Interview with Marichelle, tutor at School Success!

Marichelle has been a tutor with us for almost two years now, and not unlike her colleague Guillaume, she offers her tutoring services in the Montreal region and at our learning center in Côte-des-Neiges. Here is an interview we conducted with her in order for you to get to know what of our tutors!

Interview with Marichelle, tutor at School Success

Hello Marichelle. First of all, a crucial question, were good at school?

I was rather good, yes. In grade school, I always finished my work quickly and I would get bored in class. In grade three, I had a great teacher who suggested that I help other students who were having trouble in my class, and also the younger students at school. Now that motivated me! I still remember a board game I created to help with verb conjugations!

And how did you become a tutor?

In secondary five, I was working in a café, and honestly, there isn’t much work on Saturday afternoons. My boss’ daughter would do her homework there and ask me questions occasionally. Little by little, I got in the habit of finishing by work related tasks in order to go help her! When the café shut down, I lost my job as a waitress, but I won my first tutoring contract!

In your opinion, what should be the main quality of a good tutor?

Listening. Listening to what we’re being told, but especially what we are not being told. Tutors who listen are constantly adapting to their students and creating a crucial bond with their students.

What was your favourite subject at school?

English classes! I had been placed in “English Language Arts”, which means we didn’t do any grammar, but literature analyses instead. I had amazing teachers who pricked my interest. I still remember how I felt while analysing a song by Tom Waits and understanding the references to biblical myths! That’s when I realized that words were not only a means of communicating. It is in part thanks to these teachers that today I study French literature!

And the one you liked the least?

In my time (I always feel so old when I say that, because of the reform I suspect), we had a carpentry class in secondary three. I don’t remember the exact name of the class; I do believe my memory is particularly selective. It was absolutely pathetic. I probably passed that class because the teacher had pity on me.

What was your best tutoring experience?

There are a lot. Many students bring a little ray of sunshine with them. But I must say that there was one experience that was particularly pleasant. It took place last year with a student I had been meeting regularly for at least one year. For a period of three weeks, I went to his house every afternoon to prepare him for his 6th year of grade school. I must say we were really comfortable, set-up on the balcony with books, tropical juices and pistachio nuts! To reward ourselves on a job well-done we would take a break, and go buy ourselves an ice-cream or iced-cappuccinos!

Tell us of an anecdote that happened to you as a tutor

I was asked for my hand in marriage! After a meeting, a young student of mine brought together his father, mother and younger brother in the hallway. His 7-year-old self valiantly declared that he intended to marry his tutor!

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I would like to have a clinic for adolescents. I would combine services in special education, psychology, guidance counselling, legal aid, and medicine. I would like it to be a place where teenagers feel comfortable to come ask for advice or receive services.

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