On Saturday, October 25, 2014, over 80 adult educators and literacy advocates from around the region gathered for a day of sessions, panels, and sharing best practices at the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy’s annual Tutor Institute. The conference, held at District 1199C in Center City, brought together professionals and volunteers to help them improve their work and increase the quality of adult education offerings city-wide.
Keynote speaker Loraine Ballard Morrill of iHeartMEDIA and Vice Chair of The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy opened the conference by acknowledging adult education volunteers for the impact they make on individuals, their families, and the city-at-large. “Often times, acknowledgement is paid to celebrities and professional athletes, but true community heroes are people like you in this room today,” she said.
Next, participants selected a morning session to attend. Tutor Institute featured ten sessions throughout the day focused on helping tutors support their learners. Topics included: using technology to “flip” the classroom, online resources at the Free Library of Philadelphia, retaining adult learners, helping adults gain important digital literacy skills, and how to implement soft skills into lesson planning.
The afternoon featured lunch and an informative Q&A session facilitated by Naomie Nyanungo, Assistant Director of Programs at The Commission. The panel was comprised of Ryan Miller, Facilitator of Tutor Trainings at The Commission; Ellen Polsky, Director of Education at Nationalities Service Center; Lindsay Liprando, Tutor Coordinator at Community Learning Center; and Patricia Powell, Adult Basic Education Instructor at West Park Cultural Center. The Q&A session explored many topics of concern for adult educators including how both tutors and their learners can stay motivated, what soft skills are and why they are important, and suggestions for free resources to incorporate into the classroom.
After the discussion, attendees finished the day with an afternoon session. Participants chose from topics including: how to know if one is being an effective educator, preparing students for the new writing portions of the GED, incorporating job readiness skills into the ESL classroom, supporting low-level learners, and how to use data to reflect on and improve lessons.
A special thanks to all that attended and facilitated at the conference. We hope to see you back next year!
SUPPORTING ADULT LEARNERS IN THE DIGITAL AGE – Jennifer Kobrin
Dos and Don’ts of Guide on the Side – Handout
Computer Skills – Assignment
USING LESSON PLAN STRUCTURE AND THE LANGUAGE EXPERIENCE APPROACH TO WORK WITH LOW LEVEL LEARNERS – Jesse James
ADULT LITERACY INSTRUCTION: WHY SOFT SKILLS ARE IMPORTANT TO ALL – Kim Rossman
Soft Skills – Activity
GED 2014: DEVELOPING LEARNERS’ ANALYTICAL WRITING SKILLS IN SCIENCE & SOCIAL STUDIES – Ryan Miller
MOTIVATIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR ADULT LEARNERS – Sharon Davis
List of Motivational Strategies – Handout
Principles of Adult Learning Scale– Handout
REFLECTIVE INSTRUCTION & LEARNING – Ulicia Lawrence
ENHANCING ABE STUDENTS’ 21ST CENTURY SKILLS: USING TECHNOLOGY TO FLIP THE CLASSROOM – Kelly Sines