Learning Is a Two-Way Street
By Wendy D., ERG Coach
Working at ERG has truly been an eye-opening experience. Working with students that have a strong need to organize and prioritize their school work and their social activities has helped me learn more about the student, and even more about myself. The saying, “That’s the pot calling the kettle black” fits my circumstances perfectly. Reflecting on my educational career, I think of how guilty I was of being a repeat offender of procrastination. What kind of person am I? Am I a hypocrite? How can I possibly expect my students to heed my advice and not fall prey to the overwhelming feelings that prevent a student from performing at 100%? Even now, I find myself feeling overwhelmed and worried over small things that lead to even more of an emotion that stresses me out – and I am an adult! I can only imagine how my students feel. I recognize that pressures from school and, sometimes, at home, can cause a student to feel even more at a loss, especially knowing that some things are just not able to be controlled due to the student’s age and dependency on a parent.
Designing my sessions to fit each student’s need is expected. What’s interesting is that most of my students are experiencing the same issues, but on a different level. As I sit with a student, I can relate to their experiences, as I, too, had similar issues when I went to school. I call upon those very incidents to provide examples and lessons that were learned in the process. Working towards a student’s goal can be tedious and tense. I find that laughter is a good remedy to alleviate that stress. I choose to share some of my war stories and, I have to admit, the giggles that I receive are all worth it.
Growing pains usher learning pains. As much as we, as adults, would like to think that we are beyond that phase, we have to think again. Even in the present, there are certain situations that I have discussed with students that I realize can be applied to my circumstances that I am personally experiencing. I find working with students to be healthy and extremely therapeutic. It’s amazing how sitting across the table from a student can make you feel as though you are looking at a mirror.
Learning about one’s self is a mind-blowing experience. Learning about someone else and walking with them on their journey to success is even more rewarding. My knowledge is gained from my past experiences and the mistakes that I have made. I am so appreciative of the challenges that I have faced and the obstacles that I have overcome. I am even more thankful for each of my students as they have taught me about me.
Parents, I have a strong appreciation for you and all that you do for your child. Your support and devotion to helping your child through this difficult time does not go unnoticed. My hope for your child is that, one day, he or she will sit in my shoes reflecting back and realize that your love was the foundation that kept the momentum of facing the challenges as just another stepping stone to the future.