the Schwarzschild Ulna (aeolian_harp) wrote in antiacademia,
the Schwarzschild Ulna

Tutoring question

I am currently doing an internship for a study abroad office. The description of the internship is that we do mostly administrative duties and don't work directly with students too often. There was no language requirement to get the position, but I happen to be taking an intermediate level of the language. Because of this, I have the ability to work more closely with the educational materials, and then my supervisor suggested I start tutoring students. I was fine with it at first. But now the end of the semester is coming up and the teachers are throwing their failing students at me, and I don't know what to do. Here is what I have problems with:

- finals start on Friday and students are coming to me wanting to make appointments for this next week. I also am (rather spontaneously in order to prevent myself from ending up in a mental ward) moving to a new apartment this week and have ordered furniture and don't know the exact date when it will be delivered, so I need to be "on call" and see if I can run over to the apartment when it's delivered so I don't end up sleeping on a hard floor when I move in.

- I have absolutely no training in tutoring, I don't have that good of a grasp on the language myself, and I have told my supervisor a couple of times that I don't feel comfortable being held responsible for the students doing well in their classes, but she keeps insisting I I have the qualifications needed.

- in theory I really should be paid extra to do this since it's outside of my job description and I am already paid under minimum wage due to earning a "stipend" rather than an official salary, but no one has offered me financial compensation.

- my supervisor supposedly told all the teachers that they needed to go through her first before sending me students but I think they are ignoring this and just telling students to e-mail me directly instead of going through her, thus making it more difficult for me to say "no".

- they are sending FAILING students to me, and it is impossible to "cram" for a final exam in a foreign language four days or a week before you take it, if you are already bad at learning languages. It's too late in the semester for these students to catch up. A few of them do not understand any of the concepts at all, like pronouns, how to form the present tense, and how to say the days of the week. There is absolutely no way that by meeting with me for a total of a two hours or less is going to improve their skills AT ALL. It's just a waste of both of our time.

I feel like now the students are being foisted on me. It is not my job to "rescue" these students. This is nowhere in my job description. The teachers should have taken the responsibility of doing something about the students toward the middle of the semester, or after they did poorly on the first couple of quizzes rather than brushing it off as not their problem and sending them to me, someone who doesn't even have competency in said language nor training in teaching or tutoring students.

I don't know what I'm supposed to say. I don't want to tutor students next semester unless it's a really special case and I get advance notice. But if I try to convey my doubts to my supervisor she just tells me that it'll be fine or something along those lines, and it's NOT okay with me to do this.
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