Thursday, August 06, 2009

Preparing to be a mentor or tutor

While school does not start for another few weeks, and mentors and tutors may not be matched with kids until mid September, now is a good time for volunteers and leaders to be doing their own learning, so they are better prepared to be a mentor and tutor this coming school year.

Here are some links to sections of our web site, which have links to other web sites where you can build your skills.

• Tutor Training links

• Mentor Training links

• Various types of tutor/mentor programs in other cities -

This last link is important because we point to tutor/mentor programs and support networks in other parts of the country, not just Chicago. If leaders and volunteers learn to benchmark what they do in their own program with what others do in their programs, you can begin to see opportunities for constant improvement.

If someone else is doing something that seems to work, why not try to implement it in your own program. If someone else has great training materials on their own site, why not use these for your own volunteer learning.

Here's an example. I lead the Cabrini Connections tutor/mentor program in Chicago. On our web site we provide information to coach our own students and volunteers. Some of this is reference material, such as volunteer handbooks and procedures. Some of it is weekly coaching, such as our email newsletter.

If you're operating a tutor/mentor program with the same goals as Cabrini Connections, you could coach your own volunteers using the material we post every week on our own site.

If you look at dozens of web sites of other programs, you will have an even wider range of information to draw from in making your program the best in your city, and in the country.

No comments: