The Best Sound This Morning...


...it's not the birds singing.  (Although that's nice.)
...it's not the dumpster being delivered next door. (That's never nice.)

The best sound this morning is two voices.  It's my son and his amazing tutor (Ms. H) as they video chat and work out math problems.

This is the 2nd video chat that they've had in three weeks.  Just hearing her cheer filled hello in the morning lightens my day.  (I'm pretty sure it lightens the day of our entire household.)

To backtrack a bit, in the fall I found out that a teacher acquaintance did math and science tutoring.  My son sometimes needs a little help with these subjects, but not regular weekly tutoring.  Ms. H was willing to step in (and up) and help as needed.   Ms. H, like my son's French tutor (who we haven't had to call on at all this year...that's due to the fact that his high school French teacher is amazing), doesn't just focus on the subject, but on how to approach the work.  It's about my son and how he learns.  It's about knowing his strengths and using them and his weakness and working with him to improve them.  Ms. H (again like the French tutor before her) is not "just" a tutor (although I don't know if such a thing actually exists), but she is a mentor.  She is encouraging and funny and our whole family feels better after a visit.

Now we are in a different place.  A place where I can't call her up and ask her to come over and help out.  But that hasn't stopped her.

During the first week of "remote learning" we had some serious problems with stress.  I'd say my son was having a meltdown over math and all the work that was being assigned to him across the board, but the truth is we were ALL having meltdowns.  (Can you blame us?)  We went into homework panic mode.  However, one call to Ms. H was all it took.  She got on line with my son and even with some technology challenges she talked him through the work.  She let him vent.  She kept her calm.  She truly was as ray of sunshine in a dark and cloudy world.

Since that day over two weeks ago, my son has been doing well on his own.  Yesterday he was unable to figure out an assignment.  He tried on his own.  His dad tried to help him.  (I am NO help whatsoever when it comes to math.)  My son tried again and he was mature enough to realize that he needed help.  (Maybe he needed a little prompting, but no pushing!)

One quick call last night and a 1/2 hour session was set up this morning before the school day began.  Just hearing her voice takes a weight off of me because I KNOW that my son is getting what he needs; help with a subject, but more importantly that much needed shot of confidence and the knowledge that he is not alone.

Thank you Ms. H.  And thank you to ALL the Ms. Hs out there who are helping kids in new and inventive ways during this most stressful of times.  What you teach is important, but who you ARE is invaluable.

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