Why I Like Quarterly Reports

April 28, 2011 at 10:25 AM | Posted in Basic Literacy | 1 Comment

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I think lots of tutors don’t like quarterly reports.  After all, who enjoys paperwork?  Or getting reminders about paperwork that is overdue (no matter how friendly those reminders may be)?  I’ll admit that I’m not crazy about generating and editing lists of active matches from the database.  I’m not wild about plodding clumsily through the steps of a mail merge only to realize I just sent the wrong link to over 100 people.  And, what’s worse than having to go through all the mail merge steps again only this time include an apology?  I don’t even want to talk about creating labels for the snail mail set.  But still, I like quarterly reports.

The Basic Literacy program has over 100 actively matched pairs of tutors and students.  When I read the quarterly reports these pairs come to life.  Tutors share their student’s successes as well as their challenges, and sometimes both can be inspiring.  For example, today I read a report that described a student’s incredible network of support from family and friends.  The tutor went on to write that she loves tutoring because she so enjoys her student’s company and now she finds she doesn’t take anything for granted, like being able to read her own mail.

Tutors ask questions, clarify procedures and vent frustrations.  Although nobody needs to wait for a quarterly report to do any of these things, the reports are a terrific opportunity for stopping, taking stock of how things are going and reflecting on the bigger picture.  Tutoring is hard work and sometimes it can be pretty lonely.  As you fill out your report, know that it is being read and appreciated.  The more a tutor shares, the more I am able to understand and help.  Any job can get monotonous, so when I read that a tutor has become an indispensable companion to a student, helping him navigate the politics of his new assisted living facility (and do we have any books that have practical vocabulary for nursing homes?), I am reminded of the incredible range of needs we serve and the inspiring commitment of our tutors.  So, there you have it – quarterly reports – they’re not just paperwork.

-Molly Chilton, Basic Literacy Tutoring Specialist


1 Comment

  1. This title caught my eye IMMEDIATELY! Well done, Molly!


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