HTM Blog

Connecting learning and community.

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



Last week, I posted the practical tips for new volunteers on their first day.  But here's my ​real​ advice for volunteers starting out: 

- Come ready to learn. You'll teach better and enjoy it more.  And there's so much to learn from the experience.

- Come ready to listen, question, encourage - not lecture or dispense facts.

- Come ready to connect. It takes a lot for a student to ask for help. Make the first move, strike up a conversation, find a human connection, connect the academics to their lives or interests (The learning will be richer and easier) 

- Come ready to be surprised -- by what people don't know, by what they do know, by what they do with whatever it is they do or don't know. (Be surprised, but bring your poker face, surprise can easily look like judgement)

- Come ready to improvise. Call it universal design, or multiple intelligences or just human diversity, different things (explanations, methods, tactics, tutoring styles) work for different learners. And you never know for sure which will work with your student until you're trying it. 

- Mostly, come ready to be impressed, inspired. Our students are awesome, our classes are warm welcoming places where magic (read: learning) happens. 



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Tuesday, 07 December 2021

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