The essay requires me to write something about myself that the admission committee will not get from the rest of my application- Yale supplement.
"Will I be able to make these pupils understand," I thought to myself as I watched the pupils try to solve the problem in their books for the third time.
That was the first week of the most challenging and yet fulfilling task I had ever done in my life. After clearing high school, I offered to volunteer to tutor in a local primary school near my home. After a short informal training, I was ready for my first teaching experience. This was a chance for me to impact a change in other peoples' lives. I looked forward to my first session with the pupils. Since I have always been good in mathematics and the sciences, I offered to tutor on these subjects. However, contrary to what I had thought, tutoring the pupils in Algebra was not as easy as I had anticipated. The blank faces I encountered were a clear sign that the pupils found the topic to be difficult. I tried different approaches to help the students understand but nothing changed.
I embarked on finding out what the real problem was. After talking to some pupils, the truth emerged. Most of the pupils were convinced that mathematics was too hard and that there was no way they could understand it, let alone pass in the examinations. I was determined to help them change their perspective. I believe that mathematics is fun and is not difficult. For the next two weeks I portrayed mathematics as fun subject, like it involved playing around with numbers. I would go to class with teaching aids and try to approach every concept using practical things that the students liked, things they identified with and used in their everyday lives. With time, there was a noticeable improvement in their interest in mathematics. They began looking forward to mathematics classes. There was a significant change in their grades. Most of them could now score Bs in their exams instead of Ds.
As much as I helped the pupils with their problems, I also got a chance to learn a lot from the experience. I liked watching my pupils grow. Every new day promised a new experience for me and I always looked forward to it. The entire experiences helped shape the person I am today. The students did not understand most of the concepts in mathematics because they believed that mathematics was hard. They failed not because mathematics was hard but because they believed they could not pass. This taught me an important lesson in life, sometimes we are our own worst enemies. We impede our progress in life with the approaches we take towards some things in life. Sometimes we even quit before trying. My experiences as a tutor made me realize that in order to succeed we need to believe in ourselves and try. As I look forward to joining Yale University, I know I am a winner and nothing will stop me from succeeding in anything I decide to pursue.