On Mondays I am scheduled to tutor Math students at the end of a work day. Students rarely come because they don't know me well; I don't have students of my own this year. After a weekend of recovering from a cold, I was hoping for a chance to leave right on time so I could come home as soon as possible for more rest.
I tried to cover my initial disappointment when a student showed up at my office door for some help with College Algebra.
A few minutes into the tutoring, I was having fun. We were relating operations with fractions involving whole numbers to fractions with algebraic expressions. When you work with students in 11th and 12th grade, you see how gaps from earlier years make it hard to learn complicated concepts. But, we kept working at it and I kept trying to find the entry points to help her learn.
The best part was the sounds she would make as she figured things out. Believe it or not 17 and 18-year olds (even adults) make childlike sounds as they solve a problem. She would exclaim "Ohhhhhhhh!" or "yessssss!" when she figured things out on her own.
I drove home from work feeling like I had accomplished one productive thing, today. And entered relaxation in better spirits than I would have if nobody showed up for tutoring.