I am grateful for having the opportunity to volunteer as a tutor with Club Rainbow, in ways more than one.
The desire to share the joy of knowledge was what initially prompted me to look to tutoring as a volunteering avenue. I have always felt thankful for the chance to receive an education in a relatively carefree and enjoyable environment. Hence I feel almost obliged to help others have the same experience too. Studying, after all, takes up a large chunk of the childhood of every Singaporean child. My aim is to make the entire study process a little more bearable, a bit less painful, and hopefully somewhat more pleasant.
I figured the best way is to treat tutees first and foremost as friends. The children and parents here are a delight to work with. There is something about the air of Club Rainbow Centre I guess. Laughter can be heard every week when I arrive, and everyone is ever ready to greet each other with a smile. Thankfully, tutees here are generally enthusiastic about learning, and things never got quite as bad as “I don’t friend you”.
The situations of tutees here can be a little different from those elsewhere. I have learnt to develop a personal relationship with the kids whom I tutor. To help my tutees improve academically, I empathise with their personal struggles, and be there with them in this journey. Tutees become more like younger brothers and sisters, someone you are responsible to guide always, encourage often, and coerce sometimes.
Tutoring at Club Rainbow has not only helped me gain a few more friends, younger siblings, but, perhaps most unexpectedly, teachers too. Other than teaching me not to take anything I have for granted, I’ve learnt much from the children’s strength of character. It is inspiring to see how they take on personal crises of unimaginable proportions, misfortunes supremely unfair to befall anyone, much less these innocent angels. Yet they continue to face random strangers like me with a smile. I learn from fellow volunteers and Club Rainbow staff too. Be it businessmen with packed schedules, housewives with endless chores or yuppies with boy/girlfriends, they have set aside time from their full-time obligations to tutor the children, all for a “thank you, teacher”. The genuine concern and dedication they show towards the children here never fails to warm my heart.
It is thus with immense gratitude that I continue to volunteer with Club Rainbow.