Sunday, January 11, 2015

Our Faithful Tutors

As the majority of our staff are teenagers and in high school, we try to help them be successful as they help our younger students.  This hep manifests itself in a number of ways, from parental nagging and instruction about homework and deadlines (some of them have parents who can't or are unable to do these things) to hands-on help with specific subjects.

For the latter part, we have a small army of wonderful, dedicated tutors.  They are friends or church members who have been recruited - many retired or with grown children so have a little more free time.  They help mainly with math but have stepped in with other subjects as well.  

Being teenagers, the students getting tutoring do not always have the best follow-through rate.  They want and appreciate the help, but things come up.  Parents schedule family dinners, students don't feel well, they forget their backpacks or other materials, or they decide at the last minute that they can do their homework themselves.  Whenever this happens, I talk to them about how the tutors have taken time out of their schedule and it's unfair to stand them up - sometimes these talks help, and sometimes they don't, but I think it's a learning process to see how your actions affect someone else, and we are all constantly learning.

At one point, I was emailing with some of our newer tutors who were deciding if we had a need for them.  When all of our students who said they needed help actually showed up, we definitely needed all the tutors.  When one or more came unprepared or not at all, we had tutors doubled up or sometimes sitting around.  I always felt bad for the tutors who weren't being fully utilized and hoped they didn't feel like we were wasting their time.  I emailed one of them and she wrote back:
To some degree we tutors are demonstrating to the staff the faithfulness of God. We can be there every week whether the staff is there or not. We can even faithfully be there on those days that the staff says they will be there and then does not arrive. This is especially important for young people who have not experienced that same dependability and faithfulness in their own families. From what you have mentioned, I suspect that Harbor House is that safe place, that dependable place for many of these young people. It is an honor for my husband and me to be included.
That is a beautiful sentiment.  I am so grateful for them and their faithfulness.  I do think that the staff will see their faithfulness, in retrospect if not now. And I hope it will reflect to them, how faithful God is.

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