The Power of a Partner
Today I had a college student who had reached out for some support in a math class. I had tutored him throughout his entire time in high school, and we have built quite a comfort with one another. In this new school year as a music major, he is fulfilling some general education requirements, yet has never had a particular proclivity for math.
As we logged onto our virtual meeting, we greeted each other happily, and remarked on how different he looked since the last time we'd seen each other. College was treating him well. Once we got started, he shared with me some of the difficulties he was having understanding the work he was expected to complete. He told me how the professor's teaching style clashed with his mode of comprehension. I totally got it, and having worked with this student for so long, it was second nature for me to begin to break things down in a way that he was able to digest it. For most of the session, he was able to maneuver and utilize his own understanding with no further input from me. The difference in that student's experience of his work was made when we greeted each other. What initially felt intimidating, quickly became doable in a safe environment. Good friends, partners, and even tutors create this for us in our lives. When you know someone's got your back, some challenges aren't so challenging!