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Friday, April 22, 2016

Tutor gifts

It's nearly the end of the school year, and tutoring is coming to an end.

I tutor at this local school, and I'm kind of sad that I probably won't be coming back next year. I am thinking about taking a break from tutoring while I'm finishing my own school. Plus, a break would allow me a fresh start at another school: while I like and appreciate the director of the volunteer program at this school, I disagree with her on some program points.
She's oriented to program completion, while I'm oriented to actual reading improvement. She would prefer students complete four workbook levels by the end of the school year and improve test scores by 15%, whereas I'd prefer they only do two or three workbooks if that allows me time to coach them to improve by 50%. A big piece of that improvement has to do with time actually spent reading, and a development of an enjoyment of reading. Under the previous director, we'd start the session reading a book aloud to each other, and the kids starting to really like to read. They finally got it that reading is fun! But now we've cut that portion out to ensure that we have time to finish the lesson. I miss the reading time, so when I get back to the program, I will discreetly ask to be assigned to another school.
Meanwhile, we were given these hilarious tutor appreciation gifts for their's a T-shirt with MY OWN PICTURE ON IT. Yeah, I don't get it either (even weirder: my student is in the picture too, and I'm pretty positive her mom didn't give permission for this!)


  1. Come help me next year!! I'll need a tutor! (That is, providing I *get* the job--a 5th grade ELA teaching position). I LOVE the school that I visited and interviewed at yesterday. Of the (few) schools I've toured here on my (FRUSTRATING) job search, this one is definitely all about what's best for the kids. Love of reading AND a 50% improvement rate is obviously what's best! Duh!

    I'm dying at that t-shirt. Man, I wish I could have seen your face when they presented it to you. Hahahaha.

    1. Good luck! I hope it's the job of your dreams!

  2. Oh Gracie, you are right on here!! yes yes! You are speaking my heart of hearts with literacy! Real books! Real reading of real books! Imagine that? Gosh, it's sad to see programs that are marching kids through busy work and drills and workbooks and one size fits all curriculum ...all the while, cutting out the parts that in my opinion are the most important... read aloud (enjoying literature together...this is often the spark!!), independent reading (in real books with a teacher to check in with them and have conversations with them and hear them read), etc. You've posted about maybe my most passionate topic (at least in my career) so I'll spare you and stop babbling on. But good for you... Loved reading you here.

  3. That is the weirdest gift ever.

  4. An article I read earlier today that might resonate with you:

  5. OK that's just goofy, the shirt and the director's take on things. The whole point of the tutoring should be to build skill and enjoyment and maximize improvement. Kudos to you for your involvement. It makes such a difference!

  6. Hahahahahaha. Sorry, but that's got to be the worst gift of appreciation ever.

  7. That is the weirdest gift. Who wants a shirt with their own picture on it? Or anyone's picture for that matter. That is really cool that you have been volunteering, though! What a great way to give back!