Tips to Becoming a Good Adult Reading Tutor

A reading tutor is someone who helps people, from preschool-aged children whose parents want to give them a leg up in reading to adults who are lacking the literacy skills that they need to succeed, learning to read. This article will focus on the skills necessary to become a reading tutor who works primarily with adults. While you will never get rich by becoming a reading tutor, there is little that is more satisfying than helping someone learn what is quite possibly the most important skill that they will ever have. Reading is so fundamental that we often forget just how important it is--we read street signs and menus without pausing for a second to consider what we are doing. It is second nature for us to read constantly.

Imagine what it must be like for someone who cannot participate in this most common of our daily skills. The best way to come to an understanding of this is to go to a foreign country (one that speaks a non-English language but uses Roman characters) and feel the hopelessness that comes with not being able to understand anything that is written. This is the life for adults who do not know how to read.

A reading tutor works with sub-literate adults and helps them become proficient readers. The first thing that you need to become aware of if you are considering becoming an adult reading tutor is that many illiterate adults are ashamed of their situation and many will go through life trying to fake it. The adults that you will be working with as an adult reading tutor are those who have decided to face their situation head on. Nevertheless, they are likely to be in a very fragile state and are usually hyper sensitive to any perceived pity or disrespect. An adult reading tutor works with real people, courageous people, who have admitted to a problem that they have and are willing to work hard to rectify it.

These are people that are worthy of your respect, deserve nothing less, and will quickly perceive it if you feel otherwise. A good adult reading tutor will first assess the skills that their client possesses. Very few adult reading students have no reading skills at all. Most can read to a greater or lesser degree. Once the reading tutor has carefully assessed the skill level of the student, the reading tutor will plan a curriculum that takes into account both the strengths and the weaknesses of the student.

Such a curriculum will vary widely depending on the strength of the student. Some students who require the services of an adult reading tutor will only need help with reading large words, drawing inferences from reading, and other more advanced skills, while others may need lessons in phonics or even more basic instruction. Being an adult reading tutor is not easy. However, with training and dedication, it can become the most rewarding job that you have ever had. An adult reading tutor has the ability to have an incredible positive impact on someone's life.

Jane Saeman runs an In-Home Tutoring service called Aim High Tutors. Find out about how to help your student reach their full potential at


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