Getting Through

7 Dec

Last week, as I was tutoring Matt at the Lemoyne Center, he asked me what it was like to be a college student. I told him about everything that I have coming up: planning Holiday Light-Up Night, my exams, my quizzes, the papers due, my doctors appointments, etc.
He looked at me and said “You can’t really do all of that.”
And I told him I could.

He was working on his packet at the time. I realized, at this moment, that the reason he cannot do the packets like the other kids, and the reason he gets so angry, is because he does not read the greatest.
I helped him through it. I got a packet for myself and started doing my packet next to his so he could work with me. I read over the words he did not understand, and took my time to get him to understand the concepts. I came to realize that the reading was tiring and confusing to the other kids around Matt, as well, so I worked to get them through it will still focusing enough of my attention on Matt.

After a while, he asked me, “Why are you doing the packet if you’re so busy?”
And I told him “If I ask you to do something, I should be able to do it, too, and should be able to use it to help you.”
He said: “But why, though?”
And I told him: “Because I am here, and making sure you get your work done is my job.”
And he asked me “Why do you come here if you’re so busy?”
And I told him the truth in the simplest way that I could: “I’m here because I care about you. I care about all of you and want you to succeed and get good grades and make a good future for yourselves.”

He finished his packet, that day, completely. For the first time, he finished all the assigned parts.

Sometimes, getting through to kids takes a special kind of bond that can only be created by getting to know them and by getting them to trust you. You have to figure out what makes them tick, why they think what they think and why they believe what they believe. You need to know what motivates them, and what takes that motivation away. And you have to respect it, all of it, because children think and act and feel in ways that we cannot fully comprehend. But we can try.

Most of all you have to be able to level with them, because if they do not think that you are genuine, you will accomplish nothing.

I’m proud of the work that I do with the kids at the Lemoyne Center. I would not trade it for anything in the world. It is definitely changing my life for the better.

 

~Dylan Frendt

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One Response to “Getting Through”

  1. Alex February 7, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    I loved this post Dylan! It sounds like you’re really making a difference for Matt and the other kids. I really admire your positive attitude and endless energy! Keep up the great work 🙂

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