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Invested Tutors: Betsy Pittman

Written By: Ralston Hartness - Community Investment Director

This blog post is the second of a series in which we will highlight the generosity, commitment, and investment of our tutors at Clayborne. Our tutors are fiercely passionate about student success. Many of our tutors are taking the extra step to invest in the growth and flourishing of students in our community.

We believe that an investment in one student is an investment in a community.

Meet Betsy Pittman, who has been tutoring with Clayborne since August, 2018. Betsy spent three years in the Army before a sense of calling led her to work in education. While preparing to move to Charlottesville, Betsy learned about Clayborne Education and felt drawn to the company’s commitment to its community. Since joining the Clayborne team, Betsy has worked with numerous students in SAT and ACT verbal prep. Many of these students have been a part of our community investment programs. Betsy donates time each week to a Better Future Fellow who is preparing for the ACT. Here is what she had to say about her work with this student and others:

How did you get involved in Clayborne’s community investment programs?

When my husband and I decided to move to Charlottesville, I started researching opportunities to work in Charlottesville’s education field. Clayborne Education’s mission drew me in as soon as I found its website. I had volunteered as a tutor in various capacities, but Clayborne’s mission spoke to a dynamic perspective on education. Education shouldn’t be exclusive. I love that we try really hard to say “yes” to the needs of the community.

When I learned that Clayborne asks its full-time tutors to donate one hour of time per week to community investment programs, I realized that even as a part time tutor–I wanted to be part of that mission.

What do you hope your students have gained from your time together?

Students should come away from our sessions with value that goes beyond SAT or ACT prep. I want my students feel confident with fundamentals that have been academic hurdles for them! I also hope that my students recognize the value these skills will have in their professional lives.

How have you grown as a tutor in your time with these students?

Working with Clayborne community investment programs has made me more productively introspective, considering how I can best teach and inspire my students. I’ve learned to adjust my teaching style so that I can collaborate with students toward their best outcomes. I’m always asking myself, “Where do I fit into this student’s learning process? What does this student need from me? 

What is something that you want your students to come away with in your sessions?

Often students can mentally check out of test performance because they’re afraid – and it’s not their fault that they’re afraid. High-stakes, high-anxiety culture tells students to be afraid of tests. I want to facilitate opportunities for students to cultivate a courage to try. I want to empower them through the process by reminding them, “You can do this!” and by reflecting on how I can help them to see that, yes, they can do it!

Clayborne is grateful to have tutors like Betsy on our team! Her work with more than 4 students in our community investment programs is just a glimpse of her commitment in our community. We are excited to share with you the stories of other tutors who make similar investments every week!

In 2018, our community investment programs offered scholarships, financial aid, or volunteer hours to nearly 100 students. Learn more about our work here!

If you would like to partner with us in 2019 or beyond, contact the community investment director to learn more about how your support contributes to stories like this one.

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