Monthly Archives: February 2018

TSNE’s Effective Supervision Workshop

As many of you know, Third Sector New England is the non-profit organization that supports T4A’s human resources, financial planning, and administrative duties. We’ve been partnered with them for nearly 10 years! They’ve helped us grow in so many ways, including through workshops and events.

In honor of TSNE’s Effective Supervision Workshop held yesterday, we’d like to share a bit about what we’ve gained from attending (through the eyes of Sahar, our Program and Marketing Manager):

Could you tell me a bit about the workshop itself?

The Effective Supervision workshop was led by TSNE MissionWorks speakers Lyn Freundlich and Joanne Horgan, and featured a balance of presentation and activities, such as worksheets, workplace scenarios, and roleplay and observation. We learned about the ways we can interact with the employees we supervise, based on our own behaviors, openness in our work environment, and management styles, and the ways in which our employees want to be supervised. What was most surprising to me was the number of people who attended who weren’t part of TSNE MissionWorks or the Nonprofit Center. I think that just goes to show what kind of reach the organization has, and the kind of influence it’s had, and has the potential to have, on other organizations.

Most if not all of the core Tutors for All staff have attended the workshop in the past, and I was more than happy to join them!

What were some of the main takeaways from last years’ ES Workshop, and how have you been applying them in tutorial?

A lot of the main takeaways from the workshop were similar to the practices we already employ within the organization, which I’d think is in no small part due to the fact that our core staff has participated in it before. A weekly meeting with an agenda for each person you supervise was certainly something I noticed, and something I’ve participated in ever since I started working with T4A a few years ago. Needless to say, I think it’s something I’m starting to expect of other organizations and workplaces as well.

Still, I have to say I learned a lot about the different levels of supervision, depending on how much free rein your employee would prefer, and where I fall on that spectrum. It definitely made it easier for me to identify where the people I supervise (both tutors and associates/coordinators) fall as well, and gave me the tools I needed to adapt my supervision style accordingly. With a new tutor, for instance, I may watch very closely and give them every step on how to set up and lesson plan for the day; with an associate I’ve worked with for a long time, though, I may just give them an assignment I know they’re familiar with, and act as a sounding board or a facilitator throughout the process.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience?

My favorite part of the workshop was definitely the way the tables were set up; each table was covered in large drawing paper, and featured legos, pipe cleaners, markers, crayons, etc. Lyn and Joanne encouraged us to use them if we were the type of people who needed something to do with our hands (like craft or doodle) while we listened, which also discouraged us from using our phones for the entirety of the day. As someone who tends to fidget for a multitude of reasons, this was incredibly helpful for me, and I was actually more productive while doodling and playing with a fidget spinner than I would have been if I’d been expected to just sit there and watch Powerpoints all day.

High Quality Oversight: a Look Into Our Tutor Recruitment Process

To wrap up recruitment for this semester, we’d like to share the ins and outs of our tutor search, interview, and hiring procedures. If you’re thinking about working with us, don’t worry – we’re still accepting applications!

Why is this so important, anyway? A well-designed recruitment and evaluation process is a key contributor to highly effective tutorial! More specifically, it falls within high quality oversight.

Before the beginning of each semester, we begin our recruitment campaigns. These primarily go out via emails directly to students and alums, past tutors, educators/education professionals, and friends. Additionally, social media allows us to connect with potential tutors who may have found us first. We also utilize student employment services and portals at local institutions, and attend collegiate job fairs.

With all this going on in the background, one of the most powerful recruitment agents is word of mouth. Tutors who’ve had memorable experiences working with us tell their friends and partake in our referral program. Not to mention, our staff members are really enthusiastic about spreading the word to anyone who may be interested!

Next, we review any applications we received and make note of candidates who seem like a good fit. We’ll contact selected applicants and schedule them for an interview.

When it comes to the interview process, there are usually one of two ways that staff members will carry it out:

  • One is to provide an informational presentation that details the big picture (such as the T4A mission, history, and results), and program protocols, such as lesson planning, tutor responsibilities, and ways to track student progress
  • Alternatively, staff may treat the hiring process like a traditional interview, asking questions about prospective tutors’ previous experience, study habits, and time management.

In either case, we get a good sense of prospective tutors’ dedication to the job and to our expectations of them, and use our best judgment to make a final decision. We also make sure to have our tutors fill out a CORI form that serves as a background check, decide on a program at which to serve during the interview, and pass on our final decision to the Recruitment Team.

From there, the Recruitment Team emails out a Tutor Information Sheet for the tutors’ desired program(s), which is how our Program Managers get in contact with tutors to set them up for the training and orientation sessions that occur the week before program begins.

And, that’s it! We believe that ensuring potential tutors commitment to their roles as mentors leads to greater tutor-student progress in the long run and helps foster meaningful connections. Here’s to a fantastic start of the semester!

February 2018 Tutor/Student(s) Spotlight: Luis, Veronica, and Pallav!

This month, our Tutor Student(s) Spotlight features tutor Pallav and Luis and Veronica, two high school students in our Codman Program! These three have learned so much about multiplying and about themselves. We recently had a chance to ask them about their experiences at tutorial:Pallav (Tutor)

What have you learned from your students in tutorial?

They effort they put day in and day out for every packet that I give is something that I personally lack.

What do you like most about tutorial?

The thing I love most about tutorial is my 10th grade students. The effort, the dedication makes me want to teach them more.

Have your students ever done anything creative or really funny? What was it?

Students have always been cooperative and I never had to face any backlash with them.

What else would you like people to know about your students?

The students initially didn’t want to sit in the tutorial, but they really stepped up once they realized it could help them. Veronica, in fact, got a 90% on her first LTA.

Luis and Veronica (Students)

What did you think when you first met your tutor? How did you feel?

Luis: When I first met him, I didn’t want to be in tutorial. But, once I started to do my work, he became really supportive. It feels good to have someone who wants to help me.

Veronica: [I thought] it wasn’t necessary. I didn’t want to be there.

What is one thing you like about your tutor?

Luis: He’s willing to help me understand the question and be a good support system when it comes down to math.

Veronica: There are easier steps to solve math problems.

Tell me at least one thing your tutor has taught you.

Luis: Not to give up on myself.

Veronica: [He] taught me how to solve GCF or LCF in an easier way.

Would you recommend tutorial to any of your friends?

Luis: Yes.

Veronica: Yes – it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.