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Re: ethical standards for tutors


"Winifred B. Cooke" <[log in to unmask]>


Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>


Fri, 20 Jun 1997 08:16:57 -0400





text/plain (213 lines)

Linnae, attached find the general policies and guidelines for student
employees of the Teaching Center at UF.  While not all inclusive, we address
several of the topics you mentioned.


Sorry you had trouble reading the file.  I will try sending my message
another way.  See the end of this email.


>The ethics shared thus far are helpful in communicating some of the loftier
>goals of tutoring, but I'm wondering if anyone has developed written standards
>that address some of the problems we've encountered down here in the
>trenches.  For example, not hitting on female students or getting too warm
>and cozy around the tutoring table (respecting personal space) or not
>getting too cliquish (sp.) toward the end of the year and excluding other
>tutors or students who come in seeking assistance, or not gossiping about
>one another, or separating personal resentments/issues from professional
>working relationships, or what is appropriate to peruse on the Internet while
>waiting for clients to come into the learning center, or, last but by no
>means least, setting a smoking policy that allows for those hooked to maintain
>an adequate nicotine level without using up too much of their work time.
>I'd like to develop a code of conduct for our tutors that addresses these
>and other similar issues, so if anyone has already done so, please share.
>Linnae Clinton


        General Policies and Guidelines for Student Employees
        of The OIR Teaching Center

        The Teaching Center's first mission is to serve students and the policies
described below are designed to help us maintain a high level of performance
and professionalism in our service.  For instance, policies regarding such
areas as punctuality and attendance are meant to help us insure that
assistance is available to students when they need it.

        We also feel that these policies are valuable to you as student employees.
Not only do they help to clarify job performance expectations here at the
Teaching Center, but they may also serve as a set of guidelines for your
professional development as you prepare for a position in your chosen career.

        Even so, these policies are not meant to be a rigid set of rules.  As your
supervisors, we realize that there are sometimes instances in which
exceptions to these policies should be made.  We encourage you to consult
with your individual supervisor in such instances.

        Commitment - When accepting a position at the Teaching Center you are
asked to carefully consider your academic load and personal time needs.
Since we are concerned with providing our student clients with consistent
and continuous support over the course of each academic term, it is
essential that you be willing to give the Teaching Center a full term
commitment.  This means that you should not automatically accept a position
if you feel that your academic load may prevent you from keeping the job the
entire term.  Instead, openly discuss the possibility with your supervisor
so that, together, you can reach a decision that is best for both you and
the Teaching Center.
         Likewise, it is important that you be able to commit yourself to a
particular number of hours and schedule of work at the beginning of the term
and you should not accept more work hours than you can reasonably handle in
relationship to your academic load and personal needs.  You are reminded
that student employees are usually required to work during mid-terms and
dead week as these are often times when students are most in need of help.
        If, at the start of a new term, you are hired to work during a particular
set of hours, we ask that you make every effort to keep those hours open for
work as you drop and add classes.  Again this helps us to arrange the best
possible schedule for both the students and the student-employee staff as a
whole.  If your schedule is drastically changed after going through
add/drop, there is a possibility we will be unable to hire you because your
available time will not be suitable for the Center.  For ease of scheduling,
we also ask that you arrange to work in two-hour blocks.
        Should you find yourself experiencing problems with your schedule or
anticipate having to resign, please talk with your supervisor immediately.
Except in emergencies, you should try to give at least a two-week notice
before resigning and a one-week notice before making major schedule changes.
If you can talk with your supervisor about the situation even earlier, it
would be greatly appreciated.  We want to help you make the decision that is
best for you but we also want to insure that we maintain a high level of
service for our students.  By keeping us informed of your needs and giving
us time to adequately prepare and make schedule adjustments, we are better
able to do both.

        Attendance - You are expected to adhere to your regularly-scheduled work
hours.  If you would like to request an excused absence from work, please
notify your supervisor at least two full working days in advance of the
anticipated absence.  Approval of an excused absence is left to the
discretion of your supervisor and is generally dependent upon both the
reason for the absence and the scheduling needs of the Center.  Student
employees are routinely excused only for job interviews or test conflicts
but other absences may be excused if you make your request early.
        In an emergency, you should contact both the secretary and your supervisor
to apprise them of your absence and the reason for your absence.  If your
supervisor is not available, please leave a message for him/her.

        Punctuality - You are encouraged to arrive to work and meetings punctually.
If you anticipate being late, please notify the secretary and your
supervisor, giving them some idea of when you plan to arrive.  If your
supervisor is not available, please leave a message for him/her.

        Time Card Procedure - You are required to punch a time card when reporting
to and leaving work since pay is based on the hours reported on the time
card.  Time is recorded on time cards according to pay period weeks
(Thursday to Thursday).  The time clock keeps time by minute and time will
be rounded to the closest quarter hour on a weekly basis.
-       Unless you have been asked to clock in early, punch the time card only at
the time you are scheduled to begin work.  Punch the time card again before
leaving the Teaching Center.
-       Sometimes the time clock lags behind the wall clock by a few minutes.  If
you are not sure the time clock has changed, test it by punching the sample
card that usually sits by the time clock.
-       Should you forget to punch the time clock, ask either the secretary or
your coordinator to write the time on the card for you.  Please do not write
on the card yourself.
-       You are the only person who is allowed to punch your time card.  Please do
not ask other employees to clock in or out for you.

        Meetings  -    You are expected to attend and actively participate in
regularly scheduled staff meetings and development sessions. Notices for all
meetings will be posted on the bulletin board by the time clock at least
three working days in advance of a meeting.  It is your responsibility to
check the bulletin board daily for announcements.  To request an absence
from a meeting, you should see your supervisor at least two working days in
advance of the anticipated absence.

        Dress  -  Because you are working in close proximity to students, you are
encouraged to be conscientious about your personal hygiene and appearance.
You are asked to dress neatly and modestly during work hours.  In general,
midriffs, tattered or excessively tight jeans, open shirts, low cut blouses
and shorts that are higher than knee length are not acceptable articles of

        Employee/Student Relationship - As a student employee, you are expected to
maintain a professional manner with students you are working with inside the
Teaching Center.  This means that you should treat all students equally and
that you should show no favoritism to those students that you may know on a
more personal level.  While your attitude toward students should be positive
and friendly, your approach should be professional and sex-neutral.  A copy
of Policy on Sexual Harassment for all University of Florida students will
be kept in each supervisors office for your perusal.
        You should refrain from giving students your home phone number and address
(this protects you from being bothered by students calling for help at your
home) and you should not make arrangements to work with students outside of
your regularly-scheduled hours.  In general, you are discouraged from dating
those students whom you are tutoring.  Should a close personal friend or
your boy/girl-friend require tutoring help, they are welcome to visit the
Teaching Center for assistance.  However, if another employee is available
who can assist that person, we encourage you to direct him/her to that
person.  If you are the only person who is able to help that student, we ask
that you maintain a professional manner while working with that student and
that you show him/her no favoritism.

        Private Paid Tutoring - Student employees are not to tutor privately as
this generally would be a conflict of interest.  However, in rare instances,
special outside tutoring cases may be approved because of special
circumstances (e.g. A person coming for free tutoring is dominating the
tutoring sessions and/or needs more individualized attention than can be
given through the regularly-scheduled hours).  Before accepting an outside
tutoring role, student employees must discuss the situation with his/her
supervisor.  Exceptions may be made depending upon the student needing
tutoring, the nature of his/her problem and the effect it may have on your
work schedule.

        Professionalism - You are encouraged to maintain a positive and
professional attitude while in the Teaching Center.  The atmosphere of the
lobby and tutoring areas should be relaxed but quiet--conducive to studying
and testing.  Since many students see you as a role model, you are
discouraged from talking negatively about your  professors or classes either
with students or in the lobby areas.  In addition, you should be sensitive
to the attitudes and opinions of other students and employees in your choice
of language, jokes, etc.
        Finally, we ask that you refrain from discussing students or other
employees while in the lobby areas. Confidentiality regarding students'
identity, grades and progress is of utmost importance in maintaining an
atmosphere of trust in the Teaching Center. Information and/or concerns
about students or other employees should be shared only in the privacy of
your supervisor's office or in the appropriate context of a meeting.

        Employee/Supervision Communication - You are encouraged to work with your
supervisor in maintaining an open and positive relationship with each other.
Feel free to talk openly with your supervisor about your needs and concerns
both as an employee and as a student.  In addition, you should keep your
supervisor regularly apprised of your progress with students and the course
of your work.  For your ease in arranging times to meet individually with
your supervisor, a copy of each supervisor's schedule is available at the
front desk.
        Often your supervisor may leave messages for you in your box or for the
staff as a whole on the bulletin boards in each Center or by the time clock.
You should check both your box and the bulletin boards daily and respond to
messages promptly.  Messages for your supervisor may be left in his/her box
or on his/her office door.  Phone messages may be relayed through the front

        Phone Use -  You may use the office phone if need be; however, we ask you
to keep calls short so that these business phone lines are not tied up.
Phones are available in the Broward Lobby for social calls.  Also, please
use the 392-6769 extension.  The telephone in the S.E. Broward Math Center
is to be used only as an office "intercom".

        Food and Drink - Food and drink are not allowed in the tutoring rooms.
Please help us discourage tutees from eating in these areas.  If your
schedule necessitates it, you (not tutees)  may eat in the test review area
behind the front desk. Lunches may be stored in the refrigerator in the
kitchen.  A toaster oven and hot pot are available for your use.  However,
you are asked to supply your own food and drink and to clean up after using
the kitchen.

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