Learning together online is fun for MSU Texas student tutor

Mechanical engineering senior loves lending a helping hand

Kimberley Telemacque has always enjoyed helping others learn as a tutor and teacher. Victory is seeing a “student’s face when that light bulb finally clicks.”  

Those victories for Telemacque, a senior mechanical engineering major at MSU Texas, are now coming through technology with social distancing rules for the close of her college career. Telemacque has a minor in mathematics and an associate degree in math as well.    

She served as a tutor since 2017 but had not previously performed online tutor sessions until this spring. She said she has taught high school math in her home country of Dominica, an island in the Caribbean. 

“It gives me such pleasure to see the look on a student’s face when that light bulb finally clicks!” Telemacque said.  

“With math, you need to first fully understand what is being asked of you before even attempting to solve anything.”  

The adjustment to tutoring online wasn’t as difficult as she’d imagined. She thanks Director of Tutoring and Academic Support Programs (TASP) Ashley Hurst for helping set that up and providing an online forum where the tutors could share experiences. 

Kimberley Telemacque
Kimberley Telemacque

“The transition led me to amp up my tutoring skills even more! I’d be in front of my living room with my dry-erase marker explaining and writing on my dry-erase board so that the tutee is fully engaged in the session,” Telemacque said. 

She believes it’s helped her be better prepared for a session because the student is asked to upload the homework questions in advance. Getting her laptop ready to go was one minor challenge, one many may identify with, but she said Hurst had created training videos for the tutors to use. 

“Ashley always makes things so much easier for her tutors, and working with TASP is amazing,” Telemacque said. 

Telemacque downplays her role helping fellow students find academic success at MSU Texas. “I enjoy guiding my tutees to their academic success, but they steer their achievements, I only probe and guide. After all, isn't that what a tutor is here for? The power is in the tutee’s hand; I’m just the guide.”

She doesn't try to conceal her excitement about the learning process. Some students may reach better to one method or another solving a problem. When the goal is achieved, it’s a winning feeling, she said. “BINGO, they’ve got it! I love being a tutor. I believe that the learning skills we are using now will surely improve education in the future.” 

Hurst is thrilled about the way students have embraced change.  

“Many of our tutors worked in face-to-face centers only and have been so adaptable,” Hurst said. “It’s really amazing how something like this brings everyone together, keeping our Mustangs and their success at the forefront of our efforts.” 

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Kimberley Telemacque set up her space to be ready for tutoring sessions
Kimberley Telemacque set up her space to be ready for tutoring sessions.

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