An Interview with “Ms. Pat” a Former Tutor at C.H.O.Y.C.E.S
By Reneé Medina
“It’s all about the kids,” said Patricia Lampley.
Former C.H.O.Y.C.E.S Tutor “Ms. Pat” left her mark here at the organization while teaching math to students during her internship in 2021. With a Master’s Degree in Education, Ms. Pat puts her skills to use to help students with their education.
“I tutored a four-year-old and a second grader who were awesome. I enjoyed it,” she said. While working with her students, the main goal was to bring their grade levels up and help them understand what they were learning at school. For example, Ms. Pat used students’ personal interests to assist them with math. In particular, she learned that her four-year-old student liked zombies. With that in mind, she helped the student count past 25 while using zombies as numbers. “It was the most fun because every day we were playing with zombies.” The student also had an interest in airplanes and baseball so Ms. Pat would center her PowerPoint and games around those topics.
While tutoring the second grader, Ms. Pat ran drills with the student to help them learn how to multiply without looking at a sheet. Initially, she helped her student learn their timetables up to 12. In addition, her students’ grades improved.
For the past three years, she has worked at child developmental centers teaching adolescents. “I had been tutoring adults and kids before then because I really started tutoring in 2013.” Her teaching style is a “show and tell” approach.
All while tutoring, Ms. Pat said she learned how to be a kid and have fun. Tutoring children puts a smile on her face and she finds gratitude in the fact that she can help students expand their knowledge.
“All of us have different learning styles,” she said. “I don’t see nothing negative about Zoom.” Though she is adamant about not holding her students for more than an hour during sessions. She said that if students are required to be on Zoom for over an hour, the curriculum should be engaging and hold their attention for longer sessions. In addition, she recommends that students meet with their tutor at least twice a week so they can retain what they learn during their sessions.
“When I teach, the first five or ten minutes it’s about, ‘how are you doing? How is your day? What did you do in school today? ‘” Ms. Pat will even go as far as asking her students if they are happy or sad and likes to create an open and trusting environment for her students to express themselves and their emotions.
“I like to let them know ‘your feelings are real.’” She doesn’t find lessons constructive when students are not in a good mood. It will make the learning process harder for them to understand and retain what they have learned. “Kids have a lot on them nowadays….the kids need us,” she said.
Like many interns at C.H.O.Y.C.E.S, the New Jersey native found out about the internship opportunity through Indeed. “I got to do different things. I came in as a tutor for them but I was in other areas too helping out and learning different things.” Some of the other areas Ms. Pat contributed to were research and marketing.
She said, “When you’re an intern, learn all that you can learn…extra ‘know-hows’ is not gonna hurt you.”
Ms. Pat had only positive things to say about her time here at C.H.O.Y.C.E.S and would recommend this internship to those who have a passion and desire to learn.
“Dr. Goolsby encourages the interns,” she said. “I love her. She doesn’t know how much of a blessing she was when she was hiring me as a tutor….if it wasn’t for her actually hiring me to be an intern, I probably wouldn’t have gotten to where I am.”
As of now, Ms. Pat has her own tutoring service called “Tutor on Call” where she tutors remotely while living in Virginia. It is a passion of hers that she has wanted to start for a long time. “Everybody cannot afford to pay tutors,” she said. So she offers tutoring for students in low-income areas at an affordable price. Nevertheless, money is not her main concern as she is more determined to help young children receive proper tutoring. She said, “I would define successful tutoring as tutoring that you do from your heart.”