"Often, when I am reading a good book,
I stop and thank my teacher.
That is, I used to, until she got an unlisted number."
Volunteer Tutor Programs: Why?
The number of people needing to improve basic education skills in math and reading, to prepare for the GED exam or other kinds of qualifying exams, and the sky rocketing need for English language instruction has overstretched Adult Basic Education programs around the country. Recruiting and training volunteer tutors has become a widely accepted and utilized method of meeting the needs of increased student numbers.
Volunteer tutors provide the additional time and energy to work with students, usually on a one to one basis, but sometimes with a group, depending on a program’s need and the tutor’s preferences. The relationship between tutor and student can be a rewarding one for both participants. The following quote from a tutor in Washington sums up the experience:
“I knew nothing about teaching and little about adult learning. But twice a week, over a 3 year period, I tutored a small group of learners. At first I felt so uncertain; sure I would say the wrong thing or teach the wrong way. As our relationships and trust developed, I realized that we were exploring learning together. I didn’t need to have all the answers. I didn’t need to know everything there was to know about learning to read and write or learn English. The learners and I took risks together. They improved and so did my tutoring. I’m not sure who learned more. We were on a journey together.”