Author Bio: Dr. Sandi Ayaz has served as the Executive Director of the National Tutoring Association. She is also an adjunct instructor at Polk State College in Winter Haven, FL and most recently earned a degree as a Certified Veterinary Technologist.

National Tutoring Week is the first full week of October each year, set aside to acknowledge and celebrate the good works of tutors and academic coaches across the world. There are over 100,000 individuals practicing in our profession at any given moment and these individuals are good people with big hearts who work diligently within a strict code of ethics and academic andragogical paradigm to prepare students for academic and personal success.

The history of National Tutoring Week is largely a mystery and I wish that I could report some fantastic story of its origin, but it actually started as a simple suggestion one evening after a long day’s work.

Giving credit where credit is due, a company called TutorLink had just started in Indianapolis, IN, and the developers of their main product line were sharing a beverage after work one day and as they discussed ways to market their product and strategies to bring more tutors to the idea of training and certification. One of the gentleman said “Hey, what if we created a National Tutor’s Day and promoted it every year.” That idea quickly morphed into National Tutoring Week with the support of the National Tutoring Association.

Since that night more than 15 years ago, tens of thousands of tutors have celebrated this week with special ceremonies, fund raising events, service projects, luncheons, visits by their Campus Presidents, special t-shirts, you name it.

Unfortunately, a few years ago, the NTA did contact the White House about confirming  National Tutoring Week with an official declaration, but the Secretary of Education declined the request stating that Mentoring Month already existed and that was enough. But tutors are a tenacious bunch and the members of the NTA across the country have managed each year to have special declarations for National Tutoring Week issued in their own cities and states. So please use this time to write to Secretary Duncan and let him know the difference between tutoring and mentoring and that tutors deserve their own recognition!

In the interim, be proud of your service as a tutor, and know that what you do makes a huge difference in the lives of the students you serve. Salute!!


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