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tutor spanish for heritage speakers: Orquidea Mendez

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tutor spanish for heritage speakers: Orquidea Mendez

Dear SPHS Tutor,

First of all I want to congratulate you and welcome you to your new journey as a tutor for SPHS series. Now you start a new journey that will teach you a lot but also help you grow as an individual. Although I know you are probably a smart person (which is why you are a tutor) I would like to give you some feedback that will help you succeed in your new position. Now I should warn you the first thing you will have to do is take the two-unit class offer by the LSS program (is a must), in the class Holly, the coordinator of the LSS program, will teach you various techniques that could help you teach your students. However, as the class continues you will sometimes feel like an outsider but that is O.K. is normal because most of the skills thought in the class do not really apply to “our special program” yet do not worry because although it may seem like the class is hopeless, is not the way. On the contrary, in these class you will need to develop the skill of being creative so that you could use the tools that you learned in the class, twist them a little bit (in order to fit your plans/ section) and be ready to apply it with your students, such as the learning cell.

Now that I have officially started to tell you what skills/ attitude you should have let me go ahead and continue giving you tips that will make your job easier. In order to be a good tutor you need to learn how to be approachable, friendly, but also at the same time you need to be able to be authoritative in order for your students to know were the boundary is between you and them. As a tutor your students will expect you to know it all, yet your job there is to make them understand that you will help them with any struggle their having but that you are not an encyclopedia that knows everything, by stating this yours students will be able to identify with you. Why does this matter? You may be asking. The reason why is important to make your students construable is because that will be the motive that will make them want to come back to your section. One of the challenges you will face in this job is the fact that even if you have a plan for your students, the plan will not work, which means you have to either have a back-up plan or think fast because you know that you have to teach, especially because the materials you discuss in section are different than what they are doing in class (at least in the readings). Another thing you should consider is the fact that not all your students will be well prepare, which means you will need to find a way to work with all of them (the well prepare, the mid ones who are kind of half ways prepare and the ones that have no clue of what is going on). In a case like the one I previously mention your best shot is to let the student who knows his material teach the others, of course with your help, and then go from there. But most importantly, remember to always be in contact with the professors, as well as with your co-workers because they are the ones that will help you with any questions you have. So remember you are not alone.

In any case, I am not trying to scare you but rather help you succeed in your knew job, once

again congratulations for your new position and I wish you the best luck.


Orquidea Mendez

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