By Hunter Frederikson
I started volunteering to get service hours for my pre-medical school requisites and thought the Guadalupe School would be perfect after living in Peru for 2 months. In Peru I realized how beneficial knowing Spanish was to understanding their culture and complementing my experience. I wanted non-English speaking residents to have the same opportunity in learning English to further their living experience in Utah and expand our community.
I continue tutoring at the Guadalupe School because of the dedication and passion that every student, faculty, and volunteer has towards the program. We have developed a family that helps boost each other’s character by providing friendship and the opportunity to learn English. All of the students have a desire to learn English and the effort they put in to learning English amazes me every week. The faculty works so incredibly hard to motivate students to continue studying by providing personalized lessons and tests, going above and beyond what their job calls for. The volunteers give up a couple hours in their busy schedules every week to strengthen help their students reach their goals, showing the love they have for the program and their students. Every individual involved with Guadalupe has a passion for the program, which has motivated me to get more involved. Despite there being chaos every week with some tutors not showing up, the program works like a well-oiled machine and I could not be happier to work for such an amazing program.
In a couple of weeks, I will be taking over the position of Program Director at the Bennion Center at the University of Utah. This position involves promoting the Guadalupe School at the University in order to recruit volunteers and grow the program. Other job requirements include managing current volunteers, providing ways to help expand the participation in the program, and maintaining a constant relationship between the Bennion Center and Guadalupe School. I am ecstatic about having the opportunity to take over as Program Director and have many ideas to help improve our program.
Hunter’s 6 Tutoring Tips
1) Establish friendships with your students. This will not only enhance your tutoring experience, but it will also provide a stress-free environment for the students to ask questions without being reticent.
2) Experiment with teaching styles. Not every student will respond successfully to your teaching style, so play around with it and see what they like best.
3) Write good feedback! The lesson plan coordinators spend a lot of time planning and seriously consider your feedback, so tell them what’s going on with your students and how well they did with the lesson plan.
4) Ask your students questions about how they feel after each section. This will help you formulate a personalized teaching style that works best for each student and make sure they understand what they just learned. Review everything they learned after each lesson and at the end of class if you have extra time.
5) Come every week and stay for a while! We all havebusy schedules, but commit yourself to tutoring as if it were a job. Only miss if there is absolutely no way around the conflict. This is critical as it strengthens the relationships with your students and helps them learn better as they’ve adapted to your teaching style as well.
6) Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. I tell my students this every week, but it applies to everyone. Make sure to take time with each section so your students understand everything