High school senior Kaleb and his tutor, David Wilson have had to juggle Cluster Tutoring with Kaleb’s busy schedule on three sports teams and at a part-time job. But even though they sometimes had to meet on weekends, they always managed to make a tutoring connection. And now Kaleb has been accepted at five colleges and looks forward to hearing from a few more.
The pair has worked together since Kaleb was in 5th grade. “When we started,” David said, “he was struggling with phonics and sentence structure. Now he’s an accomplished writer.”
Kaleb is an accomplished speaker, too: He wrote a speech about the importance of cleaning up litter, a passion both Kaleb and David share. The speech was so effective, “I was nominated to compete in a speech contest,” Kaleb said.
Those writing and speaking skills will serve Kaleb well when he studies either business or sports management in college. “I’m a big sports fan,” he said, “especially basketball and baseball.” He might go even further in his education, as he’s thinking of law school.
For now, though, he’s busy on his school’s basketball team at Disney II Magnet High School. Soccer was his fall sport, with baseball to come in the spring. Kaleb also is president of the Senior Advisory Council and on Student Council. On Sundays, he works as a busboy at Cajun Boil in Oak Park. On top of that, Kaleb is enrolled in the Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy for students.
That schedule doesn’t sound like there’s much time for tutoring, but the tutoring pair make it work, sometimes both taking public transportation to meet downtown for what they described as an “emergency work session” on a weekend.
Both Kaleb and David have seen his skills grow. “When I started, I was better at math,” Kaleb said. “As I get older, I’m better at reading and comprehension.”
“I feel like oftentimes, I’ve been the learner,” David said, “rather than the teacher.” For instance, when Kaleb was in 6th grade, he was studying Shay’s Rebellion after the U.S. Revolutionary War, and David, a history buff, found that he needed to brush up on his facts. (Shay’s Rebellion, in case anyone has forgotten, was an armed uprising in Western Massachusetts in opposition to a debt crisis among the citizenry and the state government’s increased efforts to collect taxes both on individuals and their trades.)
With math, “the object is for Kaleb to know it well enough for him to explain it to me,” David said, adding, “We survived quadratic equations.”
David’s love of history rubbed off, as Kaleb took AP U.S. History last year and is taking AP Psychology this year.
Both have enjoyed their years of tutoring together. “I feel like we have a good relationship,” Kaleb said.