A youth I tutored last year was particularly weak in Math and Science. He was becoming more confident, but became very disappointed after his mid-year exams. Turns out that he did improve significantly, but not enough to get a passing grade. He said: “I didn’t want to let you down. I wanted to show you that I really learnt a lot from you.”
From my time in tutoring, I realized that the people around our youths are really, really important. I think that many of us do have friends who go out of the way to support and care for us, and sometimes, we take that for granted. That’s not always the case for the youths we journey with.
Some of our youths need a listening ear, more than just having tuition. What really struck me was when another of our youths shared with me about conflicts in his family. I realized how common his struggles were: “No one can understand me”, “I’m so worried about my future”, “I’m scared that I won’t fit in”.
These are challenges we all once faced, and these are real struggles that our youths face too. We are more alike than we are different.
For that youth who was really disappointed with his mid-year grades, I told him that he definitely did not let me down, and that I was proud of the small improvements that he made. We seek to build strong relationships with the youths we are with, and I’m really happy that he treasured that.