Tutor Coordinator, Xeno Carpenter-New talked with Student/ Tutor pair Mary Liu and Jami Saladin about their experiences at Literacy Rochester.
How did you hear about LR?
Mary (M): I got information from the library. Henrietta. I saw the information on the wall, I picked up and made a phone call.
Jami (J): same response… my friend was a tutor 3 or 4 years ago. I was in grad school and working full-time. Once my schedule freed up, I definitely wanted to take a look and see if I could still do it.
What brought you to LR?
M: Because I have a language barrier. And I really wanted to learn and understand English.
J: I had just gotten recently laid off (reading specialist). I just felt like I wanted to do something to help out in the city. I just decided to explore.
How long have you been working together?
M & L: August 2020.
What do you like most about working together?
M: It’s great! I really love my teacher, Jami. Because she is very kind and very professional. I learned a lot from her; not only English, also personality. She has a lot of patience to teach me. My memory is not good. She touches my heart. Even the articles, she teaches me; every article I love very much. There is a lot of meaning for a person’s life to be positive and a lot of encouragement.
J: It’s been wonderful. I think, what means the most to me, is the amount of consistency. I’m in my third job this year, and what’s important to me no matter what’s going on we’re stil going to schedule something. We’re still going to look through our goals. IT’s really important to me to work through goals. We’ve become friends; we share things about our lives. I think that’s really important because you need a strong relationship in order to have the student-tutor relationship.
How has your relationship developed?
M: the relationship between us is great. I’m so thankful and happy. It’s more than I expected. Before I met Jami, I was thinking… “how the teacher going to be?” Received the text: there is a teacher – I was thinking a lot… I imagined the teacher. Once we met, I felt very comfortable and happy. The relationship between Jami and I is wonderful.
J: In the beginning, I emailed you (Xeno), I was so nervous about it. I remember the first day, I was so nervous about logging onto the Zoom sessions. Then, I met Mary. She was so nice and kind and we felt so comfortable immediately. I think for both of us, it was a relief! I felt like this person was going to understand me. Right from the beginning, I established “what do you want to get out of this.” I think establishing from the very beginning we are a team in this, really helps propel the relationship and friendship. And now we talk about our lives, too (beyond how we’re doing beyond the week).