Friday, January 29, 2010

Why I Might Be Fired From Volunteering

I have been a volunteering machine these last few months, plugging along, not complaining and keeping a bright shiny smile on my face.

And really, I do love it. I volunteer with little kids all over the place, and I'm good at it. I swear. But now I need to get something off my chest. This is something that happened on Wednesday while I was tutoring.

So the way that this place works is: the tutors all come in at 3pm and sit at these large tables. As the kids filter in, one of the leaders bring them to a tutor that they think will be a good match.

I was tutoring this silent-but-deadly girl, we'll call her Jacki. Jacki was quiet. Hardly said a word. But she was really amazing at not getting any work done. She was like a freaking Houdini, too. I swear, I turned my back for one second and she managed to wriggle under the table and across the room. Freaking magical, this girl. So for an hour and a half it was me saying, "Okay, Jacki. What's next? Jacki. Howabout this problem? What's 2 times 4, Jacki?...Jacki...Where did you go? Jacki, get down from that light fixture."

When Jacki was almost done, they placed another student with me. We'll call him Alex. Alex is the nicest boy you'll meet. He hated me. Alex was a talker--the boy who always probably gets his name written on the board with a check mark after it. You know what I'm talking about. To Alex, tutors are just more people to talk to! Hooray! Oh, but here's forty mixed fractions I have to do.

So I've got the Talker on one side and Jacki Houdini on the other, and neither of them will sit still for one second without me breathing on them. Thank God I'd just brushed my teeth. I don't want to be THAT tutor.

I promised Alex that if he finished his fractions, I'd go steal him an Oreo from the back room. Because, yeah. I'm that cool. This got him back to work, so I turned to Jacki. When I turned back to check on him, Alex is at another table, talking to a tutor about cat hair.

Eventually, another tutor took it upon herself to try and harness Alex into working. She did this by asking him how to do the problem he was working on (the same problem he had been working on since he arrived, by the way). Alex showed her part of it, and then she finished the rest for him. So he copies her answer down in his workbook and she congratulates him. "Thanks for showing me how to do that problem! Here's a cracker."

WHAT THE HELL, LADY. Here I am, being a normal--albeit stressed--tutor, keeping Alex's nose to the grindstone and trying to get him through one answer. And now YOU come in, give him the answer and then usurp my prize?! Awesome. That'll really give me the points I need to--- Op. Oh, no. Jacki has broken free and is now dangling from a bookshelf.

Eventually it was time to go. Alex had done MAYBE two problems, but at least Jacki hadn't broken her nose?

I'm sorry, I'm aware this post is kind of lame and confusing. I just needed an outlet to share my frustration, since the entire situation was such a failblog dot com. Backslash volunteering.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was my day subbing yesterday. Awful. One kiddo has zero concept of counting or quantity (good luck doing math, right?) and the other just kept looking out the window saying it was snowing (which it of course, wasn't). Thank goodness kids have the "cuteness" factor in their favor, otherwise I'd just say "Screw the whole thing!"
Sorry Rah. That really sucks.