"I saw an ad for math volunteers in the paper. I retired from engineering in 2001 then spent two or three years building my house. I was looking for something else to do to escape from the building project. I had been a scoutmaster for three years and I found I really enjoyed teaching. I've done voluntary work all my life - over the years I've belonged to service clubs such as Civitans and the Chamber of Commerce, and at college I was the president of the Engineering Society. The experience at TFL has been very gratifying. I always kid about being paid, but the real pay you get is to see students gain confidence and see them advance in math, then go on to college or technical school. The only thing that gets me upset is when a student doesn't follow though with homework. You know when a student is not trying. I found teaching the Financial Literacy classes was very informative - it was interesting for me to see the kind of debt people get themselves into because they don't understand the system. The Bridge to College program is good because I see a lot of very enthusiastic students that really want to learn. To see that enthusiasm is the biggest reward you can have as a teacher. I would like to have more meetings with other math tutors. I find we learn a lot from each other - more than going to training programs. Co-teaching with Donna and Paul in the Bridge to College program was really interesting and helpful for me because I got lots of feedback from the others. I really enjoy working with people, that's what makes volunteering at TFL so good for me."
Since joining Top Floor Learning in 2005,Tom has tutored nine students in math, helping them prepare for the GED test. He co-teaches math in the Bridge to College program, and is part of the team of teachers in the Financial Literacy program, specializing in Credit and Debt.