volunteer tutor training

You can make a difference

Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer tutor with the Partners program.

Many of our learners do not have enough literacy skills to find a job, get a better job, take training, or manage some life tasks. Many had a less than stellar school experience. If you decide to join this program, you are making a commitment to a learner who is counting on you. This is a huge responsibility and something to consider very seriously.

Partners is a one-to-one tutoring program for adults who struggle with reading, writing or math. This is not an ESL or English language learning program.

This page explains what we are looking for in a tutor and what you can expect from Partners. You can also view our Volunteer Info Package 2023 or simply contact us – we are happy to answer your questions.

What Qualifications Do I Need?

Minimum qualifications:

  • 19 years of age
  • fluent in English with excellent oral and written skills
  • at least high school graduation or equivalent
  • be comfortable with reading, writing, and numeracy to feel able to tutor
  • comfortable and technologically able to take online/blended training using Zoom
  • comfortable tutoring remotely, if needed
  • willing to adapt and learn new processes or technologies, as needed
  • able to pass a criminal record check

You do not have to have formal teaching or tutoring experience to apply.

What Qualities Are You Looking For?

  • Patient
  • Friendly
  • Positive attitude
  • Adaptable/flexible
  • Sense of humour
  • Non-judgemental
  • Able to set boundaries
  • Able to build and sustain rapport with diverse groups of people
  • Willing to be the guide on the side not the sage on the stage
Volunteer Tutors having fun

How Do I Apply?

How to apply to be a volunteer tutor:

1. Submit an application

You must successfully complete the following steps to be accepted as a literacy tutor:

  1. Submit an application form to the Coordinator.
  2. Submit a resume to the Coordinator.
  3. Complete an English assessment.
  4. Have an interview with the Coordinator.
  5. Complete a criminal record search.


2. Submit a resume to the Coordinator.

Once we have reviewed your application, we will contact you at the email provided and followup with you by asking for a resume.

3. Complete an English assessment.
We will ask you to complete a reading and writing assessment.
4. Have an interview with the Coordinator.
You will be interviewed by the Partners Coordinator.
5. Complete a criminal record search.
We will ask you to submit a request for a criminal record search through the Criminal Records Review Program.

Tutors Frequently Asked Questions

What Will I Get Out of Tutoring?
  • It’s rewarding!
  • Make a difference in someone's life.
  • Learn new skills.
  • Experience teamwork.
  • Give back to the community.
  • Meet and share ideas with other tutors.
  • Gain experience and community hours.
Where Does Tutoring Happen?

Tutors and learners can decide to meet in-person, remotely, or a combination of both.

In-person tutoring happens in a public space, such as a library.

Tutors and learners can connect remotely using the platform of their choice (eg., Zoom, email, phone, WhatsApp, Skype, FaceTime, or whatever works for them).

Who Are the Learners?

Our learners:

  • are adults
  • live or work in Surrey or White Rock
  • are at or below a grade 8 level in reading, writing, math
  • come from diverse backgrounds
  • may have had challenging learning or life experiences
Will I Receive Training?

Yes. A 15-hour training course is mandatory.

  • Training is held each year in the fall
  • Training usually consists of five 3-hour sessions.
Do You Provide Tutoring Resources?

Yes. We give tutors and learners learning materials. We also train tutors on where to find resources.

What is My Commitment to the Partners Program?
Once accepted to the Partners program, we ask you to:
  • Complete the 15-hour training.
  • Meet with the learner for 1 to 2 hours per week.
  • Spend about 1 to 3 hours per week planning your tutoring session.
  • Commit to the program for 6 months.
  • Attend regular in-service meetings/workshops.
  • Be willing to travel within Surrey/White Rock to meet learner (post COVID)
  • Communicate regularly with the Coordinator on learner progress, resources needed, and any concerns/questions you have.
What is Partners’ Commitment to Me?
We value our tutors and commit to supporting you in this program. Here is what you can expect from the Coordinator/Trainer.
  1. 15 hours of quality training.
  2. Ongoing training and learning opportunities.
  3. Help in identifying learner's learning style and short-term goals.
  4. Guidance and support in lesson planning, learning materials, tutoring.
  5. Help in finding a safe and secure place to work with a learner.
  6. Positive and constructive feedback.
  7. Flexibility around holidays
  8. Recognition from READ Surrey/White Rock Society.
What About COVID-19?

We follow current public health guidelines. The Partners Program is transitioning back to mostly in-person services with some remote options when needed or convenient. At all times, we use common sense and put volunteer and learner safety first.

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