HTM Blog

Connecting learning and community.

The Holyoke Tutor/Mentor program connects volunteers to adult education classes in Holyoke.



I'm spending much of this month observing our new-er tutors in action. (And I'm spending much of this spring meeting with other ABE staff to talk about observing and coaching)  So I've been thinking about what it is I hope I see, when I watch a volunteer in action.  

Which leads me to google "the difference between simple and easy"  Because, what I'm looking for isn't necessarily easy. (If, easy = requiring little effort. See, the need for 12 hours of training workshops, and everyone's real lived experience) But it is fairly simple.  (Simple = uncomplicated) 

A simple-but-not-easy checklist: 

More listening than talking.

More questions than statements.

(These are hard, but important)

Encouraging, motivating

(This comes more naturally, for most)

((Although, it takes some skill and practice to offer just the right encouragement:))

Engaging warmly.  (Both words matter)

(The tone is easy, except for those students or days, when it's Really.Not.)

((Being the one to engage, initiate, ask is harder for some of us))

Coaching and supporting a student

Resisting the temptation to give them the answer

(even though it's so much faster/easier/exactly what they wish we would do)

Staying (pt.1)
Thoughtful v.12: Supporting

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Saturday, 25 June 2022

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