Learning is a choice – Tutoring as an election process!

With the election today, voting and its affect on the course of our country are on almost everyone’s minds. Of course, the prediction is for record turnouts, and if that is the case, it seems like voting has taken on a new allure. In past U.S. elections, it was rare for over 50% of the electorate to vote. But today with much at stake, and hope and optimism at peak levels, people have been viewing voting differently.

Some see voting as a privilege, some see it as a right; some see it as one of their ultimate freedoms; some see it as a obligation, maybe even a responsibility; while some even see it as a burden or a waste of time, and, of course, some don’t see it at all or understand its importance. Some don’t understand how fortunate and lucky we are as Americans to have the ability to cast a vote. While it is difficult to imagine that in this day and age there is still ignorance, prejudice and misunderstanding about what is happening around the world, it is easy to understand why so many are still confused. So much misinformation and distortion seem to rule the media’s coverage that it is challenging at least to have a clear perspective of what actually is the “real” truth.

So with this backdrop, I thought it might be a fun exercise to examine how voting compares to and contrasts with tutoring and learning.

  • Both voting and tutoring are voluntary acts intended to improve the conditions of the present state of affairs.
  • Both voting and tutoring give one a sense of determining direction and destiny; the former is more for the country’s sake while the latter is more for an individual’s sake.
  • While voting is usually pro-choice or pro-life, tutoring is both pro-choice and pro-life.
  • Though the impact from one’s voting may seem small, the effect of one’s tutoring may be monumental.
  • In an election, one person votes for another person in order to represent everyone; in a tutorial, a tutor helps the student better represent himself.
  • Voting reflects the will of the people while tutoring reflects the will and the won’ts of the learner.
  • When voters show up to cast their ballot, they participate in their civic duty. When students “show up”, they participate in their own learning of civics.
  • When voters cast their ballots, they take an active role in their country’s future. When students take an active role in their own education, they take responsibility for their own future.
  • Voting enables citizens to work for the greater good of the country; tutoring enables an individual to learn to work and to value the greater good of the self.
  • When people vote for a candidate, they choose the leadership and inspiration that they can follow. When a student chooses a tutor, the tutor leads and inspires so the student does not have to follow.
  • When voters choose a leader, they actually choose a voice and a message that resonates with theirs. When students choose to seek help, they develop a stronger voice and send a message that will resonate with others.
  • Sometimes more votes make a candidate feel too empowered and consequently out of touch with the people’s needs. Sometimes more help makes a student feel empowered and consequently more in touch with everyone’s needs.
  • While a candidate needs the most votes to win, often the more a tutor helps a student, the less the tutor is needed.
  • When people vote, the electorate doesn’t always get the person they want; but maybe they get the person they deserve. When a student chooses academic assistance, he or she frequently becomes more the person he or she deserves.
  • Voting helps us see the nature of our country while tutoring helps us see the nature of our being.
  • If voting is determined by one’s perspective, tutoring helps determine one’s determination.
  • Maybe the way we vote depends on how we have been tutored in life.

Certainly, when students receive tutoring, many times they aren’t “voting” for it. They often vote for something less rigorous and more fun. Parents often make the tutoring choice for them. However, when children are receptive, they frequently benefit with better grades, more confidence and higher self-esteem, and consequently the parents usually discover their relationship with their children becomes less confrontational and less stressful.

So here’s a vote for teaching, mentoring, coaching (and tutoring our youth, if necessary) not so they aren’t left behind, but so they are capable of thinking ahead.

I vote for our schools to set the proverbial bar higher so youth will strive beyond minimum standards and not be satisfied with mediocrity. Let’s hope our votes make a real difference for next four years.

 

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