It is the beginning of a new semester and JACEY, the Tutor Coordinator, is going over the training handbook with her tutors.  She skims through it, summarizing each section to avoid wasting the tutors’ time by reading word for word.  At the end of the session, all of  the tutors initial the Peer Tutor Training Verification form along with the Peer Tutor Policies sheet found at the beginning of the handbook and turn them in.  Jacey then tells them to take their handbooks home to read more thoroughly and to use for future reference.  The tutors are also informed that they may feel free to call with any questions. “Remember,” says Jacey, “there are no stupid questions and it is always better to be safe than sorry.”

BOBBIE has been assigned to tutor NICK. Later in the semester Nick has accrued two “no shows.”  When Bobbie tracks him down to get his initials for the second missed session, he apologizes and promises to show up at their next scheduled session.  Bobbie lets him know that it’s not a problem, because she’ll be paid for the two “no shows” that he has initialed.  She asks him not to miss again without notifying her ahead of time because she can only get paid for a maximum of two “no shows.”

Before the next tutoring session can take place, both Bobbie and Nick receive a letter in the mail from DANNY, the director of the tutoring program.  The letters say that since Nick has two “no shows,” he is no longer eligible for tutoring and has been terminated from the program. Nick is irate and calls Bobbie.  He yells at her for promising him that he would still be tutored.  Bobbie apologizes and tells Nick that she will figure out what has happened.

Bobbie calls Jacey to ask about the “no show” policy.  Jacey refers her to the policies sheet that Bobbie initialed at the beginning of the semester where the policy clearly states that only two “no shows” are permitted and that a student will be ineligible for services after the second is reported.  Bobbie replies that it was a very long time ago that she initialed that policies sheet.  Jacey  reminds her that there is a copy of the policies sheet in the appendix of her training handbook.

Bobbie then calls Danny, complaining that Jacey never told her about the “no show” limit.  Bobbie also says there should have been some kind of a warning letter after the first “no show.”  Danny reminds Bobbie that she had a copy of the handbook, that she had signed the policies agreement, and that it was her responsibility to read the handbook thoroughly.  Bobbie tells Danny that her one-year-old child tore the handbook to shreds one afternoon not long after she first received it.  Danny tells her that in that case, it was her responsibility to request a new one.  He also informs her that Nick had also signed a student policies agreement form that explained the “no show” policy.  If Bobbie wishes to continue tutoring Nick, Danny states, it will be on her own and the program will not pay her for it.

*  *  *  *  *

Listed below are the characters in the story.  Rank them in order of their responsibility for for Nick being terminated from the tutoring program.  Give a different score to each character.  Be prepared to explain your choices.

Most responsible   <–  1   2   3   4   5   6   –->  Least responsible

                             _____  Jacey (the tutor coordinator)                 _____  Nick (the student)

                             _____  Bobbie (the tutor)                                 _____  Danny (the program director)

                             _____   Bobbie’s twelve month old child

Digging deeper: Does Bobbie owe Nick the tutoring session she promised him?  Why or why not?

–Chay Langenwalter, Tutor Coordinator. Idaho State University, ID

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