Friends of Simon Tutoring Project

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During my time as an SFU student, I had the pleasure to work with the Faculty of Education’s Friends of Simon Tutoring Project (FoS). It is a wonderful program where SFU students help K–12 students of all backgrounds and experiences with their academic studies in after school settings. One of the aspects I loved most about the job was having the ability to work and watch the students grow as people year after year. Nothing was more satisfying than being in a program for a few years with the same students and observing their academic and social growth.

I was working with a group of children at an elementary school for a while, and many of them were moving on to middle school at the start of September. Saying goodbye was bittersweet for all of us. The following year, I was placed at a middle school. At the first session, the middle school filed into the classroom, and I saw the children I thought I would never see again! We were so happy to be reunited and excited to learn together. I am so thankful that FoS ran so many different sites and tutors could continue to build relationships with students. It never felt like we were ever saying goodbye permanently.

Another more unexpected aspect of the job that I loved was the cohesiveness and community I felt between the program, SFU, the schools and the city communities we operated out of. We all wanted the best for the students, and our teamwork made all the difference in the quality of the instruction. It wasn’t until I left the program to pursue my teaching career that I realized how integral the FoS program and SFU was to the Lower Mainland.

Shortly after receiving my teaching license, I attended an interview with a school district that FoS was not currently operating in; I mentioned the program. The woman interviewing me expressed appreciation for what FoS and its tutors do for students in the other school districts. At that moment, I saw the bigger picture: FoS and SFU were not just making a difference in the schools we were in, but the community at large and they were taking notice. 

I am very grateful for being a part of the Friends of Simon Tutoring Project while I studied at SFU. It provided me with many skills and strategies to help me become a better teacher, the support and advice from amazing SFU and school staff, and the foundation of my teaching beliefs that I am using to achieve my ongoing career goals. There was always more to learn from the tutors I worked with and the new students who needed our help.

Krystal Cocking
PDP 2015, B.Ed. 2015

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