What to do if you can't help a student.

Katie Gandolfo -

If you're stuck...

If you're stuck on a problem, the most important thing is not to get flustered! Here are some pointers on how to best handle the situation:

  • If it's something simple, like a formula that you don't remember or a concept you know, but aren't 100% sure on the steps, it's okay to quickly look up what you need to know.
  • If there are multiple approaches to solve and you're not sure which one is the best or the one the student needs, ask what topic they're working on in class or the name of the section the problem came from. That can offer great insight!
  • Another great strategy is to ask the student to post a picture of their class notes or a similar example problem in their book, but make it sound like a teaching moment! Try, "Do you have an example from class or your book that you could post a picture of? I'd love to show you how to use that to figure out this problem so you can use resources like that more often in the future," rather than "I'm not sure how to do this one, can you post a picture of your class notes?"
  • Avoid saying things that will make the student feel like you don't know what you're doing. We want them to be confident in the help they receive.
  • If your quick concept check takes a minute (or longer), let the student know that you will get that time added back to their account. Then, message Sarah on Slack with an estimate of how much time was wasted so she can provide a partial refund.


If you can't help...

If you realize you aren't going to be able to help a student, that's ok. It happens to all of us at some point. Here's the best way to handle it:
1. Apologize.
2. Let them know they can request another tutor right away to get help.
3. Tell them you’ll refund their minutes.
4. After the session ends, refund the student.


For partial refunds...

Don't use the refund switch! Contact Sarah or post in #hq-support on Slack.


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