This is my second summer having the position of College Instructor at Wayne State University’s Math Corps. One experience that I enjoyed, and wanted to come back to enjoy, was being able to watch the students on my team open up. However, this summer, I realized that connections deeper than last summer were being formed without my knowledge. One of my team students, Jasiah, had been struggling with the camp homework since the first day. He never completed it, and when asked about it, he constantly replied that it was because he didn’t understand. Constant incomplete homework is grounds for dismissal from the program, but after so many offenses, the numerous trips to the Dean of the program wasn’t creating any progress. I decided to sit with Jasiah and have a talk away from the team. After hearing the standard “I didn’t understand, I decided to end the conversation. However, as I was getting up to leave, Jasiah confided in me that he had been homeschooled the past school year, and had fallen behind severely. He expressed his fears of starting 8th grade in a public school while needing extra help, and most importantly, his fear of failure. I was so surprised, but also very grateful, that he decided to disclose this. In previous conversations with other staff members, no one could scratch the surface, and the common conclusion was that he did not care about the program. I made sure Jasiah understood the importance of acknowledging and telling me his fears. I consider this one of my favorite experiences of the summer because I understand that for a 12 year old, it was especially meaningful to recognize academic and personal fears. For the first time as a College Instructor, I felt like I had made a significant and lasting difference in a student’s life.
- Team Offsite | #3
- Full Circle | #5