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Written by Kevin King on the David V. Uihlein Sr. Foundation Team at Rufus King International Middle School

Math. A word that conjures up either positive memories or dread depending on how your brain processes logical content. Yet without basic math, the 21st century world we live in today wouldn’t exist. As a City Year Milwaukee AmeriCorps member, I am always asking numerous questions to the ten math tutoring students who work with me because you really only learn when you’re actively engaged and open-minded. One of my ten math tutoring students was initially apprehensive about asking thoughtful questions during sessions. By mid-November the student started to actively engage with me. This not only motivated that particular student to participate more, but also pushed me to make challenging content for this student to learn. When my student said, “Mr. Kevin, I am proud that you always push me to do my very best and I expect nothing less of myself.” I know that my commitment, presence and knowledge is valued by students.

Challenging the students I work with in every manner has been my focus since day one. As I have been doing this for about two months, I have seen my math tutoring students’ confidence and questioning ability improve. I think this is largely due to the personal touch I have added when presenting my meticulous lesson plans. My service year has allowed me to bring my academic knowledge into a middle school environment thereby making me a valued asset to the students I serve. Finally, I am promoting active student engagement inside and outside the classroom because a 21st century world needs the future generations to create a brighter and prosperous future where all can succeed.

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