Thoughts from a current volunteer tutor

Steve Chon

Meeting my student for the first time, a young North Korean female student currently studying at university, I didnt know what to expect. Various thoughts went through my head. What was her life like in North Korea? How did she get here? Why learn English? Over the following months, we began to develop a rapport of trust which eventually turned into friendship. She was extremely motivated, persistent and not afraid to ask questions. I was surprised to see that her views on life was not so different from any other young South Korean student with the dream to travel abroad and to find a great job after graduation. This experience has been valuable for me as well. I learned about the effectiveness of patience and that the greatest rewards can be found if you dig deep. Having tutored in the past, I knew it was important to know your students well and to develop a comfortable learning environment. For educators, a deep relationship with students is the most important strategy to increase student achievement. As a PSCORE volunteer, I felt I had a sense of duty to go beyond just teaching English but to act as mentor and support them. I continually encourage my student to achieve her full potential and to follow her dreams no matter what obstacles she may encounter in life.