Today I was asked to roam a road that I have not roamed in about 12 years, thus making it a rather remote road indeed. I agreed to roam this remote road so as to help out some friends. Before roaming, I did inform the friends that my navigation guides and GPS might be too out dated to successfully roam the road.
During my year and a half of substitute teaching while seeking out a permanent teaching position I was strongly encouraged by an assistant principal to gain endorsements on my teaching certificate that would make it easier to find a position. All too often Social Studies teaching gigs are coupled with coaching responsibilities. So I took the certification exams and additional college course work so as to add Intermediate Mathematics to my certificate; I can now officially teach math up through Algebra II. This assistant principal was on to something because my first full-year contract was at her school and I was teaching Algebra I and Geometry.
While struggling to teach subjects in which I was not formally trained, I did make it clear that I wanted to switch to Social Studies at the earliest opportunity and I was accommodated for the next school year. Occasionally students would find out I "could" teach math and would ask about tutoring. My typically answer was "yes, for $50 a per half hour". Needless to say, no one ever took me up on that offer...until now.
Some church friends who knew about my "math teaching" background asked if I would be interested in tutoring their freshman daughter. They were at a loss as they had each tried to provide the enrichment she needed (sometimes parents don't make the best teachers/tutors...you can ask my mom about my attempts at piano lessons). We chit-chatted about it and I thought that would be it. Then I get a text today asking if I would seriously do it...and, if possible...TODAY. They're good friends so I said yes. I spent just under 2 hours helping her with her Geometry homework and she was understanding. She actually said I was better than her teacher. We'll see about that tomorrow when (if) she's able to actually function in class, LOL.
I didn't actually charge the "$50 per half hour", but I am getting dinner out of it tomorrow! So I guess this road roaming experience wasn't so bad after all! The lesson I learned is that sometimes we get so stuck in our own comfort zones and fear that some of our "talents" might not actually be beneficial to others. I might not be the greatest math teacher, I might not even enjoy teaching math, but is something in which I excelled academically and I should not be afraid to use that talent when times "demand" it.