At The Soma Institute we realize some students have different needs, and with that in mind we provide free tutoring to our students Monday through Thursday evenings after the day classes. We asked one of our tutors, Jason Cooper, to write up a little piece about his experiences as a tutor. This is what he wrote:
A feeling the many among us must know very well, the feeling of being stuck. I felt this way many of times while figuring out exactly how I wanted to make a living while also contributing to the world, this a feeling and a helplessness I know many others struggle with as well. I could go on for hours about the way that my time at the Soma Institute changed my life for the better just as a student. Above all my time learning to become a clinical massage therapist helped me to push through this feeling of being in a rut, and this not simply being related to skills learned and career development. It is because of this; being in an environment where people share a
common goal and are there to help one another along their way; which lead myself to become a student tutor at The Soma Institute.
Being a student tutor lead to being a tutor as a paid position, which eventually lead to becoming a teacher’s assistant as well. My experience as a tutor has helped me to see that while we all may have one common goal in mind, there are many among us who have a unique set of challenges which need overcoming. As a massage
therapist and somebody believes in this practice as a healing art it is very important to remember this for the sake of becoming a more empathetic therapist in your everyday practice.
It is incredibly important to see the students who have their own challenges as on the same level as yourself, because at the end of the day those who come to tutoring to receive extra help have the same desires and drive to help others as yourself. A wide variety of students come to receive extra help in tutoring. There are students who may be more hands on learners and therefore need more help with the multiple choice scantron format which Soma uses for testing. Courses such as Physiology and Pathology might just need
to be explained to certain students not just in the classroom environment. I am also very encouraged to see those students who come just to use the space in order to sharpen their skills and get extra practice; this several members of my class did just this past Thursday in order to practice for their upcoming chair massage event next month. Students also come to tutoring just to have a quiet space where they can focus on whatever subject they may be
studying at the time. When students are at tutoring they can receive a variety of help from myself and the other tutors who may be there on any given night, I feel this is a unique opportunity for a prospective massage therapist to learn from somebody who themselves is a recent student and is still continuing their education themselves. This I really hope students know when they come to tutoring, tutors are themselves still learning and trying to get better and might not have every answer, however this is an opportunity for us both to learn more and find our own tools for problem solving. Above all, I want every single Soma student to know that tutoring is always open and even if they have one small question they can still utilize the resource of tutoring.