How to Volunteer
If you are interested in volunteering with People, Words & Change, please contact us. One of our counsellors will answer your questions and give you more information before you apply.
Tutor Orientation, Match Support, and Tutor Workshops
If your application is accepted, you will be asked to attend a two-hour tutor orientation session which usually takes place in the evening. Once you have completed the orientation, we will place you on a list of active tutors who are waiting to be matched with a learner.
The Educational Counsellors at PWC provide regular, ongoing support to each match through emails, phone calls and monthly tutor reports. PWC also offers tutor workshops several times a year where tutors can learn new skills and strategies for tutoring and share ideas with other tutors.
Matches are made based on compatibility of schedule, geographic location and other preferences you both may have. Every effort is made to match tutors with learners who live within a reasonable travelling distance of each other.
We can’t always match you immediately after the orientation session but we do our best not to keep you waiting too long. The more flexible you can be about the times you are available and the distance you are willing to travel, the sooner we can find a student for you.
Once we have determined a suitable match for you, you will be invited to meet with an Education Counsellor to discuss your learner’s Learning Plan, tutoring strategies and suitable resources. Your Education Counsellor will then arrange a time for you to meet your learner. At this meeting, you will have the opportunity to observe a tutoring session between the Educational Counsellor and your learner, agree on a suitable time and location for your tutoring sessions, exchange contact information, and set up your first session.
Tutors and learners meet once a week for two hours. As well, tutors assign their learners approximately two hours of homework. This is important in order for learners to make progress in their once-a-week, two-hour tutoring sessions.
Matches meet in a public place. Some meet at PWC, while others meet at one of the many branches of the Ottawa Public Library, a community centre or any other place that is suitable for both the tutor and learner.
Volunteer Tutor Position Description
People, Words & Change helps adults in the Ottawa region to improve essential skills in English reading and writing, everyday math and basic computer skills. Tutoring is provided free of charge on a one-on-one basis by volunteer tutors. Our tutors help adult learners meet their individual goals such as working toward employment, educational upgrading and mastering practical life skills.
Goal of Volunteer Position
To assist PWC to achieve the above mandate.
Tutoring sessions are once a week for two hours per session. Volunteers should be able to commit to at least one year of tutoring. We have continuous intake throughout the year with peaks in the early fall and early new year. Matches can decide if they wish to continue over the summer.
Tutor Requirements & Responsibilities
- Interest and/or experience in working with adults on a one-on-one basis.
- Excellent English reading and writing skills. Computer knowledge is desirable.
- Attend the Tutor Orientation Session and relevant themed tutor workshops throughout the year.
- Support the learner in achieving the goals and essential skills of the learning plan in the areas of: employment, further education or personal independence.
- Help learner set new goals and develop new essential skills as required.
- Prepare lessons for weekly tutoring sessions.
- Keep records and discuss learner’s progress with a PWC counsellor on a regular basis.
- Keep track of tutoring hours and communicate them to a PWC counsellor.
Support Volunteer Tutors Will Receive from PWC:
- Each tutor/learner match is set up by an Education Counsellor who supports the match throughout its duration.
- At the start of a new match, the Education Counsellor meets with the tutor to explain the learning plan, provides appropriate resource materials and relevant educational websites and suggests suitable tutoring strategies.
- Communication and consultation is ongoing. Follow-up visits are arranged on a regular basis.
- PWC has a resource library available to tutors and learners.
- PWC has space for tutoring purposes. We are equipped with computers and high-speed Internet access.
- Tutor workshops are offered on a variety of themes.
- Tutors and learners receive online newsletters and bulletins. Our website is kept current with events and resources.