On the last night of training, you will have the chance to speak with a panel of veteran tutors and students.
Below are a few responses to some common concerns.
What was your first meeting like?
- "Although both tutor and learner are probably a bit nervous at their first meeting, it's a casual,
enjoyable get-acquainted session."
- "...a little unsettling on both sides...I think it takes close to a month to settle on material
and a routine that works."
- "I was nervous!"
- "The first meeting was actually very enjoyable...the student was happy to have someone more her
age to work with."
- "Our first meeting was almost like a first date! We focused on getting to know one another and to
establish our starting point."
What do you enjoy most about tutoring?
- "Tutoring may be one of the most rewarding volunteer jobs. Every session brings smiles, appreciation,
giggles about what's misunderstood or mastered as well as occasional frustration about
slower-than-hoped-for progress...They often comment that this is the first time they have really
enjoyed 'school'. That's hard to beat!"
- "Observing student's progress and being proud to be one of the primary people who is helping the
student gain new skills."
- "...tutoring has been very rewarding on a personal level..."
- "I love seeing the 'light bulb' come on!"
- "Having small successes and seeing event he slightest improvement in my student."
- "I mostly enjoy my students 'light bulb' moments. He always lets me know when is able to apply what he has
learned to his every day life."
- "when ...they recognize they are learning, I feel such joy! Also, I very much enjoy the process of creative
- "It is stimulating to respond to questions about the material and to try to give the student insight
not just in the subject, but also in the 'mind-set' of the GED test. Seeing signs of understanding
from the student makes the process enjoyable."
What has been the greatest challenge for you as a tutor?
- "...finding material for reading practice that fits an adult who is a beginning reader."
- "...figuring out how to define words with words a person with a limited vocabulary understands."
- "Breaking bad habits of an older student and choosing the right materials to acheive our goals."
What advice would you give to new tutors?
- "Prepare several short segments for each hour with lots of practices and reviews built in as you
go along to be certain that there's learning as well as teaching. But don't prepare too many activities,
lest you are tempted to try to cram all of them in, regardless of the learner's readiness."
- "Keep relaxed, friendly and open but focused on the tasks at hand."
- "In training, for reading practice, we're advised to find things that interest the student. It takes a
while to sort that out. Listen for clues in what the student may share regarding his or her personal life.
For my first student, I tried two or three different books and didn't feel that the student was interested.
Finally, I noted that she frequently talked about her own physical health issues and those of a family member.
I found a booklet that contained a few articles related to biology, and she was happy reading that aloud
and gaining new information from it."
- "Be patient. English isn't easy to learn and learning to read for a native speaker of English isn't either.
People have different learning styles."
- "Give praise, kudos to your student on every success and take a very positive approach."