12 Next Steps

Throughout this book, we’ve learned many foundational tutoring skills. We’ve explored the beliefs, values, and responsibilities of tutorial work. We covered communication skills and learned how to connect students with resources. We discovered adult learning strategies, learning theories, how how to model study behaviors like problem-solving and critical thing. These knowledge and skills will take us far, but this book is not a destination; it’s one step in a longer tutoring journey.

As we work to master each of the essential tutoring skills presented here, we must appreciate that there is always room for growth as a tutor. Even after much time and experience, there will still be instances that require us to improve our abilities, our judgement, or how we chose to handle a situation. We will always find opportunities to grow as we discover new ways to connect with students and encounter challenges that drive us to seek better solutions. Adopting an attitude of continuous improvement is essential for sustained success as a tutor. We covered a lot of ground, but now it’s time for you take the next steps.

This book is guided by College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA) standards. If you’re reading this, you might even be in an internationally-recognized CRLA certified tutor training course! This organization provides some opportunities for you to develop professionally and grow within the field moving forward. CRLA holds an annual conference with presentations and workshops that allow you to stay attuned to current trends in the field. The organization provides members with access to current and archived copies of the Journal of College Reading and Learning (JCRL), offering peer-reviewed articles on the latest learning assistance research. CRLA also releases “white papers” filled with evidence-based research on learning assistance and developmental education; these are free to download, even for non-members.

CRLA is a widely recognized organization, and we highly recommend it, but it is not the only professional organization out there. To remain attuned to the entire learning assistance field, its important to regularly engage with a broad spectrum of opportunities. Some other excellent organizations to explore include the Association of Colleges for Tutoring & Learning Assistance (ACTLA), the Association for the Coaching and Tutoring Profession (ACTP), and the National College Learning Center Association (NCLCA). CRLA also has regional chapters which can help you get involved at the local level.

Alongside this organizations, you can learn independently through a variety of online and print resources. The Learning Support Centers in Higher Education listserv provides links to local and national opportunities, conferences, websites, news, and more—it’s basically a one-stop-shop full of hundreds of weblinks on the subject of tutoring and learning support. Oregon State University has developed online Peer Educator Training modules focusing on foundational tutoring techniques, strategies for empowering students, and how to structure learning sessions—the modules are interactive, including some video content and digital activities along the way. Some useful books include Leigh Ryan & Lisa Zimmerelli’s The Bedford Guide for Writing Tutors, Sanndra Yancy McGuire & Stephanie McGuire’s Teach Students How to Learn, Peter C. Brown’s Make it Stick, and James M. Lang’s Small Teaching.

In addition, building our tutoring skills opens doors to new opportunities. The CRLA Tutor Certification is an internationally-recognized qualification, and the interpersonal, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills we build to become better tutors, are essential skills in many other professional settings. Who knows? Perhaps adding your tutoring certification to your resume will be a stepping stone to a new career…


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Tutor Handbook Copyright © 2021 by Penny Feltner and gapinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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