Our volunteer tutors are truly the heart of Seeds of Literacy. As a tutor, you’ll provide one-to-one attention, instruction, and encouragement to adult students as they work toward the GED® credential and a life of possibilities. (Check out this essay that showcases the lives of Seeds students in poignant vignettes.)
For students, tutors are the ones who make their success possible.
“When I was feeling like I couldn’t do it, the tutors pushed me and told me I CAN.” Tachonna 2021 Grad
**Tutoring During COVID-19**
Things are a little different during our COVID-19 physical classroom closure. ALL Tutoring is conducted remotely, through our Virtual Classroom, using Zoom for video and telephone tutoring. Our curriculum has been digitized, so tutors and students both have access to the same materials.
Tutor training has been condensed and is conducted remotely each week for new tutors.
How are Adult Learners different than typical high school students?
In addition to juggling jobs, kids, and households, Seeds student make the CHOICE to learn. No one forces them to attend.
Despite often difficult home lives, they are dedicated to their education. Tutor Ann shares a few anecdotes about working with adult learners, both in the physical classroom as well as the Virtual Classroom.
You can also read 3 Key Differences Between Adult & Youth Learners.
How do I sign up for a training?
During our COVID-19 classroom closure, tutoring is conducted remotely. Tutor training is ALSO virtual at this time.
Virtual Tutor Training
Mondays, 11am -12:30pm ET
- Complete the Volunteer Application Form.
- You will receive an email invitation on Monday morning for the Virtual Tutor Training.
On-Site Tutor Training
We have a tentative plan to resume on-site training summer 2021. Check back for dates and details.
What are the requirements to be a tutor?
Our tutors have the patience, kindness, passion, and skill to help change our community one adult learner at a time. Because we provide training, you don’t need to have any prior teaching or tutoring experience in order to volunteer, but at least a high school credential is required.
To get the most out of your tutoring experience, we hope tutors are available once a week for about a year. BUT we also know that you’re donating your time, and that it’s valuable. You have a life outside of Seeds, so if something comes up, we understand. We offer a flexible class schedule and you won’t be locked into a specific class day or time, so you may attend a class based on what is best for you in a given week.
Tutors need to be at least 18-years old and have at least a high school or high school equivalency degree.
Virtual Classroom tutors need to have access to a computer or telephone with a camera and internet access.
What are the steps to becoming a tutor?
PHYSICAL CLASSROOM TUTORS
Step 1: Complete the Volunteer Application above.
Step 2: Attend a tutor training session at Seeds East (Kinsman & 139th) or Seeds West (W 25th & Clark). The training will provide the background information you’ll need to understand the adults we serve and how we enact our mission.
*Step 3: After your training, you’ll complete an observation session. The observation is an opportunity for you to attend a class, shadow a current tutor, and see the information from the training in action. You’ll have the chance to get comfortable with the classroom and to ask any questions you may have before you work with the students.
*Step 4: Once you’ve done your observation, you may begin tutoring at your convenience.
*Different due to COVID-19 physical classroom closure
VIRTUAL CLASSROOM TUTORS
Step 1: Complete the Volunteer Application.
Step 2: Attend a virtual Tutor Training session. Currently, these are offered every Monday at 11am – 12:30pm ET via Zoom. Evening trainings are available 1x a month. Please call 216.661.7950 for the date of our next evening training.
Step 3: After the training session, you will receive a follow-up email from the trainer. The email will include the handouts discussed during training, and links to the curriculum drive and Virtual Classroom.
Step 4: Join the Virtual Classroom for an observation. Let the Site Coordinator know it is your first day and you would like to do your observation.
Step 5: Once you’ve completed your observations, you may begin tutoring! The Virtual Classroom prefers tutors schedule a time in advance, but you can attend any tutoring session at your convenience.
Where are the classes held? Do I have to pick just one location?
We have two on-site locations to serve our community. Our third location is Virtual.
Tutors typically pick a primary location to tutor, but we have several volunteers who enjoy tutoring at both locations, and some who intend to tutor both in-person and virtually when the classrooms are open. (Note: This option is not open to Students. They need to select one location.)
3104 W. 25th Street, 3rd Floor
(corner of W. 25th & Clark Avenue)
Cleveland, OH 44109
13815 Kinsman Road
(corner of Kinsman & E. 139th Street)
Cleveland, OH 44120
Both of our locations have free, secure parking and are located on major bus lines. You can tutor at whichever location is more convenient for you, or at both if you’d like.
The Virtual Classroom (remote tutoring) started during our COVID-19 classroom closure. We provide tutors with conference call numbers and webinar platforms to conduct tutoring virtually.
When are classes?
Tutoring sessions are held at the same time across all of our locations: Seeds West, Seeds East, and the Virtual Classroom.
Monday through Thursday
- 9am – 11am ET Morning
- 1pm – 3pm ET Afternoon
- 6pm – 8pm ET Evening
Tutoring is not offered on Fridays or holidays. Click here for our holiday schedule.
Physical Classroom Tutors are asked to tutor at least one session a week, but you don’t have to schedule and you can come to whatever class session is most convenient to you in a given week.
Virtual Classroom Tutors are asked to please schedule a week at a time with our Virtual Classroom Site Coordinators.
Is tutoring year-round? (aka Is there a summer break?)
Seeds offers tutoring year-round but everyone needs a break from time to time to celebrate the holidays! For a complete list of holiday closures, including our winter break, click here.
What subjects do you cover (a.k.a. do I have to do math)?
We provide instruction for all areas currently on the GED® exam: Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. We also provide lessons in computer/digital literacy.
Because we pair students with tutors based on the tutor’s strengths and preferences, you never have to help a student with a subject with which you’re not comfortable.
We also help students at a range of skill levels, so if, for example, you’re wary of upper-level math, you may still be able to help other students with division or fractions if you’re comfortable doing so.
Do tutors create lessons?
No. At the onset of COVID, some of our tutors recorded video lessons that are housed in our archives for students to review on their own.
Seeds tests each student regularly to determine the level of work he or she will receive. Our curriculum comes from a variety of best-practice sources and is given to the student in the form of packets.
These packets have been digitized for the Virtual Classroom.
Although the curriculum is in a packet, the focus should always be concept mastery, NOT packet completion.
Do I work with the same student every time?
Our program is specially designed to meet the varying needs of each individual student. Every student is learning a subject at their own skill level and at their own pace, and we extend the same flexible class schedule to our students as we do to our tutors.
Because of this, you won’t necessarily be seeing the same students at each class session working on the same thing every time. Our Site Coordinator, who oversees the class session, will pair up a student looking for a help with an available tutor who is comfortable working on that subject.
Virtual Classroom operates similarly, but if a student/tutor pair works well together, our Site Coordinators may plan for them to work together.
What does an on-site, physical tutoring session look like?
With our non-traditional class structure, it can be tricky to visualize what tutoring with Seeds of Literacy will actually look like. That’s why we’ve put together a brief video of a real class session. You’ll notice that some students are choosing to work on their own, while others are working one-to-one with a volunteer tutor (who could be you!).
*Please note: The video below was taken pre-pandemic. Following COVID-19, the classroom will look a bit different when we reopen. Physical distance and mask usage will be enforced, plexi barriers have been installed, and other protective measures have been taken. For a look at our physical classrooms post-COVID, click here.
Requirements, Prohibited Behaviors, Commitments
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Be able to communicate clearly in English. (Bilingual in Spanish a plus)
- Have at least a high school diploma or equivalent
- Have a clean record for any crime of violence
- Accept the Seeds of Literacy policy of non-discrimination:
Seeds of Literacy does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, physical appearance, sexual orientation, familial status, or disability.
THE FOLLOWING BEHAVIORS ARE PROHIBITED.
- Showing disrespect or insensitivity
- Using offensive language
- Harassment (any behavior perceived as offensive or inappropriate)
- Showing disregard for personal hygiene
- Possessing a weapon in the building or threatening violence
- Being under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or smoking during the session
SEEDS’ COMMITMENT to you includes:
- A suitable assignment based upon your interests, skills, and availability.
- Initial orientation and ongoing professional development workshops to help you successfully help students.
- The assistance you need to do your task, including necessary materials, workspace, and supportive supervision.
- The opportunity to learn new skills and grow in areas of problem solving.
- The opportunity to contribute to the well-being of individuals, the community, and the organization.
- The opportunity to be recognized for your contribution.
YOUR COMMITMENT to Seeds includes:
- Being reliable and on time.
- Respecting confidentiality and showing discretion.
- Performing your specified responsibilities.
- Attending orientation and additional trainings as necessary.
- Acting in a courteous and professional manner to students, staff, and other volunteers.
- Asking for support when you need it.
- Providing as much advance notice as possible if you intend to end your volunteer time with Seeds.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at email@example.com.