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At the beginning of the week, when I first introduced myself to the peers I’d be training with, the first “fun fact” I revealed about myself is that I am shy. I clung to that shyness and never really wanted to dig too deep too soon. I was sharing, but there was limit imposed by my own usual uncertainties and insecurities.
It’s amazing how much can change in three days. During the final training session, it was very clear how far I had come along in letting go of my inhibitions, and how much my peers and I had bonded. These strangers were suddenly my allies, and I was sharing much more than I would have ever anticipated. We all reached much deeper understandings of each other and ourselves because of our newfound willingness to share without fear and to open ourselves up emotionally and intellectually to experiences other than our own.
I realized this simple process of opening up creates the tone and environment that is a critical part of successful tutoring. If both parties involved are willing to open up in order to unearth the fundamental components their own strengths, weaknesses, work practices, tendencies, and even histories, they will be able to overcome any academic obstacles as a team. Becoming a team involves digging deeper than what many have come to understand as the typical tutor-student relationship, and this training period at the Learning Studio gave me the brilliant change in perspective needed to make that possible.