When I was a kid, I thought I’d be a math teacher. That wasn’t the career path I ultimately chose – I’ve had a wonderful career as an IT professional – but it’s something I never forgot.
And so in 2013, with both of my kids off to college, I joined Literacy Rochester as a volunteer tutor. I was initially trained to tutor students in both reading and math, but I immediately gravitated towards helping students with math, and it’s been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
I’ve experienced so many great moments during class.
One student struggled to hold back tears when she realized she could do long division. Her fear of math almost caused her to drop out of high school. She’s now at MCC pursuing her dream to become a writer.
Another student – a 68 year old grandmother with a foot injury – joined the class because she always wanted to get her GED, and her temporary injury prevented her from doing much else. When she gained 4 grade levels during a 12 week class, her smile lit up the room.
One of my most recent students worked nights at a factory, held a second part-time job, and somehow found the energy to come to class twice a week. I would often tell her that she was the hardest working person I know. She gained 5 grade levels in a 6 month span. She is now studying at the REOC, and pursuing her dream to become a medical technician.
The most satisfying thing about being a tutor is how little credit I can take for anyone’s success. That’s strange to say but true. Nobody can give you an education – that’s not how it works. The students have to do the hard work themselves. Watching them succeed – however they measure success – is so rewarding.
In 2018, I joined the Literacy Rochester Board of Directors. Being able to help this wonderful organization on multiple levels has been a special honor for me.
Outside of Literacy Rochester – and my full time job as an IT Manager at the Rochester Institute of Technology – I enjoy playing golf, watching baseball, good movies, travelling with my wife Nancy, being a husband, dad, and ‘grampy’.
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