One of the key lessons I’ve been learning over the past few weeks of tutoring is how important the role we as tutors play in being positive influences and positive role models for kids. I’m not saying I’ve been a poor role model, but I’ve just noticed how much these kids pick up from the things I say and do, and they have such good memories. So that got me thinking as to what I am “teaching” them by the words I use and the way I conduct myself. I guess I’m mostly talking about what these kids think when they see me. Sure they know me as their tutor who helps them with their math worksheets and practice their reading, but what else do they learn? How do I encourage them in their work? Am I just trying to get them to finish the assignment at hand just to please the teacher? Or am I teaching them to want to finish their work and do well at it on their own, especially the kids who are behind to begin with and not doing well? If they know I’ll get excited for them when they finish the work on their own instead of just approve of it like so many of the teachers do, will that motivate them to work harder at it? As the semester has gone on, I have noticed certain kids are asking for help less and less, and instead asking for me to “come look at what a great job I did.” This has encouraged me to really pay attention to what I say and how I come across to them because I can see how much of an impact it is having. I want to do everything I can so these kids can have the best education possible.