While your job description as an administrator for your tutoring center may not specifically mention developing your tutors, this is an important part of the roles of learning assistance professionals. Oftentimes, we are busy running our centers that we forgo our responsibility to help professionally develop the staff we work with everyday. Below is a list, though certainly not a complete one, of tips for administrators who want to help develop their staff.
- Think creatively when it comes to professional development, both for yourself and your center’s staff. Professional development opportunities exist on our own campuses, too, and the cost is often minimal—if anything. Seek out workshops on your campus that you tutors can attend or that can be brought to your tutors. Good examples include microaggression workshops, diversity training, and Safe Zone training.
- Find out what field your peer tutors (students) want to pursue after graduation. Our goal should be to understand the dreams of our tutors and then provide relevant opportunities for them to grow in their campus job.
- Whenever your staff attend/present at conferences, be sure to advertise that to your campus and even your community. If we don’t call attention to the work our staff is doing, sometimes no one will. Take pictures and post them on social media, in campus newsletters, and even in emails to upper administration. Your center’s value goes beyond that of the grades produced by the tutees.
- Bring in your campus’ career center to offer a workshop for your student staff. Understanding campus resources is part of many certification requirements and providing the opportunity for your employees to think about careers will help in their graduation rates.
- For those new to the field of tutoring services/academic support, network as much as you can with other professionals in your area. This can come in the form of attending conferences, following different centers on social media, being connected via listservs and/or social media groups, etc. When the administrator is engaged in the profession, a good example is set for your staff.
- Utilize leadership roles in your center, if you can. This could mean simply having Tutor Leads serve as mentors and facilitators for the newer student staff. They could also have a separate job description, which includes meeting with their team of tutors and observing them.