Become A Tutor
Our 100+ volunteer tutors are your friends, neighbors and relatives who are contributing to our community by helping others help themselves.
No prior teaching or tutoring experience is necessary. We will train you to become a literacy tutor to adults and we will support you after you have been matched with a learner who has shown the interest and initiative to enroll in our program. Check out our calendar for a complete list of training dates and locations.
Please see our Tutor FAQ’s below for more information.
You will be paired with a learner at the end of the Tutor Training Workshop.
We encourage tutors to meet with learners at public locations such as libraries and community rooms. Locations should be convenient and accessible to both parties. There is also private space available at our Albany and Troy locations.
Yes, LVORC has a resource library for tutors. Our staff can help you to locate additional resources and answer questions about tutoring. A Tool Kit for Tutors and Learners is available on our website. In addition, all LVORC volunteers can attend any of the professional development workshops for tutors offered by the Regional Adult Education Network. You can meet other tutors and enhance your skills at free trainings offered by professionals in the field of Adult Literacy. To view a calendar of training and professional development workshops for volunteers, visit www.capitalnorthraen.org
Each volunteer tutor may select their student from a list of prospective students containing basic information. Volunteers may select one or more learners. LVORC may have up to 30 students waiting for tutors at any given time. Please consider instructing a small group to accomodate more students.
We ask tutor trainees to pay a fee of $35 to cover the cost of a text book and supplemental materials. If the fee presents a hardship, scholarship money is available to cover the cost of the materials.
All of the trainings are available through online modules. Staff will also assist in helping you with anything you missed.
We offer a hybrid training that includes a combination of in-person and online training. It is recommended to participate in both types of training so you get to meet staff and your fellow tutors.
The Tutor Training Workshop consists of two 3-hour in-person sessions, two self-paced online courses, which are approximately 5 hours each, and one to two follow up Zoom meetings. The two online courses are Reading Basics 2.0 and Language Basics 2.0. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about, practice, and discuss the process of tutoring a Basic Literacy Learner (BLL) and an English Language Learner (ELL).
If a volunteer wishes to tutor in math, we would ask them to take two other online courses Math Basics 2.0 and Numeracy and meet with staff prior to being matched with an adult math learner.
The training sessions will give you valuable information about the way adults learn and will prepare you to use appropriate techniques for teaching adults. By the end of the training, you will be able to use a number of successful strategies with learners, create lesson plans based on your learner’s abilities and interests, and help your learner set realistic goals.
Our learners come from all walks of life. About one-third of our learners are American-born adults who need to improve their reading, writing, math, and computer skills. The remaining two-thirds are immigrants and refugees who are learning to speak English often for the first time. Students live in Albany, Rensselaer and Schenectady counties. Students each have personal goals for why they want to learn English. It could be to gain employment, become a citizen, or talk to their child’s teacher. Each learner is unique.
No, we will train you. We ask tutor trainees to have at least a high school diploma or a GED. You will need to fill out a volunteer application form and provide two references.
By Nina Halebsky
There are so many reasons why tutoring is a rewarding experience. First and foremost is the appreciation a student shows when they realize they are able to make progress toward their literacy goals. How valuable it is for them to have a special relationship with someone who can focus with them on their specific learning needs. Being patient, being available, being their ally is gratifying and a gift for both tutor and student. It is a way of demonstrating that all people deserve getting the help they need. If I can give back to someone in this way, I feel I have contributed to their sense of dignity and supported them to better themselves. As a teacher who has worked with regular and special needs children for over 10 years, I now sometimes have the privilege of assisting adults who continue to need support. Literacy barriers can be true obstacles for adults, but with the motivation to be productive, an adult student will approach literacy learning with an added sense of urgency and interest. This makes the job of tutor especially valuable.
Sharing a sense of accomplishment and providing encouragement for successes big and small keeps me motivated to continue. Finally, I truly enjoy getting to know my students as people, and we look forward to spending time together.