Group Tutoring

Watch: Group Tutoring
Required for all tutors who will be tutoring in a group setting. The ins and outs of group tutoring are explained during this short training.

What is group tutoring? 

  • Tutors work with multiple students during a session, rather than one-on-one. The ratio of students to tutors varies. Depending on location, tutoring can occur anytime after school through the evening.  
  • Tutoring takes place in a common area, such as a family room or dining area. Some locations have computer and internet access, while others don’t.
  • Group tutoring is usually set up when student population is less consistent or when turnover at a shelter is rapid; in long-term shelters, the same students will come every week, while in emergency shelters, the students may change week-to-week.
  • Most group locations have a tutor coordinator (TC), a specialized volunteer who helps run sessions and keeps track of attendance. The tutor coordinator functions as a sort of ‘team leader.’
  • Unlike with one-on-one tutoring, you may not have direct contact with parents or teachers. 

General Guidelines and Protocols:

  • The tutor coordinator and location staff generally establish a set of rules and guidelines for students to follow while they are being tutored. These rules might include things like “use inside voices, respect your tutor, and clean up at the end of the session.” 
  • It is important to enforce the rules, but if a student does misbehave, it is important not to overreact. Students act out in order to receive attention, and it is important to redirect them to positive behaviors rather than punish them for negative ones. 
  • While tutoring in a group situation tends to be more homework-focused due to the varied student attendance,  tutors are still encouraged to use one of our programs to supplement homework. 
  • Older students, for instance those in group foster homes, usually respond best to a more mentoring-focused approached. Please see the “Group Homes” module for more information about how best to meet the needs of these students. 

Tutoring Tips: 

  • Because you are working with multiple students at once, you will need to coordinate with the other tutor(s) to divide students and plan your sessions. Students can be divided based on age or subject need. 
  • If you notice that a few students don’t get along or are distractions to one another, separate those students at the start of the session.
  • Always bring back-up activities to your sessions in case students do not have homework. Usually group locations have designated School on Wheels supplies. 
  • Put a reward system in place (sticker charts, student store) as a way to encourage positive behavior. 
    Create short-term goals if you work at a group location with rapid student turnover.