Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Adrenal Therapy Gone Bad

Last night my tutoring session devolved into a therapy session.

I am not a therapist.

I could never be one.

It's too much.

My student is emotionally troubled. A lot of the kids I see who have academic deficits have emotional ones as well.

Mom is at the end of her rope.

"What should I do?"

I am in the middle.

"I haven't found the answer."

The student, of course, confides to me they have done zero school work all year.

"Please don't tell my mom."


What fun.

I didn't tell mom, but I made sure to suggest she sit with her kid as they go through all the online schooling stuff so she can see the gaps in the system and in her kid's work ethic.

I warned my student this would all catch up with them.

And last night it did.

Leaving me to try and placate mom while also maintaining what little credibility I have with my student.

Credibility is everything in tutoring. Kids don't listen if they don't like who you are.

I did very delicate emotional negotiations for an hour last night. For a scrapped tutoring session for which I will not be paid.

My job is to teach basic math and reading, but I spend a lot of time doing social coaching and navigating troubled emotions. If I don't deal with the psycho-social stuff, the student will never master long division. That's just how it is.

When I came home, a large amount of chocolate was consumed, my head was throbbing and I had to go lie down. I was spent. Aching for my student who is too young to know that what they do now matters. Terrified my kid is going to hate me too when they are 15. I see waaaaay too many teenagers with serious anger against their parents.

I don't know if it was the adrenals compounding everything or what, but God was that stressful.

Today, the aftermath hangs over me.


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