Basic Philosophy of Tutoring

Understanding Your Role

Tutoring can be a very rewarding experience. It can give you the opportunity to make a real difference in a person’s life, and enrich your own. TLE will provide you with training, resources and on-going support.

Your goal in volunteering with The Learning Exchange is to tutor adults in essential literacy skills. This tutoring is accomplished through a series of successful learning experiences. These experiences give students a more positive self-image that is based on greater self-confidence, increased autonomy and improved competence.

Tutoring should be a relaxed, friendly experience. Be honest and sincere. Be yourself, take the time to be both patient and understanding… these qualities provide the basis for a good student-tutor relationship.

Tutoring vs. Teaching

At TLE, when a student is going to school, we work together with a student’s teacher or educational professional to benefit the student in his/her academic school life. If your student is registered in a class, TLE staff and volunteers must always respect the teacher’s guidelines and expectations. The important thing to remember is that the class teacher has the ultimate say over students’ grades, expectations and writing of pretests and/or exams. Tutors are asked to help students according to teachers’ expectations and guidelines, and to always avoid criticizing teachers. As a tutor you help to:

  • Promote independence in learning
  • Personalize the instruction
  • Increase understanding of concepts
  • Provide additional opportunity for follow-up activities and to discuss learning

Tutoring Responsibilities

Favorable characteristics:

  • Patience, gentleness, understanding and fairness
  • An open mind
  • A positive outlook
  • A desire to help others and share a skill or knowledge
  • Empathy
  • Initiative
  • Enthusiasm
  • Reliability
  • Confidence

Tutor’s Responsibilities:

  • Plan lessons
  • Create a trusting, learning atmosphere
  • Keep it friendly and casual but professional
  • Support individual learning
  • Ensure confidentiality
  • Help students become independent learners
  • Give assistance to help understand concepts and strategies
  • Help provide learners with the tools and structure needed to learn
  • Empower learners with skills, knowledge and confidence to do their own work
  • Teach how to self-correct and edit their own work
  • Inform student if a session can not be attended

Student’s Responsibilities:

  • Students should be prepared for the tutoring session: Bring previous papers or other work, textbooks, notes, handouts, and/or any current assignments
  • Review previously taught concepts beforehand for a more effective tutoring session
  • Students are responsible to do their own assignments and complete their course work themselves
  • Students are responsible for attending classes if they are registered in school
  • To attend scheduled sessions on time
  • Inform tutor if a session can not be attended

Making the Match


Matches between a student and tutor are made based on the following considerations:

  • Schedule and availability
  • Compatibility
  • Interests, experience, and skills
  • Requests

Match Reassignment

Both a tutor or student can recommend to terminate a match and be reassigned if the student or tutor is not fulfilling his/her responsibilities.

Common grounds for Match Reassignment/Termination:

Missed Appointments: The student or tutor has missed 2 or more appointments without a reasonable explanation or notice.

Student Responsibilities: The student repeatedly expects you to do his/her homework and/or assignments.

Tutor Responsibilities: The tutor is unable to give the assistance needed.

Possible Manipulation: The student or tutor is purposefully trying to manipulate you in some way. Discuss this with an administrator and together you will determine if a change is needed.

Inappropriate Behavior: The student or tutor acts in an inappropriate fashion that makes you feel uncomfortable. Bring this issue to an administrator or TLE staff member immediately.

IMPORTANT NOTE: At no time can a student or tutor request any exchange of fees for tutoring services. This is an immediate ground for termination and possible disaffiliation from The Learning Exchange.

Search TLE

Upcoming Events