A Glimpse Inside a Tutor’s Life

By Ti’Anna Davis

Above the entrance into the science room at St. Petersburg College library was a large handcrafted lime green and blue dinosaur with white teeth touching the top of the door frame. Inside, there were plastic models of body parts scattered across the room. On the round table tops there were open textbooks and computers. Colorful posters were glued sporadically along the walls as a full body skeleton sat in the corner of the room with a black fedora.

At 12 p.m. on Thursday, a woman with shoulder length green, purple and blue colored hair sat side-by-side another woman with a light brown messy bun at a round table in the science room with a binder laying open between them as they discussed the topics of earth science.

The women continued to whisper in deep conversation for 20 minutes, surrounded by white boards with blue and purple diagrams and scientific formulas. “I haven’t taken this class, but I can figure it out,” said the colorful haired woman known as Anna Tingley, who has a master’s degree in medical science with a concentration in anatomy and a bachelor’s in biology but tutors all scientific subjects at the college.

Even though Tingley was not completely confident about the earth science subject, she knew it was important to let the student know her thought process along the way. As Tingley sat in the cushioned chair, legs crossed in a blue dress with red and white umbrellas printed on it and a long black velvet jacket almost touching the carpet, she asked the young woman about what she knew already, and they conversed about a new method to figure out the problem.

“Wow. That makes sense,” said the earth science student with a light brown messy bun.

Since 2010, Tingley has been committed to the job of teaching students the different subjects of science such as organic chemistry, anatomy, earth science, biology and physics. From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. there were students spitting out questions for Tingley like a tennis ball launcher.

“I walk in and there are people walking in with me asking questions as I open the door and it feels overwhelming,” said Tingley.

There were times when the day was a complete blur. The same feeling of being anxious from answering numerous questions at once never left from the moment she opened the door until the moment she closed it.

“Tutoring is a fairly difficult type of job because it is mentally strenuous for continuous amount of time. It is not just little repetitive tasks that are easy to perform, there are really stimulating type of problems,” said Tingley.

There were days when waves of students demanded questions to be answered. No matter what Tingley may feel it is important to give the same type of enthusiasm to each person. As Tingley’s gold and black combat boots hit the pavement on her way out the building, there were six students trailing behind her.