Meet this week's All-Star Tutor-Mentor Sabrina Kelaart. Sabrina is studying a Masters of Counselling at Swinburne University. She has many different hobbies, one of which is singing in a band. Sabrina performs at a range of events including: weddings, fundraisers, reunions and annual dinner dances. She also volunteers at an Anxiety and OCD Helpline, which serves to provide referrals, information and support to people struggling with OCD and anxiety.

1. What do you like best about being a Tutor-Mentor? 

The best aspect of being a Tutor-Mentor is the ability to bring about positive changes in the lives of young people. When you are a Tutor-Mentor, you model many things: work ethic, communication skills, respect, kindness, and compassion. Such modelling can play a significant role in shaping a child’s character and future. As a Tutor-Mentor, you can demonstrate unending faith in your students; which can be especially significant, if your students are struggling to have faith in themselves. Sometimes all it takes is the belief of another to help you believe in yourself – and from there on out, your possibilities are endless.

2. What subjects do you enjoy teaching and why? 

I  love teaching English! The reason why I love teaching English is because I truly believe in the power of words and language. Words, both heard and spoken, have the ability to shape a person’s life; and by extension, their world.   Teaching young people that the language they use to convey their ideas and express their thoughts has the power to affect positive change in the world – even if it is only a single person’s world – makes the endeavour of teaching English, or any other language, priceless.

3. What is your favourite moment as a Tutor-Mentor? 

It is hard to identify a single favourite moment as a Tutor-Mentor, but I can identify a particular journey with a student that was incredibly meaningful for me. I began teaching a little Grade 2 girl, whose parents had only just discovered that their daughter needed glasses. My student was significantly behind compared to her classmates. I worked with her for many months. She was very shy and took a while to warm to me. But over-time we developed a close working alliance. She worked very hard and we shared many laughs; most of which were at me expressing myself in animated and humorous ways. After a couple of months, I saw her genuine brightness shine through. Now, I would say that she is easily academically above her age-level peers. The fact that I helped her tap into her inherent but underdeveloped potential will always be something I am proud of. In total, I taught her for 2.5 years – a journey I will always remember fondly.

4. What advice would you give to new TutorBright Tutor-Mentors?

Try your best, and rest with this knowledge. Realise that every mistake that either you or your student makes is a learning curve. The curve may be steep and long, but if you hold on tight, with a flexibility to adapt and persistence to grow, you will find yourself on an upwards trajectory towards new and more fulfilling ways of being.

5. What quote would you use to describe your life motto?

My life motto can be summed up by this one quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” by Mahatma Gandhi. To me, we each can only be accountable for our own actions. Trying to change others directly is most often a fruitless endeavour. I believe it is only when we lead by example, that we can inspire others to learn and grow; and in doing so, change the world.

Click here to read about last week's Spotlight Tutor-Mentor.