Frequently Asked Questions
What must I do to qualify?
You are eligible for America Reads and Counts at NYU if:
- You have a Federal Work Study allotment. You can check this with the Office of Financial Aid.
- You have time to participate in this program. Look at your schedule and see if you have time to participate in the program. There is a work schedule on the website that you can look at to see how scheduling is done. Remember to leave 30 minutes on each side for travel. So if you have a class that ends at 10 and another that begins at 12, don't plan to work for America Reads and Counts from 10 - 12 on that day; in reality, you can only plan on 10:30 - 11:30, so that would not be a permissible 2 hour block.
Am I guaranteed a job?
No. However, if you sign up promptly for an orientation, the chances are good that you will be offered a job. Twenty years of experience has shown us that NYU students are extremely effective and reliable America Reads and Counts tutors, and very few applicants fail to qualify. You will know very shortly after the Orientation whether you are selected, and will receive your school assignment very shortly thereafter.
Do I have to have any special experience to qualify for this job? Do I have to be in a teacher training program?
No. We have found that students from all NYU colleges, studying virtually every subject offered at the University, can make fine tutors, whatever their experience to date. What is needed most is commitment, reliability and enjoying children.
How far are the sites from campus?
In New York City, distance is often less important than the availability of transportation. So a school relatively far away, but close to a subway line, may be a more convenient assignment than one close, but "crosstown" rather than up or down town (i.e., you'll need to walk, bike or take a bus rather than a subway.) Virtually no tutors have declined or left assignments because the distance or travel time is too great; it's an engaging, rewarding and well-paid job. Most sites require between 10 and 40 minutes travel time each way. You will always be assigned to a school in Manhattan, unless you request work in Brooklyn (many jobs) or The Bronx (very few jobs.) Unless you have specific language abilities (notably Chinese), or have a valid reason for wanting a school (which will be explained at the Orientation), you will receive a random assignment. You may not request specific locations, but must work where you are assigned. If you continue in the program for a second year (as the great majority of eligible students do; several are now entering their fourth year), you may request a change of assignment (although, again, few tutors do so. Most tutors become part of their school community and want to stay there.) You should expect to work in your assigned school both semesters.
Do I have to work over NYU holidays?
No. You may take all University holidays, and you can take off days when you need to study, have exams coming up, are sick, etc. However, our expectation is that you will inform your teacher when you are not able to work. Many tutors like to work in the schools when NYU is on break (especially over the Winter and Spring Recesses), since the public schools are open and they can work virtually full-time if they desire. But that will be up to you. We give you great flexibility in when you work; but we do expect you to work when you say you are going to, and to be sure to notify your teacher when you will be absent.
What kind of work will I do? Will I always be in a classroom setting?
Tutors are deployed by their teachers in a variety of ways, but tutor feedback indicates that the greatest use of tutors is one-on-one with students identified by the classroom teacher as needing additional help; however, you will be working with that child in a classroom setting, not in a private setting; your teacher will always be present in the room where you are working. Most classrooms are set up so a tutor can work privately with a student or a small group of students while other classroom activities go on. In the classroom, you may also be assigned to work with small groups or larger groups.
What if I am unhappy with the work I am assigned by my teacher, or don't get along with my teacher?
Your role is to provide academic assistance to students, under the direction and supervision of a teacher. This may take many forms. But your role is not to be a clerical, administrative or disciplinary aide to the teacher. Of course, everyone pitches in at times to make a classroom run smoothly, so you may occasionally be asked to help our with clerical tasks, make copies, straighten the room, etc. But if these are the primary tasks your teacher is giving you, you need to discuss your proper role with the teacher. You should never disobey or disagree with your teacher in front of students, parents or other teachers, but should find time for a private talk with the teacher. If you are not able to resolve the problem with your teacher, you can speak to the principal or America Reads coordinator who assigned you to the teacher, or you can contact us and we will help resolve the situation. If you don't get along with your teacher, or are not treated respectfully, again: try to resolve it in a private conversation or let us know about the problem. Do not wait until the end of the year then complain about situations like these. They are uncommon but they do occur. Let us know about it as it is happening and we'll help you. We do not want you to be unhappy or poorly used in this job. If necessary, we will change your assignment.
Are there afterschool hours when I can work?
Many schools do have afterschool programs, and if that's the case with your school, and you are available and interested in working in that time, you may do so. However, these hours do not count toward satisfying your regular weekly obligation. You must satisfy 8 hours during the regular school day (8:30 - 3:00), and work at least 2 hours on at least 2 days, in order to work in an afterschool program. We do not know which schools have afterschool programs, whether they have them from year to year, and on which days they might have them. So we cannot consider afterschool opportunities when assigning you to a school. You should regard afterschool work as a special opportunity that may be available if you're lucky, but you should not count on such work for income or for fulfilling your work requirements.
Can you check my financial aid status and tell me if I qualify and for how much?
No. This is your responsibility. However, if you received a letter from us about the program, you probably do qualify. If not, you need to ask Financial Aid yourself. In all cases, it is important that you are absolutely certain that you have a work-study allotment, and that you know how much it is. The number at Financial Aid is (212) 998-4444.
Will I need any special documents, etc.?
Yes. You will need to obtain an On-Campus Student Employee Application. In order to do so, you will need to go to the Wasserman Center for Career Development with the appropriate documentation.
Where can I pick up blank timesheets or extra copies of work schedules?
You can pick up blank timesheets or extra copies of workschedules at the America Reads mailbox in the lobby of 25 West 4th Street and at Dibner Library, Room 223 at the Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn.
What other trainings and clearances will I need?
As part of the NYU Protection of Minors Policy, all NYU America Reads/America Counts tutors must successfully complete the university’s online Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Training before they can begin their work. This online training will be included in the Orientation sessions of both new and returning tutors.
In addition, all NYU America Reads/America Counts tutors are required to be in compliance with the clearance procedures of the NYC Department of Education in order to work within our participating schools and classrooms. Further instructions on these procedures will be provided to you by NYU staff upon acceptance into the America Reads/America Counts program.