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Tutor – Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know what it takes to be a tutor? We can help.

The Marshall-Harrison County Literacy Council is seeking volunteer tutors to assist adults in to acquiring, improving, or enhance their ability to read and write, speak English, improve math or prepared for a General Equivalency Degree.

 A background in teaching isn’t required, but patience is a must-have.  If you view learning as a two-way experience and understand that we are all unique in our ability to learn, then you’re definitely tutor material!

What does it take to be a tutor?

In a word? Patience. Patience, the ability to view teaching as a two-way experience and the understanding that everyone is unique in the ability to learn. We also invite volunteer tutors to propose small classes or workshops that teach basic skills.

Requirements to be a volunteer tutor:

  • Attend at least 6 hours of tutor training and complete an online training course in the Laubach Way to Reading.
  • Be 21 years of age or older.
  • Be willing to devote at least two hours a week to tutoring a student for a minimum of one year months.
  • Track and submit volunteer and tutoring hours.
  • Maintain the student confidentiality agreement.

You have questions, we have answers.

What is the Marshall-Harrison County Literacy Council?
Located in the 114 East Grand St. Marshall -Harrison County Literacy Council is a free, confidential literacy program serving Harrison County adults 18 years or older and not currently enrolled in high school. Our hours are 9:00 a.m. to Noon and 1:00 PM -3:00 p.m. Tuesday – Thursday.

What services do you provide?

We offer one-on-one tutoring and small group instruction in English as a Second Language; reading, writing and math; pre-GED preparation; and citizenship.
Who can become a tutor?
Anyone age 21 or older, completes the required training, and makes at least a year-long commitment to the program can be a tutor.

Will I be paid for tutoring?

No. This is a volunteer opportunity.

How long is the training?

Tutors are required to attend at least 6 hours of training and 3 1/2 hours of online training before being assigned a student.

What do you teach in training?

We provide tutors an overview of the literacy program and an introduction to the materials and resources available in tutoring ESL, reading, math and GED preparation. Tutors are also asked to complete a 3 ½ hour online training course in the Laubach method of reading.
In addition, M-HCLC instructors and tutors will discuss their experiences in working with adult learners – cultural differences, different styles of learning and ways to make tutoring sessions more learner-specific. Tutors will learn that success involves mutual respect, the ability to listen, patience, imagination, and a two-way dialogue along with the “book work.”

How can I sign up for training?

Call our office at 903-935-0962 and put your name on our tutor training list, or sign up online. A confirmation letter or email will be sent before the scheduled training date.

How will I be matched with a learner?

You will be matched on the basis of a mutually agreeable time, day, and meeting place, based on information provided in the tutor and student application forms.

Where can my learner and I meet?

Tutoring sessions at the Literacy Center are held between 8:30 a.m. and 2: 30 p.m. M-W or T-TH, or after 2:30 p.m. in the Marshall Public Library. Alternative meeting sites and times can be arranged, however, all must be held in a public location, approved by the executive director.

What if a student asks to meet at their house?

Please say “no.” Tutoring sessions must be held in a public location that has been approved by the executive director.

Who are your learners?

Our program works with adults 18 and older who are not currently enrolled in high school. There is no “typical” learner, with the exception that all have the desire to learn, and to improve their lives through education. Many are at a point where they want to change their lives for the better – for themselves or their families -­- and know that learning to read and write will help them reach that goal.
Some are total non-readers; some dropped out of junior high or high school; and some graduated from high school, but can’t read or write well enough to fill out a form. Others want to brush up on the basic skills necessary to get a job or to qualify for a promotion. Some want assistance in preparing for the GED exam or to prepare for a training course or to obtain citizenship.

Who How will I be able to teach someone to read or speak English, or with math?

You’ll receive an overview in The Laubach Way to Reading during tutor training and step-by-step training as part of an online instruction course. The online course contains instructional videos and real-world examples of tutoring with the materials. It’s free and available 24/7, so once you’ve completed the course, you may refer back to the material at any time.
In addition, you’ll receive instruction on how to use the series of math instruction books, “Breakthrough to Math.” The material is very straightforward and easy to use, even by those who aren’t “good in math.” In addition, the Literacy Center has a wide variety of programs, books and learning materials to help teach English as a second language — from picture dictionaries to Rosetta Stone language software. Supplemental materials and resources are available for GED and citizenship preparation, as well.

How will I know what my student needs to learn?

An initial assessment is made prior to a student’s assignment to a tutor and at regular intervals during instruction. Check-ups and reviews are also integrated in the instructional materials. However, the best source for information about what a student needs and wants will be the student.

What kind of support is available from the Literacy Center?

Assistance is available from the Literacy Center by phone, email or visit. You can make an appointment to come in to review learning materials, find additional resources, to discuss the progress you and your learner are making or challenges you may be facing.

Is there a cost to tutors?

No. Training and materials are provided free of charge.

Am I required to turn in reports?

Yes, tutors are required to keep a record of attendance and volunteer hours. The information is required by our funding agencies, grant applications and adult literacy organizations.

Is there anything else I should know?

Yes. Tutoring can be one of the most rewarding things you’ve ever done, but it does require a commitment of time and energy, as well as patience and understanding. We’d also like you to know we’re here and available to help when you’ve got questions, need advice or just want to talk.

How can I get in touch with you?

How can I get in touch with you?
Please call us at 903-935-0962 or send an e-mail to the executive director, Karen Bickerdike at

Can I sign up online?

Use our online form to let us know you’d like to sign up for our trainings, which are held twice each year. We will get back to you when a training session is scheduled.