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A moment in your tutor’s shoes

Wednesday morning, eight o’clock. I arrive at the school in my familiar purple shirt. Familiar faces, as well as new, confused faces are waiting for me. On the first day of orientation week for the new students, and no one knows how to be in the main lobby.

Fortunately, the school’s silent superheroes, the tutors, in their purple shirts, don’t scare or be one bit nervous. All the information absorbed from the earlier tutorstart is crystal clear in my mind, and I’ll be ready for the next day. Believe it or not, the last two sentences are lies.

On the first day of the week I, as a tutor, am always nervous and even a little bit fearful. Can I give correct information about course registrations? Do I know about the library’s services? Do I remember to remind the freshers about the ever so important FSHS fee? Will I be able to somehow make sure that every student feels comfortable and welcome?

Each of these questions I’ve had to face, and to some I have known the answer and to some I haven’t. But my knowledge has never been the main thing, just my feelings and my attitude. As a tutor, I have been able to trust that, even if I don’t know the answer or how to do something, maybe someone else from the tutor group does. Or if the whole group has the same question, you can share the pain of ignorance and bother the head tutor who knows at least little bit of everything.

After the orientation week, tutor’s work is just beginning, but I don’t mind. As a tutor, I keep a close watch on my freshers’ first semester, and I’m always ready to help if needed. Half a year later, I’m free from this lovely obligation and I remember every fresher group that I have tutored. I remember the new friends and all the awesome events. I also remember how my freshers have mentally shattered because of the same teachers that made me feel the same way. And I remember the phrase that always comes to mind as a volunteer:

“One more year!”.

I remember the phrase and I step again, in my purple shirt, through the doors to the Pasila campus and I see the new and confused faces.

Tahko Väänänen
Peer tutor from Business Information Technology degree
Vice chairperson of Atkins ry

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