Being an ALTA Tutor

i Mar 22nd No Comments by

Being An Alta Tutor


Monday morning blues after busy weekend lime,

Sort out cards, read over notes, prepare for Alta time.

Traffic’s bad, it’s wet outside, a hundred things to do.

But my students come because they know I’ll be there too.

“Good Morning Miss”, comes from a welcoming face,

A sense of purpose tells me I’m in the right place.

A greeting, some chat, cards on the table,

It’s a good place to come; people do what they are able.

Class starts, heads bow and brows furrow,

Tutors quietly help, there is hope for tomorrow.

Topics are discussed while ideas are shared.

What would happen if nobody cared?

A bag of fruit from someone’s yard,

A smile for mastering something that’s hard.

We get our thanks in many ways.

For knowing we are helping make better days.

There’s no us and them, we are all just people,

We teach them letters, they teach life’s struggle.

If we can make a difference and hear what they say,

Shouldn’t we do what we can in our own small way?


By: Judith Affoo, Alta Tutor


Judith Affoo is one of Alta’s stalwart tutors and the Regional Coordinator for all Alta venues in North West Trinidad. Judith’s words in the poem above echo the sentiment of many tutors who come to Alta to teach adults to read and write. While they do not receive financial compensation and finding time to tutor twice a week is sometimes difficult, it is well worth it!

There are only three weeks left to sign up to be an Alta Tutor this year! Interested persons should have a Grade I or II CSEC English (or equivalent) and be able to commit to teaching an Alta class twice a week for two hours each time, from September 2018- July 2019.

If you have the time, Alta tutors over the years have all said that their experience tutoring has not only been incredibly rewarding but also an eye-opening experience. Here are the six steps you should take if you’d like to become a certified Alta tutor:

STEP ONE: Make contact

A simple phone call or email to one of Alta’s three offices to express interest in volunteering and have questions answered is the first step to becoming a volunteer. Persons calling can also schedule to attend an interview in Belmont (624-2582), Arima (664-2582) or San Fernando (653-4656).

STEP TWO: Interview

Volunteer tutors at Alta are unpaid, but no experience is necessary to become a volunteer. Volunteers must have Grade 1 or 2 in English and be able to commit to teach for an academic year. Interviews allow an opportunity to meet long-serving Alta members and get a better ‘feel’ for the organisation.


 Volunteer applicants get the privilege of meeting our students when they are invited to observe a class in session for 8 consecutive visits. Observation is a prerequisite for Alta’s annual Tutor Training Course.


 ALTA provides training for all tutor volunteers. At the end of the observation period, volunteers will be asked to contractually agree to commit to teaching at an Alta class in September (which immediately follows training) before they can attend training. Training is a very important period on the ALTA calendar, and is done over six weeks between April/May. Training gives volunteers the skills necessary to deliver the Alta Programme.


Volunteers who complete the training will choose a class venue where they will begin their year of volunteer service. Teaching is the practical component of Alta’s Tutor Training Course and volunteers must complete 150 contact hours of teaching, or an academic year to be certified as an adult literacy tutor. Newly trained tutors are placed with an experienced tutor to team teach at a venue of their choice.

STEP SIX: Certify

 Completing an academic year as an Alta tutor is an accomplishment to be celebrated and each year certificates are awarded to volunteers completing their year of service at our Annual General Meeting. Certified tutors can then become members of the Association.

Alta looks forward to hearing from you!