Welcoming (Back)

It's (almost) back to school time. For kids, certainly and, gratifyingly for our adult learners too (although their break was often a little longer, and generally a lot less like a vacation). But also, for volunteers coming back to HTM. For many, the break was the summer. Classes ended in June, they'll be back. in September; it's the rhythm of the...
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Observing

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" &n...
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Updating

It's been a rush of a fall. And in the day to day of it, it can be hard to pull back and look at the big picture of how it's going. But, I found a few minutes to do it, recently. And this is what I saw: When I look at this data --  one of my first impulses is to quibble and minimize. (Maybe you share this challenge too?) But a second...
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Tutor of the Year

When I asked for nominations, I knew I was setting myself up for a difficult decision. The Tutor of the Year nominees include brand new volunteers, and those who have been here longer than I have. They work with ESOL and High School Equivalency classes. They are young professionals and retirees, male and female. And they are all -- as exp...
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Beyond "Who needs help?"

It's nice when we're all on the same page, even if that page has more than a few question marks on it. At our community gathering last weekend, David raised a topic that's been rattling around my brain and my conversations with other teachers and other volunteer coordinators all year: How can a volunteer know which students to help? And when? In so...
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What it really takes

Last week I shared an infographic about the application process for our volunteers. The requirements really are requirements. And those steps really are the steps in the process.But, that's not really what it takes. When I'm doing that interview, those references for, I'm really looking (well, listening) for…. Someone who works and communicates we...
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How do I become a tutor?

​I get a lot of email from kind, enthusiastic people who would like to contribute to the community asking how, exactly, does one become a tutor? The short answer: Email me. There are steps, but I'll walk you through them. The longer answer: Here's an infographic What it takes: We make individual placements of volunteers in a particular classr...
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Appreciation

When I first started in adult ed as a tutor, the other volunteer in the class was an Amherst College student. She was there as part of a course in the English Department at Amherst . The students read, write and think about education, then see it in action as volunteers. The partnership continues, although my role has changed a bit. Now, a cou...
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New Tutors

Each year, we are fortunate to welcome back some volunteers from the previous year, and to welcome some who are new. This school year, we started with a particularly large and strong cohort of new tutors  (Almost half of our current tutors, as it turns out)ProcessFor each new tutor there's an initial flurry of inquiries, emails, questions, the...
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