By Dr. Sandi Ayaz, NTA Executive Director.
Tutors work diligently to make sure that every student is academically, and often personally, successful. We live to see that light of recognition and understanding illuminate our students. We are both sad and joyful when a student no longer needs us because that student has become an independent learner, fully responsible for his own success. And we try our best to treat every student the same, like a mom who has no favorites. But, every now and then, one student touches us in a way we never anticipated. One student captivates our heart with his dreams and aspirations and we become equally committed to making “something good” happen for this student. Such was my experience with Pete Conrad.
I was working as an adjunct instructor at the local community college when I met Pete. He was enrolled in my Level I composition class; there he was, more mature than the other students, married, a father, obviously extremely intelligent. There was an instant understanding that he liked my teaching methods and I liked his dedication and eagerness as a returning student. During the course of the semester, I discovered that Pete was an aspiring writer who had somehow put that dream aside for more practical pursuits. His work for class was nothing less than stellar, so I encouraged Pete to revisit some of his previous stories, all sci-fi and horror! Before too long, he was sending me texts to read and edit. I offered commentary and tutored him through this re-ignition of creativity as best I could. Finally, I had to ask Pete to stop sending me his stories because they were so authentic that I couldn’t sleep after reading them.
After many years and three classes with me, Pete is a friend. He is still writing, attending college, and learning to be an NTA Certified Tutor Trainer. Pete knows all of this. What he doesn’t know is that I am extremely grateful to him for rekindling my own fire for teaching and tutoring. Sometimes we can get tired, worn out, stale. Compassion fatigue will take its toll. Take great comfort in the Pete’s as they provide a vitamin kick, a reassurance that what we do is working. Pete Conrad is now a published author having written several anthologies of stories, seven screenplays, and now a novel entitled Going Home: The Fairest Bud of Hope. He still sends me his work to review, and signed copies of his books when published. I always thank him immensely for the books and the opportunity to be one of the first to read his work. How will I ever thank him for making me a better facilitator and tutor?
About the Author: Dr. Sandi Ayaz has dedicated 25 years to educating, training, and supporting tutors. She has served as an officer of the National Tutoring Association in every capacity for 18 years; currently as the NTA Executive Director. In 2000, Sandi earned the rank of Master Certified Tutor Trainer/Administrator. She is also a certified Academic Coach. Sandi is currently an adjunct instructor at Polk State College where she facilitates composition and literature courses.
To order Pete Conrad’s latest book on Kindle click on the book jacket.
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