Tutoring Adolescent Literacy Learners: A Guide for Volunteers

Tutoring Adolescent Literacy Learners: A Guide for Volunteers

Tutoring Adolescent Literacy Learners: A Guide for Volunteers

Tutoring Adolescent Literacy Learners: A Guide for Volunteers

Excerpt

Welcome to Tutoring Adolescent Literacy Learners: A Guide for Volunteers. If you’re about to begin this book, you’re probably also about to embark on an adventure as a tutor of adolescents. We wish you luck in this endeavor and hope that our text, like the best of the travel guides we’ve used on vacations, will provide you with a detailed sense of what you might encounter on your journey, while leaving plenty of space for you to make your own choices about how to proceed. Just as travel can do, we expect that tutoring will expand your mind, lead to new realizations about yourself, and help you connect with people whose experiences may have been very different from your own.

To extend the travel metaphor, this introductory chapter is meant to provide you with a road map for the pages that follow. Here we outline the format of the book and tell you a little bit about how we envision its use. Before we do that, however, we want to briefly introduce ourselves as authors, so you’ll have a sense of whose voices you’re hearing as you read. We work closely together as colleagues at Syracuse University. Before becoming professors, we taught English, reading, and social studies to adolescent students. Now we teach college courses in literacy methods to prospective and practicing teachers. Our offices are side by side in the Syracuse Reading and Language Arts Center, making it possible for us to have had many conversations about this book and its progress while standing in our doorframes (and often procrastinating about our other responsibilities).

In addition to extensive work with adolescents and their teachers, we bring a good deal of experience with literacy tutoring to this project. Kelly began recruiting and training tutors when she served as the codirector of House and Neighborhood Development (HAND), Harvard’s campuswide community service program for undergraduates. While teaching at Noble High School in Berwick, Maine, she piloted a peer tutoring program that provided support for struggling learners during their study halls. At Syracuse University she proposed, and now teaches, a course on literacy across the curriculum that requires undergraduates in seven dif-

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