PRACTICAL TIPS FOR TUTORS/MENTORS
- Remember that you don’t have to be an “authority” or an “expert.” Rather, you can consider yourself a partner in a mutual learning process that, at best, is beneficial to both you and those with whom you come in contact.
- Balance desires and realistic expectations. Keep alive your desire to be helpful and to make a difference in the world. However, remember that the issues which people face are complex and multifaceted, and whole solutions may require a larger system of support. Also, keep in mind that change is a process that takes time, and each step in that process is worthwhile.
- Avoid creating a negative self-fulfilling prophecy. Realize that sometimes community learning experiences are accompanied by an initial questioning of your own values, privileges, and life experiences.
- Allow time for adjusting. Give yourself time, space, and support for your personal, emotional, and intellectual growth and adjustment during the community service process.
- Use recommended resources available to you. The better use you make of resources, the better prepared you will feel. Your professors, other staff, and experienced student colleagues may also recommend additional resources to you.
- Get advice when in doubt. When you are feeling personally responsible for an uncomfortable situation, or when you are feeling particularly bothered by something and are not sure whether to take it personally, or are not sure what to do about it, consult as soon as possible with one of your community learning advisers, administrators, professors, or counselors.
- Seek additional support when you need it. Reach out to those who are in place to assist you in the community service process. When you feel that you need to, seek the administrators, staff members, professors, and student colleagues who have made themselves available to listen and provide support.
- Communicate with your classroom teacher. Good communication between your program coordinator, classroom teacher, and yourself makes for a successful program.