Gift of learning: Diane Strutz tutors at library

December 2016 Posted in Other

By Nancy JenningsDiane

Diane Strutz loves to learn as much as she loves to teach. The Silverton resident believes “it’s very important to bring a person outside of his or her box and to think outside of that box.”

Strutz, 69, is a certified teacher and tutor at Mount Angel Library providing free assistance to K-12 grades. She volunteers on Wednesdays 3:30 to 5 p.m.  Specializing in math, she also aids students with reading, writing, science and drama. Tutoring at the library since June, she has a flexible schedule and also can meet students at their schools.

Strutz credits her eighth-grade teacher with her love of math. “She got me to love it and I was successful at it.” She earned her teaching credential in mathematics and biological sciences from UC Irvine. She holds a BA degree in psychology, in addition to two master’s degrees in Educational Administration and Theology.

Strutz counts the late educator Jaime Escalante as one of her mentors. His inspiring life was portrayed in the 1988 movie, Stand and Deliver. He taught calculus to high school students in East Los Angeles. One of his notable quotes was “Students will rise to the level of expectations.” However, not every teacher can expect their students to naturally like math. Math anxiety can be a real issue. Strutz said she notices the problem more with the parents. “I think the fear gets passed on,” she said. 

“I’m a great believer in that one size does not fit all. Mathematical reasoning is far more important than the right answer. It has to be as exact as we can get it, but one does not become a mathematician without first learning to think,” she said.

She notices that fourth, fifth and sixth graders are like “sponges,” soaking up knowledge as it is presented. “If you tap into that age group, you are tapping creativity, enthusiasm and they need a personal touch.”

Stephanie Laing, youth services librarian, sees Strutz as a wonderful asset. “She’s an awesome volunteer. She came to us and offered to provide homework help, which was amazing because we get to provide it as a free service,” she said. 

“Knowledge should not have a price,” she said. “We need to make knowledge available to all kids. We can do more for our kids by listening to what they want to learn.”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.