So who tutors the tutors?
Academic publishing giant Houghton-Mifflin didn't know. So they called Gary and Joyce Phillips in the Grossmont College English Department.
"Joyce had been researching tutor training for some time prior to Houghton-Mifflin approaching us," Gary said, "so we mentioned to the editor that, as far as we knew, no one had written a book that addressed the training of tutors from a 'how to' perspective. Houghton-Mifflin liked the idea and, subsequently, asked us to write the book."
The book is "Essentials of Tutoring," published last April. The book now fills a need long since identified by the Phillips'. While most new tutors greatly benefit from training before they start working with students, there was no tutor training book available that prepared tutors for the details, especially in the grammar instruction concepts that they needed to be successful.
"Essentials of Tutoring' is the core training tool for Grossmont's English Writing Center, where Joyce Phillips is the Learning Assistance Center Specialist. It represents years of one-on-one working with both students and tutors.
"The book is actually an supplemental took available to instructors who adopt either "Keys for Writers" or "Universal Keys for Writers," said Joyce, referring to books authored by Ann Raimes. " 'Essentials of Tutoring' will help new writing center tutors successfully prepare by providing a guide to all aspects of the job of tutoring."
She further described the book as a how-to guide which new or inexperienced tutors can use for a self-paced training program, for a work text in a tutor-training class, as a reference tool during the course of a tutoring session, and as a source of information for review of grammar and writing concepts with the review designed to prepare tutors to verbalize such concepts in the course of tutoring sessions.
Though featured as a supplement, "Essentials for Tutoring" is also available as a stand-alone title at the campus bookstore. The Phillips' have co-authored other works, including "The Brainerd Journal: A Mission to the Cherokee 1817-1823," published by the University of Nebraska in 1998.