Confronting J: A Rambling Practice

J*,

Let me stop you right there.

For the past couple of our meetings, I’ve been noticing some things about your attitude towards me, and before we continue, I need to set some things straight.

You do not know me through my parents, and I do not know you through your child.
You need to stop thinking about yourself in relation to my parents and comparing me with your 12-year-old child.
We are two adults that gather on Saturday afternoons with an explicit goal.
Your questions about my parents are personal, inappropriate, and unrelated to the goal of our meetings.

You also need to stop asking personal questions about my life outside the scope of our meetings.
My role is to help you learn English, not to share my life with you.
That is what this program is about, and that is what I signed up for.
If I wanted to make a friend, I would have joined a club, not signed up to be a tutor.

Also, you need to stop questioning my motives as a volunteer.
I volunteer because I want to. Even if I had other motives, that is none of your business.
I am an adult that freely gives up her time to help you improve your English.
That is all you need to know to appreciate what I do and to respect me.

Like I said, my college does not require me to volunteer.
I don’t hope to get a job as an English teacher.
I like to give back, and I think teaching English is a good use of my skills.
If that is so difficult to believe, that is your problem, and you need to stop pestering me about it.

I am your English tutor, and I want our meetings to be about learning English.

If you can’t accept any of the things that I’ve just laid out, you need to find either a new tutor or a different program,
because that is not what I’m about, and officially, that’s not what this program is about either.


*not real name

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