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!
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.