By Wendy Elliott
Ernest Zinck retired from teaching chemistry back in 1996. Four years ago, he decided to go back into the classroom as a tutor.
“I love teaching,” he says. “It’s fun with students who want to learn.”
Zinck “has been a wonderful addition to our team,”
said Elisabeth Frost, who is the tutor coordinator for
Acadia University. She’s hoping more tutors will come forward from the community.
His 90-minute Tuesday evening class in Huggins Science Hall comprises four females and one male. They converse in another language about electrons and charges and elements.
One of the women, a nutrition major, says Zinck’s tutoring makes the difference. Her class has 200 students in four sections.
“In a first year science course, it’s so easy to get lost.”
Another pipes up and says Zinck has time to clarify, give examples and show how problems are solved.
A lone student arrives for an hour of private tutoring. She hasn’t taken any chemistry since Grade 9. A psychology major, she wants a chemistry credit in case she applies to medical school.
Zinck graduated from Harvard with his PhD and began teaching at his alma mater in 1963. When he first retired, he says, “I thought I’d sit in my rocking chair.”
Initially, he put time into the Port Williams Volunteer Fire Department and polished his lighting skills at CentreStage Theatre. Then he began to miss teaching, so he began tutoring at the high school level, along with intro chem.
“I do hope I make a difference,” Zinck said, flashing his ready smile.
Frost said Acadia is primarily looking for tutors in the science/math disciplines - chemistry, physics, economics and the like.
“There are limited requests for arts-based tutors, but we could welcome those interested in pursuing this option too.”
She can be reached by e-mail:
More tutoring opportunities
The Valley Community Learning Association is also seeking volunteer tutors for English as a second language.
Coordinator Lori Noseworthy says most tutoring pairs meet once a week for two hours. Some learners are looking for advanced grammar lessons, while others prefer to practice conversational English.
According to Noseworthy, the tutors are asked to made a six- to 12-month commitment because “the best learning is done when you have had a chance to develop a relationship.”
She adds that no prior teaching experience is necessary to be a tutor.
“The most important qualities a tutor has are friendliness, willingness to learn and respect for diversity.”
Noseworthy adds that tutors ideally have a good command of written and spoken English.
She can be reached by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 692-8042.