Hello all.  This posting is inspired by two comments from the listserv
today: (1) Robin Wright's original question about getting feedback from
tutors about program directors and her staff member's negative emotional
response, and
(2) Martha Maxwell's comment about evaluation being something for everyone
from tutors up to supervisors and directors.
I've copied both in their entirety at the end of this message.

Robin's comment, in particular, sparks my interest:
"I really feel I need to have a way to "monitor"--in a good way--what the
program directors are doing so I can do my job.  I don't want to police, but
do need to supervise.  The director who reacted so passionately is
absolutely exemplary.  If she has that reaction, what can I expect from the

How do we get the people we supervise to understand that evaluation is an
opportunity to congratulate good work and to find areas which we can
continue to develop.  Evaluation and supervision do not have to have
punitive connotations.  Is it because we work in academia that people assume
that evaluation means either you pass or fail?

As a relatively new director of a reading and study skills program, I am
interested in different/effective ways to evaluate, supervise, and
professionally develop my staff.  I know that since most directors wear
multiple hats, having many responsibilities beyond supervision, that
sometimes it can be difficult to manage effectively.  I am curious as to the
challenges and "positives" that other directors face in these three areas
(Evaluation, Supervision, and Professional Development)and how do you learn
to balance responsibilities, tasks, and supervision.

I'd appreciate any thoughts or resources you have on this matter. Depending
upon the response, I'll collect these thoughts and re-post a summary to the
listserv in an anonymous format so that we can all benefit from the wisdom
out there.

Thanks for your input,


Lisa C. D'Adamo-Weinstein
Director, Reading & Study Skills Program
Center for Enhanced Performance
6313 Washington Hall
United States Military Academy
West Point, NY 10996
phone 914-938-7815
fax 914-938-2481
[log in to unmask]

"Teachers are those who use themselves as bridges, over which they invite
their students to cross; then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully
collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own."
Nikos Kazantzakis

-----Original Message-----
From: Martha Maxwell [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2000 2:14 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Tutor feedback

Evluation  should be an integral part of all tutoring programs and is often
considered the most valuable service for tutors.  Beut supervisors and
directors need to be evaluated too -  it's not just something for trainees.

You'll find a number of different formsthat can be adapted to evaluate
tutor supervisors ,plus suggestiosn for case studies and testimonials that
can be used for supervisors om:  M. Maxwell's "Evaluating Peer Tutoring
wrte MM, 76265.2466  for information.

Robin Wright's Original Posting

-----Original Message-----
From: Robin Wright [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2000 11:57 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Tutor feedback

I could use some advice.  I am the director of a center with four
program directors.  We have math, writing, content studies, and SI
programs.  I have only been here a year, but I realize that I could
really use feedback from our tutors about the program directors.  I
have no way of really knowing what kind of training and supervising
advice to give the directors because there is no system in place for
feedback.  My door is always open, but tutors are not going to
come to me to discuss their job--unless there is a real problem. I
would like to have both positive and negative feedback from the
tutors.  Since I teach and use student evaluations to help me
improve (I hope) my teaching, I thought I would make up similar
evaluation forms for the tutors to fill out on the center, including
questions about their program director's effectiveness.
        Now for the reason I need advice:  I mentioned this to my
most productive program director--the one who goes above and
beyond every week--and she was violently opposed to the idea.
She said that it was "policing" and "put tutors in opposition to
directors." She got upset enough to cry!  I was taken by surprise
and didn't know quite how to respond.  I will have two new program
directors in the fall and I have been given some responsibilities that
will make me less accessible to tutors and clients. I really feel I
need to have a way to "monitor"--in a good way--what the program
directors are doing so I can do my job.  I don't want to police, but I
do need to supervise.  The director who reacted so passionately is
absolutely exemplary.  If she has that reaction, what can I expect
from the others?

Do any of you have feedback forms or any type of "evaluation" (for
lack of a better word--I was told that that word is *offensive*) of your
coordinators or directors?  Do your tutors "evaluate" their training or
their supervisor?  I currently run the SI program (but that will
change in the fall) and I WANT feedback. However, if this director's
response is any indication of the reaction I will get from the others,
I could be in for a fight.

Could those of you who have some type of program evaluations by
tutors contact me off-list and let me know what you do? share your
forms? or tell me what you did if you had opposition when you first
implemented such a thing?  I'm still reeling. Our tutors are
evaluated by the clients--so is the desk staff. It seems like such a
no-brainer to me to have the tutors evaluate us--I love getting my
student evaluations each semester and often modify my approach
because of them. I see the process as a very positive thing. I don't
approach my job as "policing" at all and see our operation as a
family unit.  I just want to be able to stay in touch with the tutors'
needs and get their advice.  As I told the director who got so upset--
no one is perfect--we need to be able to change our training, etc. to
fit the  ever-changing needs of the tutors.  She said she would
resent the idea that she should do something different just because
some tutors didn't like something.  I told her I wouldn't expect any
of them to do that--but--gee whiz--my tutors are more creative than
I am!  I'd like to have their ideas--even if it comes across as a
complaint! And if there are any real problems or deficiencies, I
would like to address them in the early stages.

Anyway, sorry about the long post. I'm still a little stunned. Thank
you in advance for your help.


"The man who never alters his opinion is like standing
water, & breeds reptiles of the mind."
                             --William Blake
Robin Redmon Wright
Director of the Academic Assistance and Resource Ctr.
Stephen F. Austin State University