How do I get started as a Crossover Academic Mentor?
To get started there are four steps to take:
What if I am not sure I want to do this? I'm just exploring.
What we ask is that you follow the steps outlined on the application page. During the process, if you decide this program is not for you, let us know and we’ll discontinue or postpone the training until you are ready to commit. Even if you go through the entire training process and then decide you are not interested in continuing, that’s all right. There can be various reasons for this, including life events that interfere with your availability. Please know, however, that until you have completed the training, you cannot take part in the Academic Mentoring Program.
Is there a difference between tutoring and academic mentoring? I see both terms used.
Yes and no. Tutoring is part of the larger academic mentoring process. Some volunteers just tutor. Academic mentoring goes a little further. It may include visiting a student’s teachers to get a clear picture of the student’s deficits and needs or meeting with the student after school one or more times a week — always in a public place or at the Crossover Facility when at least one staff member is present. It may also involve ongoing communication with a parent so that schedules can be accommodated and transportation can be arranged.
I'm not a certified teacher. Can I qualify as an academic mentor?
Yes! We’d love to have you.
The majority of our tutors and academic mentors are not certified teachers. Others have limited teaching experience. This has not been an obstacle, and most make excellent tutors or academic mentors. Please don’t decide against this effort based on not being a teacher. Try it first. Then decide. Talk to our tutors/academic mentors. Listen to their experience. They will have much to share and many tips to offer.
I am a certified teacher with limited extra time. Can I still get involved?
Absolutely! Welcome aboard.
We love the expertise teachers bring to the tutoring/academic mentoring process. All grade level teachers are appreciated and needed. We especially need Math teachers familiar with middle school and high school Math. Because of the way Math is taught today, many of our non-teacher tutors find helping with Math homework difficult. We also strongly encourage teachers to consider becoming part of the “Teacher on Site” Mentoring Program. (See the next question for more information regarding that program)
What is the Teacher on Site Mentoring Program?
The “Teacher on Site” Mentoring Program consists of teachers taking on one Crossover Mission child who attends his or her school. This teacher regularly meets with the student’s other teachers and keeps in touch with them regarding his or her specific academic needs. The Teacher on Site meets with the student during our scheduled weekly sessions, advocates for the student regarding school matters, monitors the student’s grades, missing work, test schedules, and make-up work when appropriate, staying on top of the student’s progress over all. The teacher on site also maintains communication with a parent regarding student needs and progress.
I'm a high school student. Am I old enough to be an academic mentor?
Crossover Mission loves to have high school tutors!
Several have been highly gifted helpers, especially in Math. Sometimes, rather than assigning a high school student to an individual tutor, we use him or her as a “floater.” We especially have a need for Math floaters. A floater stays available throughout the session to help with Math homework or to assist a tutor when a particular Math homework problem is too difficult. However, we have also had a few high school (even one or two highly capable middle school students) who have proven to be very effective one-on-one tutors.
I'm a good person, have not broken the law or been in trouble with the law. Must I still submit to a background check?
Yes! Everyone must do this, just as everyone must have a face-to-face meeting with a Crossover representative and complete the required online training.
We apologize for any inconvenience or consternation this may cause, but today’s children are very vulnerable and it is our absolute duty to protect them in every way. Unfortunately, predators tend to infiltrate organizations whose standards are too open, too loose, or too lax. This makes it overly easy to have access to children whom they pretend to want to help but instead, plan to abuse. Please bear with us, and we thank you for doing so. We have endeavored to make these requirements as convenient as possible, without lowering the standards and tipping the barriers toward vulnerability.
I'm not very computer literate or technically savvy. Can I still do the online training?
Yes. The online modules are very easy to access and use. They are also available on mobile devices, such as tablets and iPads. If you do not have access to a computer or appropriate mobile device, we can arrange for you to come to the Crossover Mission facility where a Crossover representative will show you how to access the materials or even allow you to do the training modules on site.
How long do I have to commit to tutoring or acting as an academic mentor?
We generally ask you to commit for at least six months. Longer is better, of course, as students do respond to caring individuals who stick with them over the long haul. Bonding takes time. Trust takes time. Our kids need both. Too often people in their world come and go. Sometimes they disappear with no warning. Hopefully our Crossover mentors are not one of those who just come and go. We deeply appreciate your long-term commitment whenever possible.
How many hours a week must I commit to tutoring or acting as an academic mentor?
That really depends on you. Our regular sessions at the Crossover Center take place every day after school. We ask that each mentor commit to one consistent day of the week for 1 1/2 hours. The Center follows the school year calendar. Of course, we would always love to have a tutor give more time per week!