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June,

I think assertiveness should be a job requirement or an "expectation" the
tutors are aware of.  Training and tutoring experience is what helps the
tutors develop their assertiveness, but the understanding that it is
behavior that is part of the job is also important. This may not feel
comfortable to the tutor, but there are many situations that tutors find
themselves in that aren't comfortable.  It's the confidence in knowing that
they understand their role, the process, and purpose of tutoring that gets
them through. That is foundation that their comfort is built on.

The tutor should automatically approach students and inquire as to what they
are working on.  This immediately opens the door for further investigation
and probing questions.  Often times students do not realize they don't
clearly understand elements of the content until they are asked to discuss
them.  Once the students walk through the door, the responsibility is on us
to connect.

Debbie Roderick

June Haynes wrote:

> Help!!  Repeatedly my tutors ask me, "why our students won't ask for
> help when they come into our Lab."  I have given them explanations of
> low self esteem  and others.   My tutors are not assertive in making the
> connection with our students.  How to I get them comfortable with doing
> this.
> Thanks for any help!