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Tutor Section


What do I do if my site is missing materials?

If you are missing Reading Road sections or PRI-provided materials, please send your coordinator an email as soon as possible so that he/she can replenish the materials. Your coordinator will do his or her best to keep the site stocked.

What do I do if my reader can’t read a word?

There are different strategies you can use. Sometimes it is helpful to cover part of the word with your finger and work on building the word sound by sound. Other times, you can look at similar words that rhyme. If the word is difficult to decode and doesn’t follow the rules and strategies your reader has learned you can simply tell your reader what it is.

What if I can’t tell if a word is read correctly?

Encourage your reader to use the word in a sentence. If he/she understands the meaning, but is pronouncing the word differently than you would, this is not a problem. Otherwise, correct your reader and work together on decoding the word.

What do I do if other kids ask me to tutor them?

Tell them that you will talk to your boss, and let your coordinator know that some kids in classroom X would like to be tutored. Your coordinator may ask their teacher if he/she recommends any additional students who could benefit from reading tutoring.

What do I do if my reader feels embarrassed about being tutored?

It is difficult but imperative to build and maintain your reader’s confidence. Please remind your reader that everyone has things that are hard for them and that even college students get tutored. Your reader should be proud of his/her hard work.

If other students ask why you’re working with their schoolmate, you can reply that your reader is helping you with a research project for your university. This is true. Then remind your reader that there is nothing wrong with being tutored.

If your reader expresses that he/she is embarrassed by your coming to his or her classroom, you can speak to the office about picking up your reader there. Explain the situation and ask if it would be possible for them to call the student down when you arrive for your sessions. Make sure to let the teacher know if this is going to happen.

What do I do if my reader is absent?

Absence is frequently an issue, so we recommend that you always bring something to do in case your reader is not there. Make sure that whatever you are doing is not distracting to other reading groups. For example, among our readers, there tends to be a great interest in cell phones and other electronic devices. Therefore, if you must use yours, please try to be discreet. Bringing a book to read sets a great example. If you find yourself without a reader and without something to do, we recommend that you familiarize yourself further with the Reading Road.

What do I do if my reader discloses personal information to me that makes me concerned about his or her safety?

Please be aware that every reader’s situation is different. Many readers have wonderful home lives, while others face very difficult issues outside of school. Some of their parents may be absent, for reasons such as incarceration or death. Many readers might not reliably have a place to stay.

While you will probably develop a great friendship with your reader, your role is first and foremost that of a tutor. If your reader should reveal something that is upsetting, but not dangerous, an appropriate response is compassion, not pity or shock. Do not pry and do not bring up the topic yourself later. While we encourage you to support your reader and develop a positive relationship with him/her, there are issues that we are not equipped to deal with and a natural reaction of shock or pity could be unintentionally hurtful to your reader.

If your reader confides in you something that poses a risk to his or her safety such as abuse or molestation, immediately report all of the details to your coordinator. Your coordinator will contact the appropriate authorities. Please be discreet and respect your reader’s privacy.

What do I do if my reader isn’t cooperative?

Please be aware that your reader’s challenges with reading may be related to behavioral issues that could reveal themselves in your tutoring sessions. If your reader politely refuses to do activities or lessons, ask why he/she doesn’t like them. If possible, make a compromise that does not sacrifice the educational material. If your reader is not behaving, remind him/her, without using threats, that he/she can and must be well behaved to continue being a part of the program. It is important to maintain respect on both sides. If you feel extremely frustrated with your reader, please return him/her early to his or her classroom. Simply say that today is not working out, and you will see them during your next scheduled time.