Makala Gage, an AmeriCorps member serving with Saga Education, is back. This three-time tutor served first as a remote tutor at Farragut Career Academy in Chicago, IL, then as an in-person tutor at the same school, and this year, she’s coming back to Little Village Lawndale High School in Chicago to tutor her students in person—again.
Third Time Tutoring is a Charm
“I came back because of the experience I had with my students. I missed them so much over the summer and was excited to continue to teach new students. It was awesome working in-person with the students. I loved seeing their faces every day, getting to know them and connecting with them,” she said.
Gage said that one of the best parts of being a tutor is witnessing “when a student has their 'aha' moment, when they get a concept that they previously didn't get or thought they would never get,” she said.
That’s just one of the reasons why she’s back for more. "I am coming back because I still believe in the help that we provide students, and I enjoy actively teaching in person. I liked the relationships I form with students,” she added.
From the beginning, Gage said that she focused on building lasting relationships with her students, during a very stressful time in their lives. “I started working for Saga during the height of the pandemic, and I’ve seen what students have had to deal with and how adaptable they are to the constant changes of the world,” she said.
A Leader and a Learner
At the same time, she learned a lot about herself as well. “I learned that I could be a leader during my time at Saga. In my second year, I helped out my fellow coworkers and my Site Director with things like data entry, lesson planning, behavior management, activities, and incentives. We all worked so well together as a team,” she said.
The Joy Factor
As a third-year Saga tutor, Gage wants to “employ more joy factor to make math fun for my students. I want to provide real-world examples to make math come alive,” said Gage. She also said that she wants to use her prior experience “and the data I receive from FSAs and their math grades to cater my lesson exactly to their needs."
Gage sees a bright future ahead. “For me, I hope I continue to grow as a tutor and gain the confidence to hopefully apply to be a Site Director in the future. For my students, I hope they have a fun year and gain more confidence in themselves and their math skills,” she said.
Makala Gage is an AmeriCorps member, who is serving as a tutor for Saga for the third year in a row.