Since I didn’t have any classes this week, I got put in charge of facilitating the tutor training on Tuesday and Thursday night. If you don’t know, our training is 12 hours long. Volunteers come to two training sessions and then observe one classroom before they’re matched with a student. So…basically, they got to listen to me drone on for hour upon hour.
While I’ve facilitated tutor training a couple of times before, I’ve forgotten how much material we have to cover. The first day’s the worst (and by worst I hope you or the tutors I just got done training don’t equate that with boring–man, I try to be entertaining). It’s not that we’re merely tossing useless information at them. The first day introduces them to what we do as a program and some characteristics of the students that they’ll end up working with. There’s just so much information to cover, and there’s only so interactive you can make it be.
Now, the second day was a little more interactive and, I hope, more engaging. I reviewed the concepts of phonics with them (to be honest, not my strongest area), but the parts that I found were more successful were the reading strategies that I modelled for them. Don’t worry. I’m not going to bore you with the particulars. If you want to hear about the strategies, I’ll tell you about them another time. But of all the topics I covered, I felt that they were the most successful.
Now, of course, you could say that it’s because it’s what I felt most comfortable. That’s true, but I think that it was more than that. The reason that I think it was the most successful was the fact the it was applicable. The strategies gave them activities they could employ immediately when they got their student. Of course, activities have always been part of the tutor training manual. I guess I now know that I’ll want to make sure to include more applicable modelling the next time I do it. Live and let learn.