Literacy Services of Indian River County

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Tutor FAQ

I am not sure I am ready for a student even though I attended the workshop. How do I know when I am ready for a student?

Please know we have all felt the same way that you do at one time or another. Almost all of our tutors are nervous and scared about the first meeting with your student (as are our students). Please know that this is quite common and normal. Most people are nervous about anything they do for the first time. All we ask is that you meet with your student at least once. Once a tutor meets with their student they realize they CAN help their student and are actually excited about the possibilities. To help you feel more comfortable, please review your materials you will be using with your student as often as necessary prior to meeting with your student. Don’t forget that the first meeting is more of an introductory meeting and not much tutoring is expected.

Do I need a background in teaching or a college degree?

No. Most tutors do not have a teaching or educational background. Some tutors have never even been in the workforce. We even have high school students tutoring!

Do I have to pay for any materials for myself or for my student?

No. We provide all the materials at no cost as we receive donations from the community (we are a nonprofit United Way agency). However, if you desire to use sources we do not utilize then you may have to pay for them yourself. Of course, we always accept donations since we receive no government funding!

How soon will I get my student?

Since there is a waiting list for students, you can expect to be assigned a student within ten business days. If it has been more than two weeks and you have not yet been assigned, please call the office at 778-2223!

How is my student assigned to me?

Generally, you are randomly assigned a student, primarily based on the student’s location and time preferences that meet your desires. We try and match students and tutors who have similar interests if possible.

When and where will I meet with my student?

You always meet with the student in a public place. Ninety percent of tutors meet at the library. Others meet at churches, restaurants, homeless center, business, etc. You and your student will agree on a time and location that is convenient for both of you to meet.

How much time am I expected to spend with my student?

You are expected to meet with the student two to three hours a week. We ask that you make a one year commitment.

Why do I have to turn in monthly progress reports? Are you checking up on me?

We are not checking up on you. We do this because our funding comes from the results of these progress reports and because it helps us in anticipating book orders. Our organization may cease to exist if we do not receive your reports indicating the number of hours tutored or whether a student has completed a reading level.

Can I email you questions?

Yes. You may email us at director@literacyservicesirc.org or contact us online. Be sure to put “Literacy tutor” in the subject line.

How long will it take my student to complete a reading level?

The time will vary with each student. It depends on how often you meet, how quickly the student learns, and whether the student does his/her homework. Some students take two months while others may take a year to complete a skillbook. This is not a reflection on you or the student. Please do not forget that it took the first five years of your schooling to “learn to read” before the rest of your schooling became “read to learn”.

Can I use other materials than what you offer with my student?

Our primary goal is to improve the literacy skills of a student. If other materials will help you and your student then feel free to use the additional materials for supplemental purposes. As long as you can demonstrate to us objective proof that the student is improving then we are happy with ANY materials you utilize.

What if I don’t click with my student?

There are times when a student and tutor simply do not “click”. This is nothing to be ashamed of and is not a reflection of either you or your student. Simply call the office and we will reassign you and the student.

My student wants to quit. Did I do something wrong? What do I do?

No. Students have their own agenda and goals and they may have met their goal. Be sure to learn your student’s expectations as quickly as possible so that you can work towards these goals. Also, students may have personal issues that have no bearing on you or the program. Please call the office if you are no longer tutoring your student.

If I have a question, where do I turn for help?

Always feel free to call the office or one of the mentors. We are here to help YOU.

I often go out of town or I am a seasonal resident. Is that a problem?

No, as long as you keep your student informed. If you are out for more than four consecutive weeks (we have quite a number of seasonal tutors) you are required to call the office in advance.

My student wants me to complete personal (business/legal/etc.) forms. What do I do?

If done occasionally this may not be a problem. However, if it becomes a habit inform the student gently that you are not there to help him/her in personal matters but to help him/her improve his/her literacy skills.