Wednesday, September 05, 2012

All the What Ifs

Looking over the past entries, I was a little surprised to see how often the fears of previous tutors alined with mine. Primarily they were nervous about making mistakes, or not remembering correct grammar rules. I confess that the same worries have been plaguing me. The night before my first day I had almost no sleep. My mind felt as if it was this revving engine, full of energy, ideas, and worries, so sleep was near impossible.

What if I mess up? I think this fear is a little different than other times I have experienced nervousness before starting a new job. When working in a store or restaurant, though making mistakes was a possibility, it felt as if there was less riding on that potential mistake. You might mess up someone's order, but the customer would let you know almost immediately if you did, and you could rectify it. However, in a tutoring session, if you make a mistake your tutee will likely not notice, as they are here to receive help with work that they are not confident about or necessarily good at. And its more than just a wrong meal riding on it; its someone's grade, in addition to the effect it could have on your reputation as a tutor. So I think it makes sense that there is a good bit of worry involved for that.

Sort of tying into the first worry, there is also more specifics, like 'what if I forget what a preposition is?' and so on. I think this fear is also a little more prevailent in me than it might be in others. I'm only a freshman this year, and while I'm good at English I don't have nearly the experience that many of the other tutors have, even if they are new to the job. So there's a bit of pressure because of my lack of knowledge.

However, with all of that said, now that I have watched a session and had my first day, I don't feel very nervous at all. Seeing it first hand really helped, and while my knowledge isn't perfect, I know that I can keep learning. Even if I don't know the answer, perhaps I can find it out. If I give the wrong answer, there are things I can do to try and make up for that. As I enter my second day on the job, overall I am filled with the confidence that I can do this. And that's a start.


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