After your account is “active”, you’ll start seeing texts from HELP about students that need your help! Below we’ve broken down every step of working with a student on HELP, including quick tips on how to have the biggest impact possible.
Picking Up a Request
If a student makes a request in a subject you’re certified in and at a time that you’ve opted in to notifications, you’ll get a text message from HELP. Our texts look like this:
To fulfill a request, you can either click on the link in the text you received or select the student from the list of waiting students located on the dashboard.
- Not sure how much time you have? No problem! The average session lasts 15-35 mins, so you should generally have at least 30 mins free when you pick up a request. But if you need to leave early, it’s ok! See the next section for tips on how to do that.
- Need a few minutes to get ready? No problem! If you know you can get to the session within 3-5 minutes, you can generally still select the student and let them know you need a few minutes. A lot of students give up if they’re not paired with a coach within 1-2 minutes, so we encourage you to pick up requests and at least ask what you can help with to get things kicked off ASAP.
While In a Session
After picking up a request, you’ll be placed in our virtual classroom. Right now, this classroom is equipped with a text-based chat and a whiteboard. It looks like this:
It’s important to be friendly and encouraging! Here’s some easy phrases for you to pull from in different scenarios:
Starting your session
- “Hi [Student Name]! What can I help you with?” අපිට සිංහලෙනුත් උදව් කරන්න පුලුවන්.
Ask the preferred language
- You prefer english or සිංහල?
ONE SESSION = ONE QUESTION (Of few small ones in a single area of study)
After finishing a problem
- Are there any other concerns regarding this question?
- If you have any more questions, Do not hesitate to request another session.
If you need to go early
- “Sorry, I need to run in a few minutes. I can try to wrap this problem up, but I highly encourage you to make another request if you still need more help! Another person should be able to help you.”
If student asks more than one question in a session
- “Sorry, on help.lk, a session is equal to a single question. Can you please request another session for your other question?”
Just before ending the session
- Please consider leaving me an honest feedback and also telling your finds about help.lk.
At the end of the session
- “I hope this was helpful!, Bye.”
- “Good luck in your class!”
- “Feel free to make another request if you need more help!”
- “I really enjoyed helping you!”
- “Have a great night!”
If there are technical difficulties
- “So sorry it isn’t working! I’ll be sure to report this bug so we can get it fixed ASAP. In the meantime, can you please try refreshing? If that doesn’t work, you can also try making a new request.”
- Need to step away for a few mins? (Research or any other reason) Don’t forget to let the student know how long you’ll be gone.
- If you are researching, Please send a message from time to time saying you’re there online. (At least every 1-2 mins)
- Student not responding? Please wait, make a few attempts to get their attention and wait at least 10 minutes before ending the session. They might just be distracted working on their homework!
- Experiencing technical difficulties? Try refreshing the page! Also, be sure to apologize to the student on our behalf.
- Ready to end your session? Let the student know you are leaving, and be sure to click “End Session”! Closing the tab does not end your session.
How to Be a Good Tutor
Being a good tutor doesn’t mean you need to know everything about every subject. In fact, many of our best tutors start each session by Googling the topic in question to give themselves a refresher.
Instead, being a good tutor is all about identifying gaps in knowledge, leading the student to the answer themselves, and generalizing the approaches that you teach them so they can apply it to other problems.
Here’s how a typical tutoring session might go:
- Start with identifying the problem type.
- (“It seems like this is about solving a using quadratic equations.”)
- Ask them if they know the relevant definitions or formulas.
- (“This is the formula you use to find unknown terms in an algebraic equation, Does it look familiar to you?”)
- Ask them if they know what the first (or second or third) step is.
- If they do, have them complete it on the whiteboard.
- If they don’t, tell them, and ask them if they know how to complete that step.
- (“So the first step is to Identify a, b, and c and plug them into the quadratic formula. Do you know how to do that?)
- Guide them through the problem step-by-step, explaining relevant concepts and trying to generalize where possible so they can solve similar problems.
- (“Anytime you need to find the asymptote, you will start by comparing the degree of the numerator and denominator. There’s only 3 possible cases / rules that you need to memorize!”)
- Stop them when they start to go wrong. Try to explain why what they did was wrong and ask them if it makes sense.
- (“Almost! There’s one more number that needs to be excluded from the domain though because it leads to division by 0.”)
- At the end of the problem, ask a student if they know what the answer is now and check their final answer.
- “That’s correct, awesome job!”
- Can I give the student the answer? Try your best to lead the student to the answer instead. You can check answers (that is, tell them if it is right or wrong), but generally you should not give them the answer.
- How do I know what the student already knows? Check what they’ve covered so far in class, and ask if the methods you’re showing them look familiar. Don’t assume they’ve already learned anything.
- What if I’m stuck? When in doubt, Google liberally. We promise you’re better at Googling than the student, and a few minutes is worth making sure you’re giving them accurate advice! If you really can’t figure it out, you can apologize and let them know you’re not sure. Also you can ask in out whatsapp community
Feedback & technical issues
HELP is a small start-up, so we apologize ahead of time for any bugs you encounter or anything that doesn’t work as well as we’d like it to yet. You can help us improve in several ways:
- Fill out the feedback form after every session, especially if you encounter a bug, need a special feature we don’t have yet, or got positive feedback from a student. Tell us what they said!
- Submit the contact form when you encounter a bug outside of a session.
- Respond to all the surveys we email you. We promise we read every response and take your feedback seriously!
- How can I better help you fix bugs? Take screenshots of bugs whenever possible. Try to include as much detail as possible about what you did leading up to the bug. Tell us what device and browser you were using too!
Possible worse case scenarios
Student is rude or disrespectful
- Tell the sessions are being recorded & monitored.
- Being empathetic and kind for such students will overturn their future. The reason for their behaviour is they lack love from others.
- Inform us and end the session in a worse case scenario.
Student expresses emotional distress
- Be empathetic and kind to the student, giving them words of encouragement and positivity
- Share with them the following resources:
- If you’re especially concerned about the student, please reach out to us.