Hi Listers, I am including in this email one exercise I've done with tutors to discuss boundary setting and to help clarify their roles with students. It includes some scenarios that are common in our center (and maybe yours) and gives some sample ways to talk with students. I have found that giving tutors some words to say helps them, especially when they are new. Hope it is helpful. Linda Russell Tutor Coordinator Minneapolis Community and Technical College Minneapolis, MN Boundary Setting Situation 1 A tutor works from 12:00-2:00, but plans to work on homework in the Learning Center from 2:00 until closing at 4:00. Her 1:00 student wants more help and is desperate. So the tutor works with the student for two more hours, even though she will not get paid for the time, and she hasn't made any progress on her own homework. What should she do next time that happens? Situation 2 A tutor works with a student who is very passive and seems not to understand the assignment or how to go about doing it. So, the tutor directs the student step by step through the whole thing. Finally, the assignment is done, but the tutor feels like he helped too much. Sure enough, the student comes back to get the same kind of help on the next assignment, expecting the tutor to tell every step and how to do each task. What should the tutor do this time? Situation 3 A tutor has a student who has a quiz tomorrow, but has been absent from class for 3 days due to a family emergency. The tutor helps get the student caught up, and the student does okay on the quiz. The next week the student is back to get caught up again, since she missed class because her car wouldn't start. Three days later she is back to get caught up because she got sick from all the stress with her family and her car problems. Pretty soon the tutor feels trapped and is certain the student feels it is okay to miss class and use the tutor to get caught up anytime. What should the tutor say to the student now? Situation 4 A tutor has a very successful session with a new student who is rather worried about school and grades. The student returns after getting an A on a test to thank the tutor and maintain that the reason for the A was the great tutoring. The student signs up for the tutor again twice every week and seeks walk-in help as well, all the time reminding the tutor that the good grades s/he is earning are only because of the wonderful tutoring. The tutor is worried that the student is too dependent. What can the tutor do? Sample Phrases you can use… "I know you need more help, but I'm finished working for today. Let's go see Luanne (our receptionist) and find someone else to help you." "Last time we met I felt you really needed a lot of my help to get through the assignment. You know tutors can't do every step with you, so this time I'd like you to choose which things you need help with and which things you're going to do on your own." "Well, I know it feels like you need help on everything! I've felt that way too! But let's pick out the two or three most confusing things to work on." "How's class going? Have you been able to get there? No? It's important that you know that a tutor can't be a substitute for going to class. I am not allowed to give the initial instruction, you know, the lecture and introduction of new material. That's the teacher's role. So, please go to the teacher's office hours before you come see me. You can get some of the information from the teacher, and the teacher can let me know how I can help you."