Students of the Month – August 2022
Jayden – Age 9
What makes Jayden special is his boundless enthusiasm to take on any obstacle he comes up against. There’s not a person on Earth who couldn’t learn something from how productively Jayden approaches uncertainty.
Jayden makes it a point to seek out challenges, and we face new ones often. Most recently we worked on completing timed multiplication and division worksheets, and while the initial learning curve was a bit steep, like most things in life, targeted repetition was the solution. Now he can do them in his sleep.
Jayden is a natural born performer, and would love to share his gift of singing with the world in any way he can. Short of that, he’s open to becoming an astronaut one day.
While I would have no trouble sketching out a whole list of things I’ve learned from Jayden, what sits atop is his capacity for joy. When Jay wakes up in the morning, he chooses cheerfulness, and he takes that with him throughout the day wherever he goes, including our tutoring sessions. No matter how tough of a day I’ve had, I’ve never left a tutoring session with Jay without a smile on my face, which I’m then able to pass onto others.
– Will Sweeney, Tutor
Mario – Age 16
Mario is creative, imaginative, thoughtful, and kind. When we first met, he was an intermediate English speaker (I’m a novice Spanish speaker) and he’s managed to improve his speaking and writing skills so much independently, which I credit to his love for independent reading.
Mario has told me that he’d like to write short and long-form stories and learn animation to bring them to life. He has seemingly limitless patience and artistic curiosity, and he has taught me that genre writing can open up the way we can write about real, relatable human experiences.
– Casey Hoeschler, Tutor
Bradley – Age 8
A large part of what has made volunteering with Schools on Wheels such a meaningful experience has been the opportunity to work with two truly amazing individuals in Bradley and his mother Brenda. Bradley is incredibly curious and energetic, enthusiastic about everything he does, and always eager to learn new things, and always willing to continue trying, even when a topic is frustrating or seems too difficult. Brenda is a Supermom; each week, she manages to juggle work and multiple schedules for her kids while still making sure that everyone is prepared for their tutoring sessions.
Initially, Bradley found spelling and phonics to be challenging; however, over the past several months, he has improved significantly in both of these areas. He is very active and full of energy. He loves to tell me stories about playing soccer with his friends or what he did during recess earlier that day. He is also very creative and will often draw a picture then make up a story about what he drew. While his dreams for the future change frequently, I’m sure that whatever he chooses will involve teamwork and creativity.
Bradley has taught me quite a bit in the short period of time we’ve spent working together. On the first day of tutoring, while we waited for his Webcam to turn on, I heard Bradley whisper to his mother that he was nervous. I was, too! But despite whatever fears or anxieties he may have had at the time, Bradley jumped headfirst into our lesson that day and was so much fun to work with. Through moments like these, Bradley has taught me that it’s okay to try new things outside of my comfort zone.
– Caleb Durst, Tutor