You’re my best friend
Jon, K-3 Literacy Interventionist
During the switch from in-person learning at Mackenzie to fully virtual, I lost access to a portion of my students due to a variety of technical hurdles. One of these students was a kindergarten boy with whom I had a particularly strong rapport. He always had a lot (and I mean a LOT) of energy during our tutoring sessions. Let’s just say the kid knows absolutely everything about dinosaurs and took every opportunity to flex his prehistoric knowledge during tutoring (“b”, buh buh, like Baryonyx!). Thankfully, he also listened to my directions well and was making great progress in the Reading Corps program, so I always left him plenty of time to be silly in our sessions.
After several weeks of being unable to contact the student, I finally regained the ability to call him for tutoring. His mother answered the call and put the boy in front of the screen. The look on his face when he saw me was one of pure excitement, and he knew that tutoring from home gave him an opportunity to show me all of his toys. As he was taking my virtual face all over his house and showing me his things, I heard him say the words “you’re my best friend Mr. Jon”, which caught me off guard but was also really special to hear. I had no idea I was making this kind of a personal impact on this student.
This interaction taught me that there is a sweet spot in the tutoring role where you can be a mentor and facilitator of learning for a child while also being an ally and someone they can trust. And if you toe this line perfectly you just might earn the honor of being a five-year-old’s “best friend” while also helping him reach his learning potential.