As mentioned in previous posts (like this one, and also this), I work as a tutor in the Intergenerational Literacy Program, a family literacy program for immigrant adults. Despite giving up the chance to sleep in on two days of the week, I look forward to my mornings of working in this program. Somehow I always manage to leave my stress and concerns at the door when I step into the classroom, and spend the next two hours smiling, laughing, and teasing my learners during our lessons.
Working in this program has always been one of my biggest stress-relievers. It helped me get through the stress of a friend being in the hospital my sophomore year of college as well as a difficult emotional and mental health phase I went through earlier this semester. My tutoring job worked its de-stressing magic earlier this week.
When I came into work on Wednesday, my mind was bogged down by a large assignment I had procrastinated and was concerned about finishing before I left for the weekend to New York. I was spending any free time I had, including the 20 minute van drive to Chelsea, to cram in whatever work I could get done for it. With this assignment weighing me down, I was amused to look at the whiteboard to review the day’s lesson and find that the vocabulary word for the week was “relax.” The word was chosen to go along with the week’s Health theme, and coincidentally it was relevant to the other tutors and me as we are wrapping up the semester.
I followed the accidental advice on the board in that within 20 minutes of being in the classroom, I had forgotten about my assignment and was engaged in entertaining my learners as we went through our lesson. I was pleased that my work had once again managed to take my mind off of my stress and to enjoy myself for a little bit.