Tutor tips for the end of the session

Saying goodbye to each child
The last day of tutoring is quickly approaching in May. Saying goodbye can be hard. You've worked together for an entire semester or an entire school year. You've developed a bond and have made progress week by week. In this blog post, you'll find tips to help the children transition to when they'll no longer be seeing you for tutoring each week. Additionally, you'll find tips to encourage "reading for fun" over the summer to retain reading skills. 

We encourage each of you to prepare yourself and your student for the end of tutoring in a postive, continuous learning manner. Here are some tips: 

  1. Beginning now, focus the child on his or her reading goal to earn the "Super Reader" cape that he or she can take home. Recognize their efforts and point out the progress they are making.
  2. Affirm the childs strengths. Specifically describe what you learned about your student and from your student.
  3. Talk about good memories with the child... "Remember when [fill in the blank]." Ask them which was their favorite book that you read together.
  4. Ask the child to reflect on what they gained out of tutoring. Ask them open-ended questions. Focus on one question at a time, and leave time for the child to talk. It's important for children to own their own reading growth. Affirm the child's response and provide encouragement. Here are some reflection questions you might ask:
    • What was your favorite thing we did in tutoring this year? What else do you remember that we worked on? Do you think it helped you be a better reader? How do you know?
    • Are there things that were hard for you to do at the beginning of the year that are easier now? Like what?
    • Think about the beginning of the year. How did you feel about reading? How do you feel now?
  1. Go over specific instances of growth you've seen in the child this past year in terms of his or reading skills, motivation, or even other learning. You can say, "Look how far you've come! When we started, you didn't know [fill in the blank]. Today, you know how to [fill in the blank]. Be very specific and focus on multiple areas of growth if at all possible. Share with the child how many letter names, letter sounds or sight words they have mastered since the beginning of the year, and how many reading levels they have advanced.
  2. Ask the child what he or she will do this summer to practice the reading skills acquired this past year. Provide some tips: 
    1. Read and reread the books that were given to you by East Side Learning Center this year. 
    2. Practice writing.
    3. Ask your parents or caregivers to take you to the library. It's free to get a library card and borrow books, use computers, and do fun activities. The library right up the street has summer reading programs for children, crafts, and a lot of activities you can do this summer. 
    4. Ask your parents or caregivers to check out summer enrichment programs. There are fun, free programs available - for example, the Summer Blast program through Saint Paul Parks and Recreation.
  3. Ask the child to join you at the "Super Reader Celebration," so you can meet his or her family. 
  4. On the last day, remind the child of his or her growth and strengths. Give them a lot of positive feedback to build confidence. Children may want to know if you are returning to tutor again next year: answer them honestly. Whether or not they are in tutoring again, students often like to check back to see if their tutors from previous years are still at ESLC.

As a reminder, we ask that tutors do not give gifts to individual students gifts, because it causes hurt feelings for other students. East Side Learning Center gives each child a book eight times per year. We will be giving away another book the last day of tutoring as well as the "Super Hero Celebration" on April 26. In lieu of giving to an individual child, we invite you to consider supporting all of the students in learning to read by giving a gift to ESLC in the form of books, school supplies, prizes, or a financial donation.