Celebrate and Take Stock
December provides a natural opportunity to step back, see progress made during the year, and celebrate accomplishments. Even if a learner only recently started tutoring, pausing to looking together at skills that are stronger, knowledge that has taken root, and progress made toward goals can contribute to confidence and reinforce the intention to continue work in the New Year.
You may wish to create a portfolio. This may chronicle the year’s (or months’) growth by showcasing points of progress or collect samples of writing or readings of which the learner is most proud.
You may suggest that your learner write a letter describing how he or she feels about the work of the year, noting what was especially helpful (meeting regularly with a tutor, pairing up with another learner to encourage each other) and what strategies helped to address challenges (such as enlisting friends to help with childcare or meal preparation one night a week to allow for studying). This can serve as a reference in the year to come.
Most of all, in the midst the holiday bustle, try to take a moment to congratulate each other on the commitment and dedication that brought you together for tutoring sessions and will continue to do so.