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Online Tutoring: The Perfect Way to Earn Volunteer Hours

Since September, I have been tutoring online for two organizations, and I have taught four students so far. I’ve learned that tutoring is a difficult but highly rewarding activity. Its benefits include community service hours (which are more valuable than even money to some high schoolers, like me), experience that can be used to apply for jobs, and relationships you build with students during the sessions.

In this article, I will explain why high school students should consider tutoring, where to get started, and how to tutor efficiently.

First, why tutor?

As I mentioned, tutoring has many advantages; the most significant one being experience. Tutoring involves communicating with the parent, managing time, and working with others, all soft skills that will enhance your job applications.

Additionally, when you work with a student every week, you genuinely connect with them. As you bond, seeing them progress through the lessons and understand new concepts gives you fulfillment and satisfaction. I think this is the main reason I prefer tutoring over other volunteer opportunities; you get to work directly with another person.

And of course, there is the fact that tutoring is a quick way to collect community service hours. Sessions usually last one hour and take place once a week, which translates to around 40 hours over one school year. At this rate, you would gain 160 hours by the end of high school!

Don’t forget—you pick the days and hours that you tutor each week, and this flexibility means you will most likely be able to fit the activity in your schedule.

So you’ve decided tutoring is perfect for you. Now what?

There are numerous youth-led organizations that are currently accepting tutors, including:

  • Umlaut REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must live in California.

  • Learn in Shelter REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must be in high school and live in the U.S. or Canada. Applicants must provide their most recent high school transcript.

  • Tutorly Ed REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must be in high school.

  • Iridium Tutoring REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must be at least in 10th grade and must have a discord account.

  • Tutor Olive REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must be at least 13, have a minimum GPA of 3.5, and have an 80% or above in the class that they want to teach. Additionally, once applicants interview for the position, they must present a 30-minute example lesson to a member of the Tutor Olive team.

  • Virtual Guru REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must be at least in 9th grade and must be able to tutor students in North American time zones. Applicants may be asked to interview.

  • Tutor Einstein REQUIREMENTS: Not stated

  • Best Step Tutoring REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must be in high school or college.

Lastly, how do you tutor efficiently?

Once you’re accepted into an organization, the next step is to learn how to be a good tutor. The key to being efficient when tutoring is preparing yourself, and the best way to do so is to equip yourself with an adequate amount of resources. So below I have listed some.

1. Khan Academy has video lessons and practice problems, which are put together by professionals, for various core and elective subjects. They can be used as a template for your lesson plan.

2. Quizlet allows you to create flashcards and use them to play games like “Match” and “Gravity” (see pictures below). Especially for younger students, these games are appealing because they are more fun. NOTE: Quizlet requires you to create a free account.

"Match" on Quizlet
"Gravity" on Quizlet

3. Free Worksheet Websites

  1. Math-Aids.com only provides math worksheets.

  2. Math-Drills.com only provides math worksheets.

  3. Mathworksheets4kids.com provides Math, arts (ELA), science, and history worksheets (“MATH” stands for “Math, Arts, Theoretical science and activities, History and social studies”).

  4. Super Teacher Worksheets provides worksheets for various subjects, including phonics, reading comprehension, science, and social studies. As an added bonus, it also has free puzzles and brain teasers!

4. Other Resources

  • IXL is a “personalized learning platform” for K-12 students. It offers “skills” in math, language arts, science, social studies, and Spanish. To master a skill, students must reach a score of 100. What I love most about IXL is that when you get the question wrong, it gives you a simple yet thorough explanation about where you went wrong. NOTE: The free version of IXL only allows you to do 10 problems per day, and it does not save your progress.

"Translations: graph the image": An eighth grade skill on IXL
  • CK-12 provides online “flexbooks,” which are particularly useful because they are interactive. Textbooks are available for all the core subjects, as well as for astronomy, engineering, health, photography, and technology. They are also found in other languages, such as Korean and Spanish.

  • Smarter Balanced offers practice standardized tests for 13 states in the U.S. The links on this website redirect to official organizations for standardized tests, such as the CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress). What is super convenient about these tests is that they do not require an account; students can log in as guest users. If you are preparing your student for a standardized test, this is the perfect resource to use!

During my first few weeks as a tutor, I was definitely unfamiliar with the process of tutoring, and that made me nervous. But as the months passed by, both my volunteer hour count and confidence level went up by a lot! Moreover, as I taught more and more students, tutoring taught me more and more soft skills. So, yes, it is tough and takes patience, but nevertheless, I would wholeheartedly encourage anybody who is interested to apply!

SOURCES (excluding the links in the article):



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