It enriches your life while changing the life of the adult you tutor.
When you help adults reach their educational goals, you help their families—and our community—grow stronger. Adults throughout Manatee County want and need to learn to read and write better, or learn English as a second language. You can help them gain the basic literacy skills they need to succeed as workers, parents, and community citizens.
You may find that tutoring heightens your perception of the world around you, deepens your understanding of values and lifestyles different from your own, and broadens your imagination for creative problem solving.
Why I Tutor
"I love teaching—anything. English as a Second Language is fun because the students are so eager to learn and willing to work hard. The toughest part is teaching pronunciation; so many of our English sounds are new to foreign students. But I love it when suddenly something clicks—whether its pronunciation or understanding an idiom or simply having someone say: ‘I always wondered how to say that!’ And you can see progress. With every lesson the students become more comfortable and are less shy about speaking out. I try to focus on everyday topics and use samples of everyday conversations. Teaching ESL is creative, easy (the material doesn't change from year to year), and the results are certainly rewarding.”—Nancy W.
Manatee Literacy Council tutors help an adult improve reading and writing skills, and/or speaking and listening skills to widen his horizons through a one-on-one relationship, emphasizing personal attention.
Good tutors are dependable and prompt, interested in others and able to relate to them, compatible to their needs, respectful of confidentiality, literate (professional training unnecessary), flexible, friendly, patient, and optimistic. A good sense of humor is helpful!
Worried you're not qualified because you're not a teacher or because you do not speak another language? Don't be. See
or answers to common concerns.
Manatee Literacy Council will provide you with free training. See Tutor Training for more details.
You should provide encouragement and support as a friend by:
- Always remembering that this is a confidential program and respecting the learner's confidentiality.
- Helping your student develop positive self-concept and self-worth by complimenting him on his work and progress.
- Showing acceptance of your learner by listening to what he has to say and demonstrating personal concern.
- Helping your learner develop a positive attitude toward learning by giving him tasks that he is able to perform and by telling him that he has performed well.
- Encouraging your learner to continue attempting difficult materials by being supportive rather than critical of his mistakes.
- Understanding reasons why a student is having trouble learning to read and write.
- Meeting regularly and punctually and ensuring that the learner be respectful of your time.
- Being well prepared for each lesson.
- Planning lessons designed just for your learner.
- Reviewing any work your learner does independently.
- Keeping concise records of your learner's progress and complete monthly reports of your learner's progress and goals.
Fill out the Volunteer Application or visit the Manatee Literacy Council office to fill out an application.
Manatee Literacy Council does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, religion, race, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, or any other status protected by law. Individuals will be accommodated to the fullest extent as outlined in the ADA guidelines. Due to limitations of the volunteer-based program, Manatee Literacy Council is unable to serve some individuals who are cognitively disabled or developmentally disabled. Recognizing this policy, there may be individuals who, however willing, are not able to benefit from Manatee Literacy Council tutoring. If in the opinion of the tutor or a staff person and with the concurrence of the Executive Director, such a situation exists, the student will be advised that tutoring or continuing in tutoring is not recommended. If possible, the individual will be referred to another appropriate agency better able to meet his or her needs.