jose typically uses special methods to help each student focus on what they are learning. She breaks down topics that are more difficult for each student to learn, and uses terminology and comparisons that a child would better understand. “I try to find teaching methods that are more engaging. For example, when I’m making students read flashcards, I turn it into a competition, seeing how many they can read within a minute.”

Tutoring has become a passion of Jose’s as she has watched kids develop and strengthen their skills. “It makes me happy to know that I’m helping students understand topics that they struggle with. It means a lot when students tell me that they’re happy I’m their teacher and appreciate me teaching them,” said Jose.

Despite the difficulties of the current education system and her own stress, Jose continues to help students with their education and is making an incredible difference.

At the end of one meeting, a parent expressed their gratitude towards her teaching. “A mother [the parent] comes rushing in and tells me that she just wants to let me know that she appreciates all the effort I’m putting into this because he’s improved a lot. She said that she was actually thinking about quitting the program before I became the teacher.”