Literacy is a lifelong journey that starts at an early age.
“I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.” – Abraham Lincoln
A few months ago, I wrote this on the whiteboard in the office. I was beginning to see the finish line of my latest academic degree, and my business partner was on a similar journey. I like to leave her inspirational quotes when I leave for a long period knowing full well that neither one of us is a big fan of these often syrupy phrases. But this one has stuck (Oh, and I did change “him” to “her”).
I have been a teacher, a student, and a teacher-learner for the last twenty years. I cannot think of a moment in which I have not been trying to learn something new, usually learning to be a better teacher. My students’ ages range from age 5 to 60, so my learning curve is often steep. I aspire to be a support to the students. And I am fully aware that I cannot be that support without the pillars that hold me up and motivate me every day.
Teaching and learning are difficult without encouragement. I wish I would have been wiser many years ago when I started college. I wish I would have looked for a college study buddy and a friend who gave me a little friendly competition like the ones I had in high school. I wish I would have looked for the tutoring center to help me through my weaker subjects or help me establish better study skills. So many wishes, I can think of.
Today, I have the wisdom of experience and the desire to help others achieve their potential, especially when they do not think they have it. I have more support than I did before with family and friends still spearheading that parade.
With each year, CTC grows a little wiser. We continue to create a space for students to claim that hope for better learning and better opportunities. With the help of the tutors, we are better teachers and learners. And because of our students, we know we are doing something worth investing time and sweat in.
To our teacher and paraprofessional friends, create your support system this year, continue to support your students. Share ideas and stories that serve as lessons and wisdom. To our students, do not be afraid to ask for help. To all my support and students, I hope to not let you down.
May you end the year doing your best work!
CTC Spotlight features contributions by staff and friends of CTC. CTC wants to provide helpful hints, current events in education, or useful information regarding learning.
About the contributor
Isabel Chavez is co-founder of California Tutoring Company and Clever Thoughts. She holds M.A. in English Literature and M.S. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Bilingual Education.