What happened during that first tutoring session was both terrifying and inspiring!
I had knots in my stomach. I had to wipe my sweaty palms on my skirt before shaking her mother’s hand… then greeting my new student.
They were nice. Sweet even. Offering me iced tea.
And I’m sure I looked like a deer caught in headlights. I definitely do not have a poker face.
So, we dove right in...to yep, my most dreaded subject...math. Algebra.
Now, let me remind you, I was not, nor have a ever been, a math teacher.
And yet when this mother called she begged me to “give it a shot” when I told her I simply wasn’t qualified.
So, I found myself seated at their kitchen table, the mom off putting away laundry while I sat - heart hammering double time in my chest - with the sweet-faced, very smart, high school junior who confidently told me, while making awesome eye contact, her plan to attend an Ivy league college.
In that moment, I knew I was lost. She was smart.
All my old fears flooded me, as at 28, I sat there horrified by the fact that I was about to be shown up by this brilliant, young girl, who thought I could help her in, of all things, Algebra.
I wanted to crawl under the wood table, but instead I crossed my legs, pretended my spine was a steel pole holding me upright and made the decision to - no matter what - not charge for what was sure to be a horrid one-hour session of uselessness.
I mean, really, who was I kidding anyway.
I so wasn’t qualified to be here. But here I was...so we got to it.
That decision, to not charge and just wing it, allowed me to relax enough to smile and ask to see her current work, notes and assignment.