Teaching Political Science

A year or two ago, I signed up to be a political science tutor for students at James Madison University.  For the next several weeks, I waited in the hopes that someone local would desire my assistance and decide contact me.  Yet, there was no word.  Days stretched into weeks and, before too long, more than a year had passed.  And with this passage of time, the memory of this project had almost completely  faded from my mind.

However, in February of this year, I finally received an email from a student looking for help.  We met and once I heard his specific subject, public administration, I quickly realized that I had little formal training in this area; therefore, I recommended that he contact a tutor more qualified than I.  Nevertheless, despite my suggestion he was undeterred and wanted my assistance with this subject, so I agreed.

From February to May, the two of us met regularly in what was once the cafeteria of my former high school, Memorial Hall.  Although, as mentioned, I certainly didn’t have a lot of prior knowledge of public administration, we spoke and studied together week after week.  As we progressed, we both learned quite a bit about the subject.  I must confess that I came to enjoy our sessions together and I was gratified to discover that his grades had improved considerably.

Then, before I knew it, the semester drew to a close and our time together had come to an end.  Tomorrow, this student will be taking his final in public administration; I certainly hope that he will perform admirably.

Although I would have preferred to offer my skills in an area in which I am quite well versed, such as American government or political philosophy, I believe that it was a good experience for both of us and an experience that I shall always treasure.

Hopefully, another student will decide to reach out to me before too long…or perhaps I’ll try once more to acquire a graduate degree in this field that has inexplicably drawn me to it so that I can teach it full-time.  After all, I suppose the best jobs in life are the ones that you would do even if they weren’t paying; for me, that includes learning about and discussing politics.

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