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Old 07-20-2012, 02:01 PM
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Default What would you do (teachers especially?)

I am part of a program that tutors kids from an underprivileged area. The girl I tutor is going into 4th grade and this will be the second year I tutor her. The last year I tutored with my friend who is the one I've mentioned lately that has a brain tumor and is up north getting treated with chemo, radiation, and physical therapy to help him regain a lot of his motor and speech skills he's lost. Needless to say, he's not going to tutor this next year.

My girl had been very concerned that we would tutor her again next year. It was something she was asking all the time and of course we both said yes. My partner couldn't be there the end of the year party because he was at the hospital getting an MRI. I didn't know that at the time so just told the girl he had army stuff to do (I thought that was what was going on because he told me he was at the fort). Found out the next week he had cancer.

So what should I do? Should I just show up on my own and just make up some story? I know she will ask. Talk to the person running the tutor group? Talk to her teacher or her teacher from last year?
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:06 PM
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If she's in 4th grade, she should be able to handle (a gentle version of) the truth. I'd tell her that your friend found out he's very sick, and he needs to spend all his energies getting better. Maybe after you finish up doing homework together, you could make him a get well card or help her write a letter to him (practice her writing in a sneaky way!), or something like that, so she feels a part of the process.

Could your friend be her pen pal this year? That might be awesome for both of them--she could practice her writing, he could get encouraging notes, and you could take them back and forth.

I wouldn't stress too much though. Kids are very quick to move on in a lot of cases, and she may well have toned down her demand for him over the summer where she went 3 months without seeing him. I'd give the tutoring director a heads up of why he's not coming, but I wouldn't make any special plans to break the news to her.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:18 PM
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I agree with the above. The card and pen pal idea is a wonderful way for her to stay in touch with him. You didn't say if she's exceptional however. Kids who are developmentally challenged might take it better if instead of sick, that you say he's busy with the army or another job or something.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:26 PM
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Nope she's not developmentally challenged at all.

The thing that worried me was that she would talk about her tutors from 2nd grade that didn't come back in third grade. She just brought it up so often that they didn't come tutor her the next year and she seemed to think it had something to do with her, which I don't want her to think at all again.

I bet she would like making a get well card though.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:37 PM
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If she was convinced that her old tutor didn't like her anymore, a note or a card or stickers from your friend to her would probably quell some of those fears.
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:14 PM
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I agree completely with everything Cali said, nothing I could add to it.........and especially the part about your friend maybe sending her a note, card or something in return
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:43 PM
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Yes, definitely a nice card with Hi I'm thinking of you and I know you'll do great this year!!! Then the pen pal idea
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:46 PM
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Yep to all. At her age she***8217;s more that able to handle the truth. Kids are funny, be open to her either having tons of questions (try not to be evasive) or she might just shrug it off. Either and anything in between is a totally normal reaction.
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