What is it?
Tutor Essentials is a 12-hour pre-service training for new adult literacy volunteers. We offer trainings in ABE and ESL. In this training, we'll teach you everything you need to know to feel prepared for your first meeting with your learner. No teaching or tutoring experience necessary!
How does it work?
This training is divided into two weeks (6 hours each). Tutors should sign up for both weeks but they can take them out of order. In-person training takes place over two Saturdays and online training takes place over two weeks of independent work and training meetings. Once you complete both weeks, you will be ready to start tutoring. If you are already matched with an adult literacy program, you can contact your volunteer coordinator for next steps. If you haven't been matched yet, reach out to Keighty at keighty@litworks.org for help getting started. (See "Get Your Questions Answered" below for more information)

What's the difference between in-person and online trainings?

Both trainings cover the same content and resources but do so in slightly different ways. The in-person training is two Saturdays for 6 hours each. The tutor trainer leads the group through the materials and activities over the course of the day. The online training is more independent work. In the online training, you join a class through Canvas and work through the materials on your own. At the end, you sign up for a tutor training session to discuss what you learned with your trainer. This session lasts about 2 hours.

How does the online training process work?

Once you register for Tutor Essentials, you will be invited to join our class through a website called Canvas. You will get an email inviting you to join and create an account. On your scheduled start day, the class modules will be opened and you can begin working through the materials. You also need to meet with a trainer at one of the three available times. You have one week from your start day to complete all of the modules and meet with your trainer.

So the online training has two parts?

Yes, the online training requires 3-4 hours of independent work through the Canvas modules AND a 2-hour tutor trainer session. You work is incomplete without these two parts.

How do I sign up for the trainer session after I've completed the online training?

The last module of your training is called "Next Steps". There, you'll find a link to a google form that will allow you sign up for one of the three tutor trainer session available for your week.

What happens if I don't meet with a trainer?

You will be considered absent from the class and will have to retake the session at a future date. You will not have to re-do all the independent work you completed, but you will have to meet with your trainer at a future date to finish the course. It is very important that you meet with a trainer since the materials alone are not enough to help you prepare for tutoring.

I'm a trained teacher/tutor, do I have to take the Tutor Essentials training?

Yes! Illinois requires that adult literacy volunteers complete 12 hours of pre-service training before they can start tutoring. Volunteer Coordinators must keep track of their tutors' training hours to get credit for their work. Even if you've taught before, we have more things to teach you! Plus, you can share your wisdom with the new tutors.

Can I take the training out of order?

Yes! Plenty of people do this due to scheduling or preference. Week 1 is not a pre-requisite for Week 2.

How do I start volunteering if I'm not part of an organization yet?

If you took this training before you started volunteering with an organization, we can help you find a place! When you've completed your training, reach out to Keighty keighty@litworks.org and they will explain next steps and match you with an organization so you can start tutoring!

get your questions answered!
Ready to Register?

Please select the two trainings you'd like to attend.

NOTE: You need to select both a Week 1 and a Week 2 training (you can take them out of order)


641 W. Lake Street Chicago, IL 60661