Tutors and Trainers

Tutors work in various capacities. Many elementary schools, high schools, and for-profit schools employ tutors to help in the instruction of their students. Tutors encourage the understanding of standard school subjects such as reading and math, assist with questions regarding homework, and work to improve a student's level of literacy. More importantly, tutors help students develop good learning habits. Many tutors associated with schools are paid employees; most have college degrees applicable to the subjects they tutor, for example a degree in education, mathematics, or English.

Tutors may also find positions with community organizations, such as the YMCA, which has locations throughout the United States, or local special interest groups. Since many of these operations are nonprofit, tutors are paid a small hourly wage, or, more often, volunteer.

Colleges and universities also hire tutors to help students. The Office of Student Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, for example, hires tutors to work with its student athletes. Tutors are assigned to help student athletes gain a better understanding of their courses, and in the end become more organized and independent learners. Academic success is important for all students, but more so with student athletes, since grades determine their athletic eligibility.

Mentors are specialized tutors who go beyond educational help and serve as advisers and role models for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds or others who may be new to a career or field of study.

Trainers work for educational centers, schools, and advocacy groups. They provide orientation, instruction, and scheduling for tutors, mentors, and other volunteers. Trainers prepare prospective tutors by teaching the basic concepts of tutoring, such as setting goals, lesson planning, communication skills, and positive reinforcement. They may also suggest different techniques based on the personality or age level of the student. For example, they may recommend that the tutor incorporate study with playtime for young children, and the use of multimedia technology with adults.

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