Each January of the school year, approximately 75 lucky juniors receive letters on scroll letterhead informing them that they have been offered positions as AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) letterhead for their senior year. But it isn’t just luck involved–juniors receiving this opportunity have been nominated by teachers, current AVID tutor seniors, and have been ultimately chosen by Mr. Kahl for their place in the program.
“We let teachers know of the ideal qualities we look for in our tutors. They have to be personable, warm, articulate, compassionate, mature, and accomplished.” Kahl said.
According to Kahl, senior AVID tutor nominations also hold significant weight for how the next year’s tutors will be chosen.“They’re in the process right now, they really understand what it’s like to be a part of the program and who would fit.” he said.
Around 50% of students offered tutor positions end up accepting the offer. Typically, interest in participating is very high, states Kahl. Scheduling issues are what usually causes students to reject his offer. In the 2012-2013 school year, a “9th period” AVID system was put in place for tutors without the room in their schedule during the normal school day to assist AVID students after school, at nights, and on weekends. This school year, tutor availability was lower.
“We had success with that last year, but this year it wasn’t sustainable.” Kahl said.
One of the things Kahl likes about the AVID program for senior tutors is that it gives students a small taste of professional work, that some left the program with dreams of joining the teaching profession someday, when they had previously never consider it.
His advice for incoming AVID tutors: “the program demands curiosity, flexibility, and passion. Make sure you’re up for it and can put time and effort into it.”