As we get to know our learners, it is important that set clear expectations for our work together in tutoring and mentoring. Tutors and mentors can help set clear expectations during the first meetings with a learner in informal and formal ways.
- Informal: during the first meeting or two, a tutor can and should talk about what they will do and not do during tutoring sessions, how often they will meet and what the tutor or learner will do if he or she needs to change a meeting or miss a meeting. Be sure to make this a conversation in which the learner gets a chance to ask questions. Also, communicate expectations to parents or caregivers so that the adults in the child's life know what to expect as well.
- Formal: tutors can use the RWS Tutor-Learner Agreement document to facilitate the conversation about expectations. This document outlines some common expectations for participation and leaves room for the tutor and learner to write in some additional expectations.
NOTE: Whether you are more comfortable having the discussion about expectations in an informal or more formal way (with the RWS Tutor-Learner Agreement), be sure to talk during the first and second tutoring session about expectations. It establishes boundaries for your work together. As a tutor, when you see a learner getting off task or not taking seriously the work together, you can say, "Remember what we agreed to in our first meeting about our work together."