Achieving a memorable college experience is what most students set out to do when
they arrive at the University of South Florida (USF).
One way education majors at USF could accomplish this is by becoming a tutor through USF’s Tutor-A-Bull program, an initiative that gives College of Education students opportunities to tutor and mentor middle school students, while also earning a steady part-time income.
We asked Tutor-A-Bull Program Coordinator Suzanne Legg and Tutor Alicia Miller, a mathematics education major at USF, about the program and why education majors at USF should consider applying.
Get an early start on field experiences
If you’re a freshman or sophomore who is excited to start your teaching internship,
you don’t have to wait! Joining the Tutor-A-Bull program enables College of Education
students to spend 10-20 hours a week providing individualized and small-group instruction
to middle school students in Hillsborough County.
Gaining this kind of exposure early on, Legg says, helps Tutor-A-Bull tutors develop their own teaching practices and learn the ins and outs of working at a school.
“Tutors get to interact with different teachers, watch them in action and see what practices they can use and also, what might not work,” Legg said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to interact with children, but in a small setting.”
“Tutors get to interact with different teachers, watch them in action and see what practices they can use and also, what might not work. It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to interact with children, but in a small setting.”
Network with leaders in local school districts
Creating meaningful relationships with the students you teach is a skill every educator
should have. For teacher candidates who participate in the Tutor-A-Bull program, working
with a consistent group of learners enables tutors to journey with them through their
learning highs and lows.
However, these aren’t the only relationships aspiring educators can benefit from. Miller, a senior who is now in her fourth year in Tutor-A-Bull, says participating in the program has helped her network with leaders and administrators in local schools, which can open up opportunities in her future career.
“I’ve had many (school) liaisons tell me that they would love to have me return as a tutor,” Miller said. “Some have told me to return to the school when I graduate so I can teach.”
Affirm your passion for the teaching profession
Teaching is a field that requires passion and enthusiasm, and the Tutor-A-Bull program
is just one way that USF students can confirm they’re on the right path in their career
Teaching different subject areas and working exclusively with middle school students can also bring forth other key realizations, Legg says.
“A lot of people go into education to be elementary teachers and don’t consider middle school because it’s a tricky age,” Legg said. “I think exposing them to a different environment could steer them in a direction they didn’t consider.”
For other students, like Miller, the Tutor-A-Bull Program helps them develop their own teaching style, gain confidence in their abilities and be better equipped for the roles they’ll take on in later field experiences and their full-time teaching career.
“(Tutor-A-Bull) has further prepped me to become an educator because I have seen many different students struggle in different ways,” Miller said. “I am now more knowledgeable on how to approach a student because not every student learns the same way. I have gained knowledge to help students learn and grow to better themselves.”
Are you interested in becoming a tutor? Apply to USF’s Tutor-A-Bull program and learn more about the impact you can make in local middle schools. For more information, contact the program coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.