While a student in pursuit of her degree in Psychology at IUPUI, a position as tutor for the IU Student Success Corps (IUSSC) on Handshake caught Ashlynn Beard’s attention. IUSSC provides virtual and in person tutoring for K-12 students in math, English, science and social studies. After talking with IUSSC School Liaison Ruth Ann Hankins, she felt her skillset would be a good fit for the program.
For two years now, Beard has served as a tutor and mentor for students at Arsenal Tech High School in Indianapolis as well as through the evening virtual IUSSC program. She describes it as an eye-opening experience. “Returning to public education (mostly high school) as an adult has greatly changed the way which I consider educating and connecting with students,” says Beard. “Refamiliarizing myself with the topics I studied as a child brought me back in touch with how I felt while originally learning the material –which was a pleasant surprise that I had not anticipated.”
Beard said she found the environment safe and invigorating, mentioning that first-time students are sometimes nervous in the beginning, but this shyness typically doesn’t last long. “As we continued working together, and I continued asking them open-ended questions and allowing them time to speak without interrupting or exclusively focusing on classwork, I was often met with thoughtfulness and honesty which only deepens my respect for children and allows me to remain hopeful for the future,” said Beard.
As with all great learning, both teacher and student walk away gaining a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. Beard states that since joining the program she’s noticed a period of growth and healing beginning to blossom. “I see myself in all my students — recalling my emotional memories from adolescence has allowed me to identify what I needed emotionally, and in turn, hopefully make the difference in my students’ lives by providing the support I was always looking for.”
The IUSSC program is looking for more tutors and mentors for the 2024 academic year. To learn more about becoming a tutor/mentor, visit engage.iupui.edu/iussc.