Hiring: Morning Tutor for Two Elementary Aged Kids
I did not relocate to Washington, DC to attend Zoom Elementary with a five and seven-year-old. Rather, I was pursuing my own education—my degree completed in May 2020 when I graduated with my masters into a global pandemic and a bleak job market. After a summer of financial insecurity and enormous stress around my employment and ability to remain in DC, I found my way to Nextdoor, responding to an inquiry for a tutor to assist two local kids with virtual school.
Our first afternoon together in August, two blonde curly-headed kids guided me through our neighborhood. They knew the way, showing me their favorite places in the woods and pointing to houses where their friends lived, lamenting the lack of playdates over the last months due to the pandemic. They asked me if I’d been to this park or that, what my favorite museums are, if I’ve heard of their school. The older, a lover of rules and being in charge pointed out, “You wouldn’t know anything about Glover Park if you didn’t know us.” She was kind of right. I only began exploring our neighborhood on my early morning pandemic walks. But now, I started seeing it and the city I'm still learning to call home through youthful, hopeful, observant eyes.
Over the last five months, we’ve spent hours in the Zoom classroom practicing our letters and addition and subtraction strategies, but also learning together about the world—from the pandemic to the presidential election. Some days we cry with frustration over our math workbook and begrudge logging into Zoom. I slide notes written on index cards to the older when we’ve had a tough morning. I join kindergarten classes and occasionally we commence grand art projects. Whenever possible, we take time in the afternoon to Drop Everything And Read. Most days, we get a good hug in, and on our best days, they rush to tell me “I love you” as I leave.
For me, becoming a “morning tutor” turned a precarious, difficult year of loss into one of relative stability and joy. In the words of the older kiddo, “If it weren’t for corona, I wouldn’t even know you.”