Tips for Teachers: Working with Tutors
Below are some helpful tips for teachers working with NYU America Reads and Counts tutors.
- This is a paid, work-study program, not a volunteer program. Tutors are expected to make a regular schedule and to follow it. If tutors are not reliable or not helpful, they should be reported to us and we will take corrective action.
- Your tutor is required to work out a mutually agreeable Work Schedule with you. Once you have both signed this Work Schedule, please keep a copy. Expect the tutor to honor the schedule.
- If your needs leave the tutor with empty blocks of time, help the tutor schedule work with other teachers. The tutor needs to work to earn money.
- Tell the tutor what to do if he or she is going to be absent (call the office, email you, etc.). If you want, give them your home or cell phone number and get theirs.
- Be aware that tutors may have holidays, spring breaks, exam periods that are different from the public schools'. (Click here for a link to the NYU calendar.) Make sure that they are aware of your calendar and ask them to keep you informed of theirs. This is especially true for unusual days when the school might be closed (eg, for a staff development day).
- Tell the tutor how you want him or her to enter the class; interact with the students, etc.
- Tell the tutor what you DO NOT want the tutor to do.
- Help make the tutor aware of school protocols, classroom protocols, location of restrooms, teachers' room, etc.
- Ask if the tutor has special interests or skills (music, drama, art) that might help you in the classroom.
- Introduce the tutor to your class. Tell the class his or her name, where the tutor is from, something about the tutor.
- Tell the class what the tutor's purpose is.
- Don't describe the tutor's role in a way that will have negative implications for students working with the tutor.
- Don't give the tutor assignments in such a way that working with the tutor has negative implications.
- Tutors may help students with any academic activity--individually or in groups--that you assign them to do.
- Tutors should not be assigned clerical, administrative, housekeeping or disciplinary tasks. They are there to help with academics.
- Never leave your tutor alone with students. They must always work in the presence of a teacher.
- You may not use your tutor as a substitute teacher
- Tutors may have lunch with the students or accompany them to the playground, but they may not be the person in charge of students. There must always be an adult professional present.
- Try to have clear, systematic tasks for the tutor at each session.
- Where possible, plan your activities to maximize the use of the tutor's schedule.
- Have lunch with the tutor, when possible and appropriate. Use the time to discuss children, make plans, etc.
- Make sure the tutor learns the children's names.
- Tutors are instructed to dress in a manner that shows respect for the students, teachers and others in the school. They are instructed not to wear hats in the building, not to use iPods, etc. and to turn off cell phones while in the building. If tutors violate these instructions, please feel free to correct them, or to inform us if it continues. If necessary, we will terminate the tutor's participation in this program. Please let us know if and as problems present themselves rather than waiting until the end of the year.
Timesheets must be completed accurately and submitted in a timely manner for your verification. You should refuse to sign any timesheet that does not accurately reflect the actual time the tutor was in the school working. Tutors who have lunch with their students or with you may put that time on the timesheet. If they have lunch out of the school, or in the school but not with you or students, they may not put this time on their timesheet. They must submit these timesheets to you for your verification in a timely manner. You should refuse to sign any timesheet that is presented to you too long after the time period for you to know with certainty if the time shown is accurate. You MUST be given the yellow carbon copy of any timesheet you sign, and must keep these copies for the entire school year, in case a tutor’s work later needs to be verified. If a tutor does not give you a copy of the timesheet, or presents it to you more than two weeks after the Pay Period end date, you should notify us.