Volunteer Tutors - Frequently Asked Questions
Can I be a volunteer tutor if I have no background in teaching or tutoring?
What kind of commitment is expected of volunteer tutors?
Do I need to participate in any kind of training before I get started tutoring?
What subjects am I expected to tutor?
What types of volunteer assignments are available?
- Work one-on-one with one adult learner and meet once a week in a Fairfax County Public Library. Select a library that is most convenient for you, and meet within normal library hours. (According to VLP policy, tutors must meet their learners in a public place, and never in a home or other private setting.)
- Work with a teacher in a classroom.
- Tutor once a week at the Fairfax County Adult High School in regular high school classes such as English, algebra, or geometry. Work with the regular teacher, textbooks, and curriculum to help the teacher individualize instruction for each adult learner and to assist with small group work. Daytime classes are held at the Pimmit Center in Falls Church, and evening classes are at Woodson High School.
- Tutor with the National External Diploma Program and help individuals complete program requirements by assisting them with the reading, writing, math and technology skills necessary to accomplish their tasks.
- Help juveniles in daytime alternative high school programs at the Juvenile Detention Center and other special programs where court-involved youth obtain their high school education in non-school settings. An FCPS background check, including fingerprinting, is required for volunteer assignments with juveniles.
- Work in the GED® and English for Speakers of Other Languages program at the Adult Detention Center. There are many classes which need the help of caring volunteers, and individual tutors for day and evening assignments.
- VLP is often involved in starting up new projects and community collaborations which provide different avenues for volunteer tutoring, such as computer labs, math labs, reading and writing groups, book clubs, and conversation groups.
How does VLP match a tutor with an individual adult learner?
- The learner contacts VLP and requests a tutor.
- A VLP specialist makes an appointment to meet with the learner for intake. Intake includes goal-setting, and detailed information on learner availability, plus a reading, writing, and math assessment to determine the learner’s skill level.
- The VLP specialist writes detailed learning recommendations based on the learner’s goals and needs.
- The VLP specialist finds a tutor who can meet with the learner according to the availability and best library for both tutor and learner. If the tutor accepts, the assignment is made.
- The VLP specialist delivers to the library’s circulation desk a tutor packet containing the learning recommendations, the appropriate workbooks from VLP's lending library, and other pertinent information. The packet is in the tutor’s name and is picked up by the tutor in time for the first tutoring session.
- The tutor contacts the learner to arrange the first meeting date and time.
- And the assignment begins!
How do I know where to start with my individual learner?
What kind of support can I as a volunteer tutor expect from VLP?
What’s the best thing about volunteer tutoring with VLP?
To begin your volunteer tutoring with VLP, contact Michele Armstrong at 703-246-3609 to find out about our upcoming in-person orientations and our online Tutor Preparation modules.