In Your First Year of Service

Returning Pre-K Tutor, Minetre Martin, celebrates her student’s success during the 2014-2015 school year.

The first year of service is a exciting, powerful, and often demanding learning experience. In your first year as a tutor, you are implementing new material and trying to navigate an unfamiliar environment, while continually learning lessons on how to do this in a way that will make the most profound impact. 

Each tutoring experience is unique, but all share the common themes of hard work, dedication to detail, and the development of a strong bond with the students you serve. The following pieces of guidance from returning 2014-2015 Metro D.C. tutors will serve as a good basis to start off the year strong and give your best to those who need it the most.

  • Use that first week at your school site to make connections. Help teachers set up their rooms. Decorate bulletin boards. Be there to help. While you’re working on projects together you can share more information about Reading Corps.
    • Sarah Kelly, K-3 Tutor – Truesdell Education Campus


  • Focus on building relationships with teachers, administrators, other people in your school, and, most importantly, your students. This could be as easy as asking someone how their weekend was or making sure to be there every day to pick up your students. In the end, this will help you and your students have the most positive and fulfilling experience possible.
    • Jamie Segerson, K-3 Tutor – Orr Elementary School


  • Your experience is what you make it! It’s a lot of work. It really is. If at any point you don’t feel challenged, then you’re not doing your job. Don’t expect miracles. Be patient, open minded and flexible. Also, do not cheat yourself of a learning experience. If growing as a person and working hard to help improve the lives of other people is something that is vital to you, then it is an invaluable opportunity. Last year was a soul satisfying adventure and an extraordinary challenge.
    • Johana Elangwe, K-3 Tutor – Orr Elementary School


  • Try to get a majority of your extra service hours at your school site. Going the extra mile to be involved in your school community helps you and your students get the most out of this experience. Stay after school for sports games, music concerts, dances, celebrations, etc. This doesn’t mean you have to give up all your free time, but try to attend one of each event if you can. The students will be so excited to see you!
    • Sarah Kelly, K-3 Tutor – Truesdell Elementary School


  • Get a head start on additional service hours. It’s best to build up all your hours early, just in case of inclement weather or sick days.
    • Brianna Antonio, K-3 Tutor – Thomas Elementary School


  • When you are working with a student and you find that the student is not learning the way that you teach, take a step back and figure out how to teach the way that they learn.
    • Minetre Martin, Pre-K Tutor – Aiton Elementary School


  • The beginning of the year can be exciting and you’ll probably be eager to build up opportunities for hours, but try not to over commit. Instead of volunteering for all the clubs at school in the first few weeks, use this time to gather information and figure out who might need help and in what capacity. It’s best to get comfortable in your role as a Reading Corps tutor first before taking on additional responsibilities.
    • Sarah Kelly, K-3 Tutor – Truesdell Education Campus